Jolly Rogers

He wanted to be the top corner taken, feeling that's what he deserved. More than anything, however, Carlos Rogers wanted one team to select him: Washington. The feeling was mutual. Though the Redskins liked the top three corners, they particularly liked Rogers.


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So consider this a good match. Which is why the Redskins bypassed other top players still available to select Rogers with the No. 9 pick in the first round.

''From the beginning, we had a real desire to get him,'' Gibbs said. ''What we have here is a shutdown corner. We think he's a physical guy.''

And a confident one, despite some scouting reports that suggested he lacked confidence.

''They had [Fred Smoot], Champ, Darrell Green, good corners like that,'' Rogers said. ''I'm coming in and trying not only to replace those guys, but do better. I don't want them to say he's the next Champ. I want them to say he's a guy who's better than Champ. That's my goal.''

The Redskins considered trading the pick, both to move up and back. They merely flirted with moving up, feeling the price was too expensive. They preferred to move back a few picks, but no offer wowed them.

Instead, they got the 5-foot-11, 199-pound Rogers, who was the Thorpe Award winner. The Redskins like Rogers' ability to hit as well as obviously cover. Last season, quarterbacks only completed 18 of 65 passes against him.

He also played more in run support, something he didn't do a lot of as a junior. After talking to some NFL coaches last spring, Rogers knew he had to be more active in that area. And Redskins defensive coordinator Gregg Williams would not have selected a corner he didn't think was physical.

''He has the size, he has the speed and he's physical,'' Gibbs said. ''He can be matched up with big receivers. He's a legit 4.44 [in the 40-yard dash] and he'll hit you. For our defense, that's very important.''

Rogers will take over Fred Smoot's role opposite Shawn Springs. Though Smoot wasn't afraid to hit, Rogers is considered a more physical player. Now the Redskins have two corners capable of covering in the slot, which will give Williams even more flexibility in disguising coverages. They couldn't do that with Smoot.

Rogers wanted to become a Redskin after visiting the facility earlier this spring. He also met with Auburn alum Marcus Washington.

''I loved the atmosphere,'' Rogers said. ''After visiting them I felt this was a good scheme for me. I felt really comfortable.''

He said the scheme is somewhat similar to the one he had at Auburn, though it will clearly be more detailed and complex than what he's ever experienced. But in the end a top corner wants to do one thing:

''I like being out on my own where they say, 'You get this guy,' '' Rogers said.

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