Wednesday, September 13, 2006
With T.O. on deck, the Redskins really miss Shawn Springs
ASHBURN, Va. -- Carlos Rogers strutted and did a little
dance, an odd bit of celebration considering he had just been
beaten by a receiver.
As it turned out, the receiver, Troy Williamson, let the ball go
through his hands, denying the Minnesota Vikings a sure touchdown.
Rogers, trailing the play by a step or two, behaved as if he'd made
an interception that won the game.
"That's an incomplete pass, so I won," Rogers said. "That's
the way I look at it."
Whether the antics were appropriate or not, the Washington
Redskins cornerback definitely wasn't dancing when he got toasted
again in the third quarter. This time, Marcus Robinson made a
double move and got free in the corner of the end zone, making the
catch for a 20-yard touchdown in the Vikings' 19-16 victory.
"I play aggressive," Rogers said. "When I see something, I
like to attack it instead of waiting. I've got to discipline my
eyes better to make sure the route is what the route is, then try
to collapse on it."
Rogers was the most egregious offender in a weak performance by
a secondary that really missed Shawn Springs. The defensive back is
recovering from surgery, and he's not expected to return in time
for Sunday night's game, when the Redskins will have to deal with
Terrell Owens, Terry Glenn and the rest of the Dallas Cowboys.
"Shawn does mean a lot to this team," defensive end Phillip
Daniels said. "We do need him out there. He was a guy that nobody
threw at last year."
Four weeks have passed since Springs had surgery on a torn
muscle in his abdomen, and he's yet to return to practice. This
week's game looks out of the question, with next week's game
against Houston possible.
"Obviously I want to be out there making plays, and I can't
right now," Springs said. "We knew when we opted to have the
surgery that I wouldn't be here for the first couple of games.
We've just (got) to keep working at it."
For now, Rogers is the No. 1 cornerback. He was a first-round
pick from Auburn in 2005, and this is supposed to be the year he
solidifies his cover skills as he forms a tandem with the veteran
But Rogers is still learning the tricks of the trade.
"Carlos has got to remember that he's a second-year guy, and
he's going to have to prove himself," Springs said. "He's got all
the talent in the world, and I think Carlos could be a dominant
corner in the NFL, but you and I both know it's hard to get that
off your back. The only way you can that off your back is to make
Complicating matters for the secondary is a season-ending injury
to Pierson Prioleau, a valuable nickel back safety who tore a knee
ligament covering the opening kickoff Monday night. Two other
defensive backs, Mike Rumph and Vernon Fox, are still mastering the
schemes after being signed during the preseason. Safety Curry
Burns, who was cut in the preseason, was re-signed Wednesday to
take Prioleau's spot on the roster.
Kenny Wright started opposite Rogers on Monday and played well,
but Rumph was beaten on a 46-yard pass to Williamson in the first
Rogers says he relishes the chance to face Owens on the Sunday
night stage, seeing it as a great chance for redemption after
Monday night's prime-time struggle.
"That's the opportunity to make a name," Rogers said, "if you
stop a guy like him."