SANTA CLARA – Here’s the transcript of Carlos Rogers Wednesday Q&A.
Q: What have you seen from Eli Manning this year?
ROGERS: Just more poise in the pocket. I think he’s calmed down and got a lot of control of the offense. It also helps when the younger guys know the offense and know what they’re doing. The line is blocking better for him and that helps out the quarterback a lot. He’s in a rhythm right now … they beat a real good team last week. It’s going to be a challenge. I think both sides of the ball are kind of evenly matched. We’ll see what we’re really about.
Q: A lot of those wins involved Eli Manning brining them back from behind. What do they do that’s so effective in the fourth quarter?
ROGERS: I think it’s a combination of him having total control of the offense, receivers knowing what they’re doing and being able to get open. When those guys were younger I think it was a struggle, knowing where to go and running their routes at the right depth, things like that. But now, I played them when they was younger, now they all grown up. They pretty much know what they are doing now.
Q: Did you say that you guys will know what you’re about?
Q: Don’t you already know?
ROGERS: I do know, but it’s a test. We’re just halfway into the season. I was on a team that was 6-2 halfway into the season. The last eight games, we went 2-6. So it’s still a challenge for us. Each week, the games get bigger and bigger. Playing a team like New York, which has only lost two games. They’re on a roll right now and we’re on a roll. These are the type of teams that if we want to make the playoffs we’re going to be facing powerhouses like this. They’ve got a good running game, an elite quarterback, a defense that’s playing really good. So these are games that we’re going to have to win. Instead of winning against teams that have losing records.
Q: Do you guys care about what the rest of the country thinks about you? They’ll point to this one and say this is where we find out what the 49ers are about.
ROGERS: Of course. But we aren’t worried about what outsiders think about us. We know what we’re capable of doing. We’re headed in the right direction and coach like always says and puts in our head – don’t ever think too high of ourselves. Also, know that any team can beat us any Sunday. And we can do the same thing with any other team.
Q: The defense has allowed two late touchdowns in the past two games. Is that something you guys are harping on after these games?
ROGERS: Yes. We look at everything. Coach does a good job when we come back on Tuesday of going over the film and pointing out things that we can do. There was kind of a mix-up in coverage last week … There’s a lot of plays that we always can get better on. I look at things I can get better on. We took our eyes ofF some coverages last week, but due to the pressure of the D-line they weren’t able to get some of those plays off. So each week we try to get better and make strides at stuff not only are we doing good at but stuff that a quarterback doesn’t see or have time, but it’s a misread on our back end.
Q: Both of Washington’s scores came in two-minute situations. Are teams almost better when they abandon the run against your defense?
ROGERS: No. Certain situation you’ll be in kind of a prevent defense and knowing what the situation was – it wasn’t like we were going to sit out there and have an all-out blitz. If they were going to drive they were going to have to have checkdowns, hand balls to the running back, things like that. Their running back led them last week with 14, 15 catches. That means we took away their deep stuff, their intermediate stuff and they had to check the ball down. Any defense, you’ll take checkdowns. You just have to rally and tackle those guys.