SANTA CLARA – Here’s what Carlos Rogers said this morning at his locker. You should know that he was wearing an Adidas track suit, a diamond necklace, and a watch with a diamond bezel.
Q: Your first pick – did the Giants run the same play as they had run the play before?
ROGERS: (Laughs) The same one. The play before I played off and he kind of gave me a move to the inside and I went for it. I’m glad he dropped the pass. The second one I pressed him, and once I seen him go to the corner I undercut the route.
Q: How often does that happen? You would think the cornerback would catch on.
ROGERS: That Victor Cruz is real hot right now. He’s an unbelievable player. When you get a quick guy like that in the slot you’ve got your work cut out for you. Eli has a lot of confidence in him. But to come back to the same play, that kind of surprised me.
Q: How do you take those intelligent risks? What’s your philosophy?
ROGERS: Just do it. I can’t even think about it, I just do it. I just play. Some of that is with knowledge. With those guys, they run so many routes out of the same formation, so you never know what you’re going to get, but that particular route, once I seen him go up I was like, “Ok, this man has got to be running the corner route.” If he ran something else he had me. And the same for the second pick. Once I seen Manningham go in for the dig, I just ran in for it. Eli threw the ball. He did a dig an up and he whipped back out, he had me, but he threw the ball and at that time you’ve got to make plays. Coach always talks about games like this – you can’t go in scared. You can’t go in afraid to make a mistake. If you make a mistake, the game ain’t over. That’s my mindset throughout the game. It is a big game, it is a big stage, but it’s still football.
Q: How do you self evaluate this game. The Redskins hardly threw your way, but the Giants threw your way a lot. How do you settle in after yesterday?
ROGERS: I just do. When you go against guys like this, especially with this offense, Eli being hot, Victor Cruz being hot – he’s been one of his main target guys, especially on third down – being able to go in and out of certain positions. Like I said, the slot is not easy to play. I stayed calm and stayed patient. At the end of the day I just want to get the best of that receiver. At times I may not get balls thrown at me. They may go at T. Brown or go at Chris (Culliver), but when my number is called I want to be there to win most of the battles.
Q: You’re meeting the first round pick hype. You’re leading the league in interceptions. What’s your reaction to that?
ROGERS: Of course I’m happy about it, I’m proud about it, I’m humble about it. I’m going to continue to work to reach higher goals. We’ve still got a long way to go. Personally, there’s still a lot of stuff I want to accomplish. I think the most thing the coaches do is let all the players play. They know what they can get out of a player and what a player can’t do, and I think they use that to our strengths.
Q: What was that dance you hit after the interception?
ROGERS: Victor Cruz, every time he scores he do that dance. So, once I got the pick on him I just did it right there. Surprised I didn’t get the flag (laughs).
Q: He wasn’t too happy about that.
ROGERS: Oh no, I know he wasn’t happy(laughs). I know he wanted to get in the end zone and do that dance.
Q: You said earlier in the year you wouldn’t dance unless you got in the end zone. So, you’ve modified that philosophy?
ROGERS: Oh yeah, especially on him, I had to do it. After that man had caught a couple of passes, to get a pick at that time, going into the half, that was a relief. I was just happy so I had to do his dance.
Q: Was that spontaneous?
ROGERS: I thought before the game if I was to get a pick, and especially if I score I’d do it. To get that pick at that time, right there on their sideline, I was doing it.
Q: What did people say about that?
ROGERS: Some of Giants players I know told me, “Don’t come on our sideline doing his dance,” (laughs).
Q: Since the first half of the Philadelphia game, nobody’s pushed you around. Did that first half teach you something as a defense?
ROGERS: We knew it was going to be a challenge because we knew what type a game it was going to be going up against those guys. It’s not going to be easy, nobody’s going to hand you nothing, Eli’s been hot, the receivers have been hot, their defense has been playing good, he done brought them back in two or three games in the last two minutes, so we knew it was going to come down to the wire. We stepped up and made the play when we needed. People talk about my picks, but if they score on that last drive and end up winning the game, my picks didn’t mean nothing. Justin made the biggest play of that game.
Q: All the criticism you’ve taken due to your hands. Is that something you thought about when you came here?
ROGERS: I just don’t think about it. I don’t. I really don’t. Just go out and play football. A lot of people judge corners just on their hands and the interceptions they make. Not about the tackles, not about the key third-down stops to get them off the field. There’s a lot more stuff – helping the younger guys, lining the defense up. So I don’t really think about it. I just come here to work. I work on (my hands) after practice. Some before practice and when I get an opportunity I just want to take advantage of it.
Q: Are your hands the same as they always were?
ROGERS: They’re always the same. I haven’t done too much. I didn’t have surgery done to them. I’m just concentrating on catching the ball. That’s about it.
Q: How would you assess Alex Smith’s performance yesterday?
ROGERS: I think Alex played good. I looked at his stats and I didn’t know he had 200-something yards. Going up against that defense – they sacked him one or two times? I think they did good getting the ball out. Our running game wasn’t like it’s been the past two games because Frank got hurt, but the next guy came in and stepped in. After that interception, ran the ball right in. I think Alex is always playing good. People talk about him as just a game manager. But what does that mean? Is it negative? Is it good? Whatever he’s got to do to win games. That’s all we need.
Q: How is Eli Manning different now than he was when you played him against him in 2007 (when the Giants won the Super Bowl)?
ROGERS: More patient. That Super Bowl team was a real good team. A lot of veteran receivers. A good running game. A great defense. And I think it’s back to that now. Those young guys stepping up, making plays. (Manning) making the key throws, learning to read coverages and things like that. That defense is playing good. They’ve got that same type of team, I think. Especially them coming back, winning games. Eli is stepping up and making a lot of plays.
Q: Did your experience playing against the Giants when you were with the Redskins factor into how you prepared and played (Sunday)?
ROGERS: They run the same offense, but I think it’s a new team. Those receivers are pretty good right now. Back then, they were younger. I looked at some of that stuff, but it doesn’t do much for this season with the way they’re playing right now.
Q: You guys had very good coverage at time and (Manning) still put throws in there. Is the best you’ve seen him play?
ROGERS: Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. He’s been playing good and he’s had some good games. Even the time Eli beat us he hasn’t played the best. In six years in Washington, I think I only beat Eli two or three times. Right now he’s been playing his best.
Q: Did the defense do anything different scheme-wise yesterday?
ROGERS: No, it was some of the same stuff. Different looks. Different calls. You always add in different things during the week depending on your team, but most of the same stuff.
Q: What kind of experience do you have playing Larry Fitzgerald?
ROGERS: I have some. I’ve played Larry a couple of time. It’s been good matchup. We know how Larry is. A great receiver. One of the best. Deep-ball guy. I don’t think his speed is like that, but he can get open any time. That’s going to be a great matchup again.
Q: Your coach said he gives all the credit to the players and doesn’t take any for himself. How much credit do you give Harbaugh?
ROGERS: He gets a lot of credit. Just brining this team together. Keeping us humble. Preparation every week – offensive side and the defensive side. The coaches get all the credit. It works hand in hand. They put us in the position. The only thing we have to do on the field is make the plays.
Q: How many Adidas track suits do you own?
ROGERS: About thirty or forty.