Super Bowl More Than a Trip Home for DRC

Rookie standout cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie came to the big league with extra attention, courtesy of his Pro Bowl cornerback cousin Antonio Cromartie. This year, it was Rodgers-Cromartie's turn to shine, as Cromartie sizzled out in San Diego. With a trip home and a Super Bowl appearance just days away, the Cardinals' No. 1 pick, Rodgers-Cromartie, is relishing in his own spotlight.

Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie is an athlete through-and-through. He's a member of the Cardinals' secondary that isn't going to be beat to the ball. His acceleration makes other teams envious and receivers cringe.

But a big question concerning Dominique Rogers-Cromartie was his physicalness. On a team that struggles with tackling, he continues to develop.

Rodgers-Cromartie's biggest game of the season, against the Atlanta Falcons in Wild Card weekend, was the definition of a clutch performance. He registered 10 tackles (a year-high), one interception and two pass defenses.

Rodgers-Cromartie isn't numb to rookie mistakes. Similar to his pick-friendly cousin Antonio Cromartie, Rodgers-Cromartie's desire for the ball in his hands makes him miss an otherwise easy play.

But it's all about learning the ropes.

"I would say the easiest thing was just the ability to run with people," Rodgers-Cromartie said of adjusting. "If I mess up, I've still got that speed to run with anybody. The hardest thing is just the transition coming from college to the NFL and learning the playbook and understanding where everybody fits in the defense."

Rodgers-Cromartie seems to understand his role pretty well. The Cardinals were in dire need of a reliable cornerback when they drafted Rodgers-Cromartie with the 16th overall pick. By week four, Rodgers-Cromartie was a starter.

He started to get noticed in week 11 against the Seattle Seahawks, in Seattle. He tallied two interceptions. Rodgers-Cromartie would earn four more, in the following weeks (including postseason).

"I like (the extra attention), but I'm not getting a big head," Rodgers-Cromartie said. "I'm staying grounded and staying humble and just keep on pressing and taking it as it comes."

Rodgers-Cromartie understands that Super Bowl success doesn't happen every year. He says he is cherishing the experience. Rodgers-Cromartie also knows that the week leading up to the Super Bowl is going to be the toughest week of his career.

"This is the last game and it's the big show. Somebody like me, who's goofy and likes to play around a lot, I have to cut that out. Guys who see me joking around are going to get serious with me. I think this week will be more of a focused week for me."

Rodgers-Cromartie might have to turn off his phone if he wants to remain focused. The Super Bowl marks a return home for the Florida native and with it comes hundreds of phone calls. But he's excited.

"It's a trip back home and I haven't been home in so long, so I'm really looking forward to it."

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