ALLEN PARK - Wide receiver Charles Rogers was the center of attention at yesterday's practice session at Ford Field. Returning for the first time from his four-game league imposed suspension for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy, Rogers admitted he has a lot of catching up and making up to do. He vowed that he would show by his actions, rather than telling with words, that he is a changed man.
``It's like a new life, " said Rogers regarding getting another chance to get back on the football field. ``I've got another opportunity, so what are you going to do with your opportunity? How are you going to be remembered about playing this game? You don't be remember for that (losing it all to off the field problems) so you have to go out there and put in extra work and do what it takes to get back to [having] your name be positive."
Rogers said he was not humbled by the experience the way people might think. He said, despite what has sometimes been written, he has never had an ego problem. ``I've always been humble. I've been humble since day one, I never came in here with a cocky attitude. I never thought I was squeaky clean, so I've always been humble."
He vowed those to prove his commitment to his teammates by showing it on the field. ``Well, you know, you've just got to show them better than you can tell them. A lot of people believe in results, so you just have to show them some more results and not just talk about it."
The third year wide receiver said he feels he missed out on an opportunity to establish himself as a top wide receiver in the division during his absence but vowed to try to change that immediately. ``I feel like I missed out on my opportunity a few times, but I think the opportunity is still there for me, we've got nine games to go, we're one games out of first place, we still got half a season, so we've got to salvage the season."
He also said that despite coming out publicly with his disappointment about his role, he no longer worries about that.
``Well, you know, about my role, you really can't get into that right now. Times have changed, the situation is different, so all I can do is what's asked of me. If I'm the third receiver, be the third receiver. If its playing more special teams or doing more scout teams, do that. I'm not in a position to do all that, all I can do is what is asked of me."
``I don't regret (going public) that, that's being a wide receiver, that's the attitude being a wide receiver has. We've got an offense that can put us in a situation to spread the ball out more. The more we spread that ball out the more we win, that's a logical statement."
But the Saginaw native vowed that he would not just lay back an accept a backup role, but would push to be the best.``It's Mooch's call, all I can do is go out here and bust my (expletive) and do what's expected of me and show why I should be one of the two wide receivers out there but that's not my call.
He said that he still possess all the passion and drive that made him the second overall pick in 2003. ``No doubt about it, but its not about me talking about it, like I said it about [showing] results. I've got to show you more than I can tell you. It ain't about me going out here blaming this, blaming that. Hey, just keep working and see where it takes me.
Rogers did admit though, that bad association might have played a part in the actions that led to his suspension and although pained by the thought of leaving behind some old friends, he realized that is what he needed to do to improve his career path.
``Most definitely, I think that (leaving old friends behind happens) in every situation. It's not easy to do, but some things you've just got to do... you know, you've just got to look out for yourself."
He acknowledged that some are expecting him to have a setback - which would lead to a one-year suspension from the game - but he vowed to not allow that to happen. ``It's nothing I can really say about that. All I can do is have my actions speak louder. Like I said it's about results, that's all I can do, you all will have to see."