2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Bills WR Rogers eager to put troubled past behind

By JOHN WAWROW - AP Sports Writer
    2013-05-11 13:11

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) - Eager to put behind his troubled past, receiver Da'Rick Rogers is grateful to the Buffalo Bills for providing him a shot at a future.

And this, the undrafted rookie openly acknowledges, just might be the only chance he'll get.

``I cherish it like gold. This is it. This is my last opportunity,'' Rogers said shortly after joining his new teammates in opening the Bills three-day rookie minicamp this weekend. ``I've got to make the best of it.''

Tapping the podium for emphasis, Rogers expressed confidence that he's ``growing as a person,'' and capable overcoming a tarnished reputation. Suspended indefinitely by Tennessee last summer for failing numerous drug tests as a sophomore, Rogers transferred to Tennessee Tech shortly before the season began.

``Everything in the past, I'm not here to defend those things at all,'' said Rogers said. ``Those are things that are real. They happened. And I'm maturing.''

Aside from the attention focused on first-round pick, quarterback EJ Manuel, who made his on-field debut in preparing to compete for the starting job, Rogers is the most intriguing prospect attending Bills camp.

At 6-foot-3 and 205 pounds, he showed potential as a first-time starter during his sophomore season at Tennessee. He led the Volunteers with 67 catches for 1,040 yards and nine touchdowns.

Last year, he had 893 yards receiving and tied a single-season Tennessee Tech record with 10 touchdown catches.

None of that production helped Rogers in overcoming concerns NFL teams had in the months leading up to the draft. Despite being regarded among the top 10 draft-eligible receiver prospects, all 32 teams passed on making Rogers one of the draft's 254 selections.

It was a wakeup call and another reminder for Rogers of how far his stock had fallen.

``Oh, man, it was devastating,'' he said. ``I feel like I was one of the top receivers in the draft, but with the off-the-field issues that I had, the things that I was doing, it hit me and it hurt me.''

It's also an experience that has motivated him to do better.

``It just makes the chip on my shoulder that much bigger,'' Rogers said. ``There's a lot of doubters and a lot of haters out there. I'm here not to prove them wrong, but to show who I am and what I'm really about.''

The Bills showed interest in Rogers. Team officials, including coach Doug Marrone, met with the receiver at the NFL combine in February. And the Bills included Rogers as one of the 30 prospects teams are allowed to bring in to their facility for a pre-draft visit.

That wasn't enough to convince Buffalo to draft Rogers. The team instead addressed its needs at receiver by selecting Southern California's Robert Woods in the second round and Texas speedster Marquise Goodwin in the third. After the draft, the Bills decided to take a chance on Rogers.

All three will be given chances to earn regular roles on an offense that lacks an established receiver opposite Stevie Johnson.

Marrone is both intrigued by Rogers, and concerned by the player's past.

``It's a one-shot deal,'' Marrone said during a conference call with Bills season-ticket holders last week. ``Either you've learned your lesson and you've grown up and you're going to go forward and mature, or you haven't learned your lesson and you're going to be out on the street. It's that simple.''

It's a message the coach has shared with Rogers.

``It's all on you, and you have to make the right decisions,'' Marrone said following practice Friday.

Rogers had an inconsistent debut at practice. Though he made a few sharp catches particularly in traffic, there were numerous times when he bobbled the ball in the open field.

Marrone chalked up Rogers' performance to someone trying to catch up to the speed of practice after a long layoff.

Rogers assessed his outing as ``pretty good,'' and noted he was getting accustomed to being back in a practice setting.

``You've got to come in here and grab it by the horns,'' Rogers said, recalling words of advice he received from Marrone. ``Come in here and be a professional, be accountable and everything will work out the way it's supposed to. So that's the way I'm going to handle things up here, do everything I can the best way.''

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Mike PounceyJul 23 12:33p

Miami Dolphins C Mike Pouncey (hip) could miss the first eight weeks of the season because of the hip surgery he had this offseason, according to a source. He [ More ]

Evan RodriguezJul 23 12:23p

Buffalo Bills FB Evan Rodriguez (cramps) and TE Chris Gragg (cramps) were hospitalized because of complications from cramps and were getting hydrated, according to head coach Doug Marrone. Rodriguez [ More ]

Dustin HopkinsJul 23 12:20p

Buffalo Bills PK Dustin Hopkins will have to try to make the roster as a kickoff specialist, according to head coach Doug Marrone.

Vernon DavisJul 23 12:13p

San Francisco 49ers TE Vernon Davis has reported to camp Wednesday, July 23, according to an Instagram post from 49ers S C.J. Spillman.

Jason BabinJul 23 12:03p

New York Jets signed DE Jason Babin (Jaguars) to a two-year contract, with the second year being a team option. He's expected to serve as a situational pass rusher.

Reggie WayneJul 23 11:13a

Indianapolis Colts WR Reggie Wayne (knee) said he has been medically cleared to practice. He's expected to be limited, though, especially in the near future.

Kraig UrbikJul 23 10:53a

Buffalo Bills OG Chris Hairston continued to receive first-team repetitions at right guard in the red zone drills Wednesday, July 23. OG Kraig Urbik struggled with first-team the previous day.

