With change comes new faces. Implants from various teams throughout the league to make up one incredible team. Necessity usually dictates what type of player will be chosen to represent the organization. The Oakland Raiders are a team that has needed a face lift for some time now, and this year, the surgery was finally performed. In a league where the pass has outperformed the run, two players were moved from the west side of the bay to the east side. Those two players will represent the last line of defense, and they will tutor the young pups who have been drafted to be the future. They are Carlos Rogers and Tarell Brown.
Carlos Rogers (#27)-
The Augusta, Georgia, native, Rogers played his college ball at Auburn University. The 6′ 0″ 192 pound cornerback was drafted in the 1st Round (9th overall) of the 2005 NFL Draft by the Washington Redskins. He played up to his 1st Round potential for the Washington Redskins before being released at the end of the 2010 season. He joined the San Francisco 49ers through free agency in 2011 and had one of his best years ever. He recorded 6 interceptions, one returned for a TD, and that earned him a sizeable contract that was supposed to last for 4 years. However, and as we all know, contracts have a lot of fine print and teams have to let some contracts go to make room for younger players and the salary cap. This is the reason he was released by the 49ers.
Now, Rogers brings his 10 successful years of experience to an Oakland Raiders backfield in desperate need of improvement. His biggest contribution may come as a mentor to D.J. Hayden and Keith McGill, or he may be called upon to be a starting CB for one more season. Still, Rogers comes from a very successful defense in San Francisco, and he will be able to elevate the play of the Raiders secondary. His contributions combined with FS Charles Woodson and SS Tyvon Branch is going to be fun to watch. Combined, the three of them represent 34 years of NFL knowledge (Woodson has 17 years, Branch has 7 years, and Rogers has 10 years). Geriatric’s? I think not. Woodson proved his worth last season, and I am confident that Rogers isn’t done showing off his skills either.
In a career where Rogers has combined for 446 tackles, intercepted 17 passes, deflected 109 passes, forced 4 fumbles, recovered 5 fumbles, and sacked the QB once, I like his chances moving forward. Think of the things he can pass on to the youth of the league. Think of the things he can show D.J. Hayden, Brandian Ross, Chimdi Chekwa, Taiwan Jones, T.J. Carrie and Keith McGill, while still suiting up and breaking up passes. Although he may only be called upon in a Nickel Defense, I believe there is a lot left in his tank. Couple that with his will to prove to the 49ers that they shouldn’t have let him go, and you get the makings of a solid defensive back.