Coach's Take On Rodgers-Cromartie

Tennessee State defensive coordinator Rod Reed chats with about Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie's future in the league, his favorite memories of the future superstar and what adjustments his former player needs to make to be successful. Reed compares Ro'Cro to a pair of former All-Pros and much more. Learn all you need to know about Arizona's first-round selection in this exclusive.

Dusty Wittig: Describe what kind of player Cromartie is?

Rod Reed: Dominique is a very fierce competitor. He was a great player for us and you don't find those at this level too often. He always wants to compete and cover the best receivers. It doesn't matter what it is, he wants to be first. It could be playing basketball, conditioning or anything. He is very instinctive and has great ball skills.

DW: What is the strongest part of Ro-Cro's game?

RR: His ability to break on and locate the ball. Everyone knows that he has the speed, but I think he has the hips of a small guy. You don't see 6'2" corners that run and can come out of his breaks as well as Dominique can. He does it as well as anybody I have seen.

DW: What is something that Dominique needs to improve?

RR: Just like anyone else his size, he needs to gain a few pounds. That will help him become an elite tackler. He can tackle pretty well, but isn't a big hitter yet. When he gets that extra muscle on him and gets stronger he is going to be a force in the NFL.

DW: What kind of guy is Dominique off of the field?

RR: He is a great kid. He loves life, is fun loving and a jokester. I haven't met a guy who didn't like Bologna, as we call him. He was a good student and did what was required of him. He wasn't a guy that you would have to worry about getting in trouble off the field or in the classroom.

DW: How would you describe Cromartie as a leader?

RR: He leads by example. He doesn't say a whole a lot, but guys gravitate toward him and they will follow him. During his individual battles, he will talk some trash, but it is all in fun.

DW: What is your favorite memory of Dominque?

RR: When he was a freshman or a sophomore he worked out some kind of deal with our film guy. We all were in a meeting and all the sudden the film breaks to just him dancing for like two minutes. That was pretty hilarious.

RR: On the field, he was starting his second game as a true freshman for us. We were playing Jackson State. He got beat on the first two balls thrown to him. The first one was a deep route where he missed his jump, and the second one was an out route where he jumped it, but the ball hit him on the helmet and bounced into the receiver's hands. But in the fourth quarter of the game, we were down and it didn't look like we were going to be able to come back. But they threw an out route to Dominique's guy again and this time he jumped it and took it to the house. We ended up winning the game because of that, and after that he became a mainstay at corner for us.

DW: What kind of impact do you think Cromartie will make as a rookie?

RR: It just depends on what they are asking of him. I think that he can cover anybody they put him on. If he gets in and learns the system, he has the potential to be on the All-Rookie Team. Those are large words, but he has that kind of talent. He has the potential to become a force in the NFL.

DW: How will he be able to adjust to faster NFL game?

RR: I have been checking in on him from time to time. One of the statements that I have heard Whisenhunt make was that Dominique was surprised about how fast the ball gets to the receiver. He will have to adjust to the arm strength of the quarterback, but as far as speed of the game goes I don't think that will be much of a factor.

DW: Does Ro-Cro compare to anybody already in the league?

RR: If you would have to compare him to somebody, he reminds me of a guy like Samari Rolle or Bobby Taylor. They are all big tall kids who can run and cover. Those are the kind of the guys that I would compare Dominique too. He may be faster than both of those guys too.

DW: Is there anything else that you would like to say about Dominique?

RR: I'm just really happy for the kid. I think he will do well. He is grounded, and is a sponge. He likes to learn and to compete and isn't going to back down to anything.

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