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Carlos Rogers Embraces Nickel Corner

Posted by Taylor Price on August 1, 2012 – 5:56 PM

Like many of his fellow defensive teammates on the San Francisco 49ers, Pro Bowl cornerback Carlos Rogers wants to master Vic Fangio’s complete system.

The starting cornerback who re-signed this offseason for four more seasons in San Francisco, said on Wednesday that he wants to get a better understanding of his defensive teammates’ full responsibilities now that they’re all experiencing a second season under the respected defensive coordinator’s guidance.

It’s important especially for Rogers, who lines up inside as the team’s nickel cornerback against multiple receiver formations.

“Nickel is something tough,” admitted Rogers, a 6-foot, 192-pound cornerback who recorded a career-high six interceptions for the 49ers last season. “You have to know crossing routes, working with the linebackers, sometimes they take the routes deep. There’s a lot of stuff. Sometimes you’re blitzing, sometimes you may have a run gap.”

Fangio considers the position to be a linebacker-type of role. Rogers, fearless when it comes to tackling, thrived in such a role, posting 57 tackles and 18 pass breakups in 2011.

Rogers performed well in the role because of his quickness, Fangio said.

“There’s a lot of short area routes that you got to be able to react to and play,” said Fangio, who saw his defense force 38 takeaways in 2011. “He’s got the intelligence because, really, everything he learns as corner has no carry over to the nickel. He’s actually playing a linebacker position and he has the intelligence and the football instincts to be able to play all those new zones and all new techniques that he has to play in there.

“He’s got a really good understanding, as you would think a veteran would, but some guys never master it. He’s got a good understanding of what the offenses are trying to do from route concepts and he has good anticipation.”

It’s not only Rogers, who’s thriving in the nickel role. Newcomer Perrish Cox, a 6-foot, 198-pound cornerback who signed with the 49ers this offseason after being out of football in 2011, has also embraced the challenge of playing as a “linebacker” cornerback, as Fangio put it.

Cox has also been in Rogers’ ear throughout practice in search of last-minute tips.

“Every day he asks me something, ‘Los, where should I be? Should I be inside or outside?’” Rogers said.

Sharing information is no problem for the 49ers defensive backs. Rogers sees the group being competitive, but close at the same time.

“We’re very talented,” Rogers added. “In Washington, I played with a lot of guys who had names. But these guys here are a tight group, regardless of the names. This group here sticks together, no matter the situation. We’re trying to get better each and every day and that’s why this group is so tight. Even the young guys, asking the older guys, ‘What should I do on this play?’”

Fangio feels comfortable with his depth at corner, as well as Cox’s progression to this point. Fangio also likes the depth the defense has at its unique nickel role. Behind Rogers and Cox, starting cornerback Tarell Brown and undrafted rookie safety Michael Thomas (who played one season under Fangio at Stanford) are the four names atop the depth chart.

Despite having the least experience at nickel corner, Fangio likes Cox’s willingness to learn and compete at the same time.

“He’s done well,” Fangio said of Cox, once a starting cornerback for the Denver Broncos. “He’s done a good job playing the nickel position for us. Same thing (as Rogers), he’s got good instincts, he’s got good short area quickness, can feel the routes and he’s a capable corner also. It’s critical you have those guys because when teams will put four wide receivers on the field, you need two of them then. So hopefully we can develop three or four of them.”

The 49ers cornerbacks know there are opportunities to play a lot this season with many teams on the regular season schedule utilizing multiple receiver looks. That being said, the pecking order will work itself out.

“It’s equal opportunity for everybody,” Rogers said. “I don’t know who are going to be the top-four corners, or the top-five. We’re preparing anytime for whatever position we’re going to be in.”

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Posted in Announcements | 6 Comments »

6 Responses to “Carlos Rogers Embraces Nickel Corner”

  1. By NinerFanFromTonga on Aug 1, 2012 | Reply

    Do we have a team or what? Safeties are in a good place with Goldson, and Whitner as the core of that group. Corners are set with Rogers and Cox at the core. LineBackers are set with Bowman and Willis at the core. DL is set with Freakin Justin Smith and Aldon Smith, Sapoaga, and all the rest of those guys. On Offense, we have the best QB of the League in Alex (freakin) Smith, at RB Gore, Jacobs, James, Dixon, Hunter, and the others…what a fantastic mix of guys with Fullbacks like Miller, Tukuafu, and Dixon wanting to contribute in that role. What I am most happy about is the our OL this year. We have gone out and made sure we will atleast hold the line and buy AS a couple more ticks to locate the right receivers…that will be huge. Than we have the best TEs in the league with Davis and Walker. How about our Wideouts? What a group in Moss, Manningham, Williams, Ginn Jr, and Crabtree. Let us not talk about the Special team, goodness gracious that Lee is going to make teams want to commit suicide with his ability to pin offenses inside their ten yard lines, everytime that happens, our defense is going to come out of that situation with at least a fumble, an interception, or a touchback, mark my words. And, if we need a field goal…well, just make sure we cross the thirty five yard line and Mr. Akers is automatic from there. What are defenses going to do against our offense. What will offenses going to do to our defense. Nothing on both counts, that’s what. Harbaugh was prophetic when ye coined the phrase….Who’s got it better than us?…….Nobody. That’s who…..go Niners

  2. By benny hernandez on Aug 2, 2012 | Reply

    Last year on the playoffs against the Giants,when number 22 for the niners collided with another fortyniner and he went out injured on that play,I told my son;
    They,(the Giants) are going after number 22’s replacement.Which happen to be number 26.3rd and fifteen and Manning throws for a touctown against number 26
    I hope we have a better backup than number 26 for number 22.Anyone know who it might be?

  3. By Ojay on Aug 2, 2012 | Reply

    Yes, Last year I thought that the secondary was our weakest part of our Defense because of the short training camp. This year the secondary will be much better, because of OTA’s and training camp. The Defense can learn more about Vic Fangio schemes and grasp it and for the backups at corner we have Cox, Culliver and Macbath. Go Niners!

  4. By Will on Aug 2, 2012 | Reply

    Benny, it was not Carlos #22 that knocked out Tarrell Brown, it was #36 Dashon Goldston. When Brown went down it was Tramaine Brock that came in and gave up the TD. He was at that time the #2 behind Carlos I believe, but this year i thiink will be replaced by Cox.

  5. By bonds on Aug 2, 2012 | Reply

    @benny h… that was actually numbers 38 (dashon Goldson) and number 25 (tarell brown) who collided with each other tryin to get an interception… number 26 was tramaine brock, and yea the niners addressed that with perrish cox… so it will be rogers, cox, brown, culliver, and brock in that order switchin cox and brown up from play to play cuz tarell brown did quite well on the left side… but really, in vic fangio’s defense, anyone is anywhere… thats why we dominated so well last year, good talent to switch and confuse offenses and now we have more… this seasons goin to be fun…

  6. By it training programs on Aug 4, 2012 | Reply

    Thanks designed for sharing such a nice idea, paragraph is pleasant,
    thats why i have read it fully

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