SANTA CLARA – On Sunday, Carlos Rogers will match up against the Patriots’ two best receivers – Wes Welker and Aaron Hernandez. Here’s what Rogers said about that Wednesday in the media tent.
Q: What makes Wes Welker so tough in the slot?
ROGERS: Number one, his quarterback. Tom makes this offense go. [Welker] runs a lot of routes, a lot of option routes. Those quick guys like that, when you’re facing those guys – especially with a good quarterback – it’s going to take a lot. Not just me sticking him. It’s going to take Dashon coming down inside, or some of the D-ends hitting those guys and giving them different looks.
ME: Aaron Hernandez is a slot receiver often, as well. How do you defend against the option routes he and Welker run?
ROGERS: Try your best to stay on them. You need help. Those guys are quick, they’re fast. When you’ve got a lot of option routes, whatever leverage you’re on, they’re going to run opposite, or they can fake that way and come back. It’s going to take a lot of pressure – Aldon on those guys getting to Brady, getting him off his spot, and not just sitting back there baking a cake and picking us apart.
ME: Do you expect to cover Hernandez some?
ROGERS: Yeah, I’ll be on the tight end. I’ll be on Welker a lot. It depends on how the game goes, and our plan. Coach does a good job of mixing it up. Sometimes we may just be in our base coverage. Linebackers are going to have to cover, too.
ME: Do you anticipate playing a little more dime against the Patriots than you have in the past?
ROGERS: It all depends. We’ve got linebackers who can cover tight ends, cover backs out the backfield. I can cover the slot and the tight end. It all depends.
Q: What’s it going to take to win?
ROGERS: We know that we’re going to have to step up and play, and play to the end. Brady’s going to make his plays. This offense is going to make it’s plays. We’re going to make our plays. We just want to make more than him at the end of the game. It’s going to take our offense moving the ball on them, running the ball, keeping Brady off the field. If they don’t score many points, or however it turns out, as long as we keep Brady on the sideline and not on the field, it’s going to help us out a lot.