Pro Bowl cornerback Carlos Rogers was among the most grateful San Francisco 49ers this season, relishing the working environment after growing weary of his six-year tenure with the Washington Redskins.
Rogers flourished all season, both in coverage and as a playmaker, collecting six interceptions, matching his total over the five previous seasons.
"It's just different," Rogers told KNEW radio during the 49ers' 13-3 season. "You've got a good group of coaches. Ownership, they lovely to be around, fun, joke with. This whole San Francisco area, it just loving us right now."
The feeling continued all season, with Rogers affirming this week his hopes to re-sign with the 49ers before his contract expires in March. The 49ers presumably want to bring back Rogers, but if the sides cannot agree on terms, Rogers could have an attractive landing spot within the division now that Gregg Williams is defensive coordinator in St. Louis.
Rogers was among Williams' vocal supporters when both were with the Redskins. He wanted out after the Redskins fired Williams following Joe Gibbs' retirement four years ago.
"After that, it wasn't fun for me anymore (in Washington)," Rogers told KNEW, adding that he never considered re-signing with the Redskins.
Rogers played for the 49ers under a one-year deal worth $4.25 million. The entire KNEW interview, conducted by former teammate LaVar Arrington and co-host Chad Dukes back in November, provides a true sense for how much Rogers enjoyed this season.
I'll pass along a partial transcript for those unable to play the audio at present, plus a link to a story summarizing some of Rogers' comments at the time.
Rogers: "They let me be free, they let me have fun, they let me blitz, they let me play man how I want to play it. The pressure is off. They know I've been playing in the league for a while, so they kind of take my advice on some things I have to say. I just like it. This coaching staff works with us. We got a coach (defensive coordinator Vic Fangio) that knows the defense, been in it for a long time, knows how to call it. Offensive coaches, the same way. They buying into what coach Harbaugh is talking about. He was an ex-player, so he knows how players think, he knows what is going on in our minds. He knows how to treat us."
Arrington: "Wow. Ultimately, is that the difference, 'los? You saw a lot of different coaches. I know you liked Gregg. I mean, I had my issues with him. I don't want to make this about me. We're talking about you. But do you feel like that is ultimately what was lacking for you here (in Washington)? I made mention of the fact, 'Look, you can talk bad about the fact that you dropped a lot of possible opportunities for interceptions, but you gotta be there to make the pass breakup to begin with. And the coverage you have shown throughout the years and your toughness to play through different injuries is commendable and should have been rewarded. It wasn't. But do you feel as though the belief in you makes the difference and why you are able to have such a type of year that you are having right now?"
Rogers: Yeah, I think so. Coaches give you a lot of confidence when you have the ability to do things and they let you do it. When you can make a mistake and they know that you are not perfect. When you drop a pass, they get on you and say, 'We're gong to get the next one.' Things like that helps you instead of the negative stuff that you do wrong that is so bad. The other thing I like here is everyone is being treated equal. If Alex (Smith) mess up, Patrick Willis mess up, Vernon (Davis) mess up, coach is going to get on them. They going to say something to that seventh-round pick, that sixth-round pick, that person making $300,000 as well as that person making $4-5 million a year. And when they mess up (as coaches), they say, 'I made a bad call, I should not have put you in that situation. It is so equal around here. ... Once you get to an organization like this, you see the difference."
Dukes followed up with another question.
"I'm happy with this Bay Area and hope I can be out here a while," Rogers said.
Also: Williams' thoughts on Rogers, via David Elfin.