The 49ers were a disruptive force on defense last year, creating a league-high 38 turnovers while becoming a big reason behind the team’s dramatic transformation into one of the NFL’s elite units. In the secondary, perhaps no player had a bigger impact than second team All-Pro cornerback Carlos Rogers, who was voted the No. 69 player by his peers in the NFL Network’s Top 100 of 2012 list.
“There’s a thousand something players in the NFL and for you to be in the top 70 that’s good,” Rogers told 49ers.com. “But it’s a credit to this whole team, especially this defense I’m on. I’m just proud to be on it.”
Rogers was named to the first Pro Bowl of his career after racking up six interceptions and establishing himself as one of the game’s most complete cornerbacks. Aside from his renowned skills as a cover corner, Rogers has also built a reputation as a sound tackler.
“Most corners aren’t great tacklers,” said Eagles linebacker Jamar Chaney. “Most corners aren’t physical. He’s more physical. He’s going to get up in your face and let you know that this isn’t going to be a finesse game or anything like that when you play the 49ers.”
The 49ers rewarded Rogers’ stellar production with a four-year deal this offseason, as the team retained all 11 starters from its vaunted 2011 defense. After spending his initial six seasons with the Redskins and joining San Francisco on a one-year deal, Rogers said he’s happy to have found a long-term home with an organization like the 49ers.
“With the guys surrounding me in the secondary and coaches putting us in position to win, I just took advantage of it,” Rogers said. “It’s a new tree for me; it’s a new family. I’m glad to be here and this is where I want to end it at.”
Together with Tarell Brown, Rogers helped form the NFL’s best ballhawking cornerback tandem, as the pair led the league with 10 combined interceptions. Just as Rogers relied on his teammates for support, they relied on him.
“I’m excited for him,” Brown said. “He’s done a great job and bought into the system and came out and played well. He deserves everything he gets and the sky’s the limit for that guy.”
Not only has Rogers earned the respect of his teammates, but he’s earned the praise of his opponents.
“He has pretty good instincts,” said Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson.”I’ve been playing against him since I’ve been a rookie – Philadelphia Eagles against the Washington Redskins. This past year that he had with San Francisco was an unbelievable year.”
Rogers also stepped up his production in the playoffs, recording a season-high three pass breakups in the Divisional Round matchup vs. the New Orleans Saints and a season-high 11 tackles in the NFC Championship against the New York Giants. But after coming within a few plays of reaching the Super Bowl, Rogers and the 49ers have unfinished business.
“The coaches wanted me here, the front office wanted me here and all the players were asking me if I was going to come back,” Rogers said. “I’m familiar with this system and I fit good in here. I’m a good fit for them and vice-versa –they’re a good fit for me. I want to stick around.”
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