No. 22 has just one interception over his last 23 games.
San Francisco’s stalwart corner was the first, he said, to tell coaches and teammates how proud he was of
The same goes for another one of his pupils, former 49ers defensive back Marcus Cooper. The 2013 seventh-round draft pick, released on Aug. 31 and promptly signed by the Kansas City Chiefs, has one interception, one fumble recovery and a touchdown in five games for his 5-0 AFC team.
“Cooper was a guy that sat beside me in meetings,” Rogers said. “I was teaching him, a young guy, he went to Kansas city, now I see him on TV (playing) special teams, making plays, making picks. It’s enjoyable to see a guy that – I don’t want to say looked up to me – but tried to learn from me... and I helped ‘em out make plays.”
Communicating with young players is harder on the field than it is off it, even for the 32-year-old Rogers. During the 49ers Week 4 win in St. Louis, he and Brock disagreed on which receiver – the upfield-bound one and the pass-catcher closer to the line of scrimmage – each corner was supposed to cover.
Brock’s big game in Week 5 was a sign of progress. He was sharing left side of the field with his older, wiser teammate on the third-down play that resulted in his pick-six against Texans quarterback Matt Schaub.
“That’ a process of football, communicating being on the same page,” Rogers said. “As you saw last week, that wasn’t a (trap) we called in practice – that was on the fly.”
With Brock to hold onto the No. 3 cornerback spot in the defense’s nickel packages in Week 6, Rogers and Co. will be tested by a group of athletically-gifted Cardinals wideouts. Larry Fitzgerald’s name comes to mind, but so does the man throwing to him. Arizona quarterback Carson Palmer has thrown nine interceptions in five games to date – the second-highest total for all NFL signal-callers.
“If we see a formation that allows us to jump a route or allows us to make a play, we want to make it," Rogers said. “Our work is going to be cut out for us, but hopefully we can get in a position to keep (Palmer’s) number climbing on picks.”
Palmer’s 10th this season could be the 16th of Rogers’ career.
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