INDIANAPOLIS – Indianapolis Colts receiver Da'Rick Rogers' self-confidence is off the charts. That's understandable when you think that he used to run his mouth all the time to upperclassmen defensive players as a freshman at the University of Tennessee. He was confident he would be effective with the Colts once his opportunity came after spending most of the season on the practice squad.
Rogers, however, was humbled during the Colts' 43-22 AFC divisional playoff loss to the New England Patriots. He dropped two passes in the first quarter under the bright lights of their nationally televised game. And it's for that reason that it'll take Rogers to move past those drops.
"That's not me," said Rogers, who was targeted four times but didn't have any catches in the Colts' final game of the season. "That's going to sting me for a while. I'm still disgusted."
Rogers can't let the drops eat at him for too long because there were some people who weren't sure he'd even be in the position to catch passes from quarterback Andrew Luck when the Colts signed him after he was released by the Buffalo Bills in late August.
Rogers patiently had to wait his turn to be put on the active roster. That happened Nov. 11, 2013, then he was activated for his first game against the Tennessee Titans on Dec. 1, 2013.
Rogers' breakout game came against Cincinnati the following week. He had six catches for 107 yards and two touchdowns.
He ended the season with 14 catches for 192 yards and two touchdowns.
"I believe I showed the Colts that they can trust me, that I can come to work and be professional every day," Roger said.
Rogers, who led the SEC with 67 receptions for 1,040 yards during his sophomore year at Tennessee, has an opportunity to stick with the Colts.
It's up to the 22-year-old Rogers to continue to improve and to also avoid the off-the-field temptations. He was dismissed from Tennessee because of substance abuse problems and maturity issues.
"That stuff is in the past," Rogers said. "It's all about football for me. I'm still pretty disgusted with the loss and dropping those passes. I'm going to take a little bit of time off and then I'll be back here in Indy working out all the time."