Jamaal CharlesJul 23 09:53a

Updating previous reports, Kansas City Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles will not report to training camp Wednesday, July 23, barring a major contract breakthrough.

Vick BallardJul 23 09:33a

Indianapolis Colts RB Vick Ballard (knee) reported to camp and has passed his physical.

Rob GronkowskiJul 23 08:53a

New England Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski (knee) has been cleared for contact and will not be placed on the Physically Unable to Perform list, according to head coach Bill Belichick.

Evan RodriguezJul 23 08:43a

Buffalo Bills TE Chris Gragg (cramps), FB Evan Rodriguez (cramps) and CB Brandon E. Smith (leg) were out of practice Wednesday, July 23. OT Seantrel Henderson (hip) returned to action.

Rashad JenningsJul 23 08:23a

New York Giants RBs Rashad Jennings, David Wilson and Andre Williams could be used in a three-man rotation this season to keep Jennings fresh.

Caleb McSurdyJul 23 02:53a

The St. Louis Rams waived four players Tuesday, July 22, as they cut loose OL Abasi Salimu, WR Diontae Spencer, LB Caleb McSurdy, and LB Tavarius Wilson.

Carl NicksJul 23 02:43a

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Bobby Rainey, G Carl Nicks and DE Da'Quan Bowers may be fighting for roster spots once training camp begins due to other competition for their [ More ]

Chris CulliverJul 23 01:13a

San Francisco 49ers CB Chris Culliver (knee) has been cleared to take part in practice when training camp opens this week. He suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament to [ More ]

Ben TateJul 23 01:13a

Cleveland Browns RBs Ben Tate and Terrance West will compete for the starting tailback job during training camp and the preseason, and it's a battle head coach Mike Pettine [ More ]

Joel BitonioJul 23 01:03a

Cleveland Browns OG Joel Bitonio (ankle) lined up with the first-team offense during organized team activities (OTAs), and he held the spot until he suffered a sprained ankle June [ More ]

Paul McQuistanJul 23 01:03a

Cleveland Browns OLs Garrett Gilkey, Paul McQuistan and Jason Pinkston are fighting for position in the pecking order at right guard, and one of them might even push OG [ More ]

Craig RobertsonJul 23 01:03a

Cleveland Browns LBs Christian Kirksey and Craig Robertson will compete for an inside linebacker job during training camp, according to head coach Mike Pettine.

Joe HadenJul 23 01:03a

Cleveland Browns CBs Justin Gilbert and Buster Skrine will compete for the starting cornerback job opposite CB Joe Haden in training camp. 'We weren't going to hand Justin that [ More ]

Gary BarnidgeJul 23 01:03a

Cleveland Browns TEs Gary Barnidge and Jim Dray will battle for the No. 2 tight end spot during training camp and the preseason.

Eli ManningJul 23 12:23a

New York Giants QB Eli Manning (ankle) has shown no ill effects during camp from ankle surgery that sidelined him for earlier offseason activities.

Tom CoughlinJul 22 11:53p

New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin was not happy that several players were forced to leave practice with dehydration issues Tuesday, July 22. 'It pisses me off,' Coughlin [ More ]

Brandon LloydJul 22 11:23p

San Francisco 49ers WR Stevie Johnson is the frontrunner for the No. 3 WR job, according to Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com, but he added that neither Johnson nor WR [ More ]

Darren SprolesJul 22 11:13p

Philadelphia Eagles RB Darren Sproles' ability to win one-on-one matchups in space is what head coach Chip Kelly plans to exploit this season. Kelly said opposing defenses played a [ More ]

Thaddeus LewisJul 22 11:03p

Buffalo Bills QB Thaddeus Lewis and WR Tori Gurley had miscommunications on three occasions Tuesday, July 22, resulting in two incomplete passes and an interception. Joe Buscaglia of WGR [ More ]

Thaddeus LewisJul 22 10:53p

Buffalo Bills QB Thaddeus Lewis and QB Jeff Tuel are in an open competition for the backup quarterback job, head coach Doug Marrone said Tuesday, July 22.

Brian MoormanJul 22 10:43p

Buffalo Bills P Brian Moorman was more effective than P Jake Dombrowski on punts in terms of both average hang time and average distance Tuesday, July 22.

Titus YoungJul 22 09:53p

Updating a previous story, free-agent WR Titus Young (Lions) was charged with felony battery with serious bodily injury from an alleged July 8 incident inside a Los Angeles-area hospital. [ More ]

Ryan MathewsJul 22 09:43p

San Diego Chargers RB Ryan Mathews' rookie contract will expire after the 2014 season, which means this could be his final year with the organization, in the opinion of [ More ]

Mario WilliamsJul 22 09:43p

Buffalo Bills DE Mario Williams, DT Marcell Dareus and DT Kyle D. Williams were all rotated out of the lineup at times during team drills Tuesday, July 22. LB [ More ]

Nigel BradhamJul 22 09:23p

Buffalo Bills LB Nigel Bradham was one of eight players to record sacks during team drills Tuesday, July 22. The team's pass rush has been consistent since camp began, [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group