I’m guessing, based on this bit of back-in-forth in the comments to yesterday’s post about the FedExField atmosphere, that not everyone has listened to the entirety of Carlos Rogers‘ comments in yesterday’s open locker room. Rogers was clearly frustrated with the team ahead of anything else — that’s his answer to the very first question, in fact — and that frustration informed the rest of his comments.
It’s no excuse; if you’re part of a professional football team, you’re going to get booed (and sometimes worse) by the home crowd. It’s part of the price you pay for the cheers and positive stuff that gets showed on you when things are going good. But I do feel like people think — as the commenter in that link seemed to indicate — that ALL Rogers had to say after the loss was that he was sad about the fans. And that, at least, wasn’t the case.
So here’s as complete a transcript of the Rogers media session as I could muster. There are still one or two [inaudibles], but I checked multiple versions of the audio trying to get them all cleared up; the questions from the media are also pretty close to verbatim.
Q: What’s the frustration level like at this point for you guys after you’ve had a day to simmer?
ROGERS: “It’s real frustrating. Not counting the losing, just this side of the ball, just the defense. Not playing the way I know we’re capable of playing, being ranked last in the league- that’s frustrating itself, not even just counting the losing record.”
Q: How’s the other hamstring feeling today that you pulled yesterday?
ROGERS: “It’s sore. It wasn’t as bad when I first came in but it’s the first day, so they did a lot of work on it, kinda diggin’ in there. So it’s more sore now.”
Q: But you’re said it wasn’t as bad as it was original injury?
ROGERS: “Nah, it wasn’t as bad as the other one.”
Q: Do you think you’ll be able to practice on Wednesday?
ROGERS: “I don’t know. It kind of depends on how it is. I’m gonna get some more work done on it. Hopefully it’ll calm down some and I’ll be able to go.”
Q: Did it happen on that one play in the early part of the third quarter when [Visanthe] Shiancoe got behind you a little bit?
ROGERS: “No, it actually happened before that. It happened when they ran a boot and I ran to hit the dude on the sideline and I went out of bounds? That’s when it happened. I kind of felt it then but I was jogging and it felt okay, but once I made that step to go back and catch Shiancoe, I felt it real bad then. So, I had to come out.”
Q: Was it overcompensating for the other one?
ROGERS: “I think that’s what it is because I had no problem with a hamstring. I never had a problem with hamstrings period. This is my first one. I guess it was overcompensating for that one. I’ve been working that one off for like the last two weeks and the other one is getting all the load on that one. It probably was taking the attention off of that one.”
Q: Los, how much do you guys think about the playoffs and how you’re in the balance right now?
ROGERS: “Me personally, not much. I mean, we’ve still got a chance. Probably a better chance that we win our division. Hopefully we can get some help from Philly losing. Right now, we’ve just gotta win one game. We’re struggling at winning one game. The bad part about that is that we’re losing games at home. Besides last year — we were just terrible last year — losing this many games at home … and we’re getting the tough teams, that we think we’d have a better chance to win at home, we’re losing to.”
Q: Two defining plays in that game. One was the punt return that was called back; the other one, obviously, the Brett Favre run. How much were you surprised that Favre took off at all? I mean, that was his longest run in two years.
ROGERS: “I was surprised. I don’t know when the last time he ran the ball up, off the boot. I don’t remember the defense called, I don’t know if we had somebody accounting for the quarterback, but in that situation you don’t think they’re gonna put the ball in Brett’s hands. You think he’s gonna boot and pass, not boot and run.
“The punt return … you know, just something unfortunate, just something that happens, that happens at times. It was gonna be our big play, but…. even with those plays, the punt return, we still had an opportunity to come back and win the game, but we just didn’t do it.
Q: In a way, do you think you guys are in run-the-table mode, that you have to run the table?
CR: “Yeah, we have to win. You know, we can’t look at the games down the road, so like I said, we’re gonna have to take this one in New York and start with that one. And if we can’t beat New York … I don’t know where it lies from that, but we’ve got to win.”
Q: Carlos, you’ve been in this spot before a couple times where you had to run the table at the end and you guys ended up going out and doing it. Are there any parallels you can draw from there, look back at that experience and talk to other guys on the team and say, ‘Hey, we just have’–
“You know, we got pretty much some of the same players — you know, different schemes offense and defense, but we still go the same players and, you know, we still can get it done. Even the games we lose, we’re still in them. We’ve just gotta learn how to close and finish games.
“You know, that was ’05, I guess? But it still don’t got nothing to do with now, but we know that we’re still capable of doing it, we’ve just gotta do it.”
Q: Why’d those teams do it?
ROGERS: “I don’t know. I can’t answer that question right now. I guess back then … I don’t know. It’s a combination of a lot of things. It’s players, it’s schemes, it’s, you know, just the will to go and play, just the attitude to close out games. You know, I think we did a lot of that and once we got up we closed ’em out. If we got down a little bit, we pushed that last drive to come back and win. So it’s a combination of a lot of things.”
Q: You guys are a couple games under .500 collectively at home since you’ve been drafted. Is there anything that you can put a finger on? Are you guys [inaudible] at home, or?
ROGERS: “I don’t know. Me and some of the guys were talking about that earlier. It’s kinda … sometimes I think you feel when you’re at home, you feel like you’re away. You know, because you get so bashed at home for any little mistake you get. I mean, we come to the sidelines, the bench, there’s cussing, there’s this, it’s that. You know, and we’re just in the first quarter. It’s like are we at home or are we away. We’re away, sometimes we don’t even hardly hear that. You know, I think we play better away, so the fans are quieter. But, you know, when we home, we-I don’t know the problem, but we still want that support from fans. You know, just-me and some guys were talking about it. If you don’t like the team, or you don’t want to support us-through the good or the bad-you know, why come out to the games? You know, we still need your support. We already down or we’re already losing, but then to hear it from our fans, you know, that’s-it’s not helpful. I mean, we try to block it out but it’s still, it’s not helpful from our fans”
Q: Are these fans not good fans?
ROGERS: “I’m not going to say that. I love these fans. We got good fans, good supportive fans. I guess they hard on us, and we do give them a reason to be hard on us, because we’re not winning. But, at the same time, you do want that support and encouragement, that, you know, ‘Y’all can pull this out’ or ‘Y’all can turn around,’ instead of, if somebody-another team beating us, they’re still beating us too. You know, we hard on ourselves, you know, the coaches are hard on us. They hard on theirself but, you know, it’s a collective group of people. You know, all of us together, including the fans. You know, we’d like their support too.”
Q: Remember ‘5 in a row or we don’t go?’
Q: Remember that sign? We never did figure out who put that up.
ROGERS: “Nah, I don’t know. But that’s a true statement right now. If we don’t get five in a row … you know, we’re just playing for pride and trying to spoil something for somebody else. But, like I said, the Giants the are most important right now. We got to start and win that game.”
Q: Hey, Carlos, did they run more bootlegs than you guys anticipated yesterday?
ROGERS: “Um, I didn’t think they was gonna run as much, but we knew that was in their gameplan to run some bootlegs, and probably when you’ve got an aggressive team that gets after the run, gets after the quarterback, bootlegs are something that get players off that. You know, our offense, see, they’re full of bootlegs too, and once you roll out, if they establish their run — which they did yesterday — it was establishing that run and them picking yards up on bootlegs that opened up pretty much everything.”
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