2015 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

Connor BarthAug 26 08:53p

Free-agent PK Connor Barth (Broncos) agreed to terms with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Wednesday, Aug. 26, on a two-year deal. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Brandon McManusAug 26 10:33a

Denver Broncos PK Brandon McManus won the kicking job as PK Connor Barth was released Wednesday, Aug. 26.

Connor BarthAug 26 10:33a

Denver Broncos PK Brandon McManus won the kicking job as PK Connor Barth was released Wednesday, Aug. 26.

Evan RoysterAug 26 10:13a

Atlanta Falcons RB Evan Royster (undisclosed) was waived/injured Wednesday, Aug. 26.

Rex GrossmanAug 26 09:23a

Free-agent QB Rex Grossman (Redskins) was signed by the Atlanta Falcons to a one-year, $1 million deal Wednesday, Aug. 26.

Taylor MaysAug 26 12:43a

The Oakland Raiders signed free-agent SS Taylor Mays (Bengals) Tuesday, Aug. 25.

Orlando ScandrickAug 26 12:43a

Updating a previous report, Dallas Cowboys CB Orlando Scandrick (knee) suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his knee Tuesday, Aug. 25. An MRI confirmed the injury.

Michael VickAug 25 07:42p

Updating a previous report, free-agent QB Michael Vick (Jets) signed a one-year deal with the Pittsburgh Steelers Tuesday, Aug. 25. Financial terms were not disclosed. QB Bruce Gradkowski (finger) [ More ]

Evan MathisAug 25 06:13p

Free-agent OG Evan Mathis (Eagles) agreed to a one-year deal with the Denver Broncos Tuesday, Aug. 25.

Jameis WinstonAug 25 04:33p

Updating a previous report, Tampa Bay Buccaneers rookie QB Jameis Winston (ankle) suffered a sprained ankle Monday, Aug. 24, against the Cincinnati Bengals. Head coach Lovie Smith still expects [ More ]

Josh JohnsonAug 25 02:53p

Cincinnati Bengals QB Josh Johnson was released Tuesday, Aug. 25.

Victor CruzAug 25 02:42p

Updating a previous report, New York Giants WR Victor Cruz (calf) doesn't know when he'll be able to return to practice as he continues to deal with inflammation in [ More ]

Zach MettenbergerAug 25 01:23p

Tennessee Titans backup QB Zach Mettenberger has performed at a high level in training camp and the preseason, and head coach Ken Whisenhunt laughed off a suggestion that the [ More ]

Bruce GradkowskiAug 25 12:53p

Pittsburgh Steelers backup QB Bruce Gradkowski (finger) suffered a dislocated finger on his left hand during the team's preseason game against the Green Bay Packers last weekend, according to [ More ]

Andre WilliamsAug 25 12:22p

New York Giants RB Andre Williams could overtake RB Rashad Jennings as the lead back sometime this season, maybe even to open the season. Williams has worked on his [ More ]

Mike EvansAug 25 09:13a

Updating a previous report, Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Mike Evans (hamstring) isn't believed to have a serious hamstring injury. 'I talked to him and he didn't feel like it [ More ]

Jameis WinstonAug 24 11:32p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Jameis Winston completed eight of his 13 pass attempts for 90 yards, no touchdowns and no interceptions in the preseason game Monday, Aug. 24, against [ More ]

Doug MartinAug 24 11:32p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Doug Martin rushed six times for 59 yards in the preseason game Monday, Aug. 24, against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Mike EvansAug 24 09:12p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Mike Evans (hamstring) left the preseason game against the Cincinnati Bengals Monday, Aug. 24, due to a strained hamstring.

Todd GurleyAug 24 06:52p

St. Louis Rams RB Todd Gurley (knee) will still sit out the entire preseason even though he has been cleared to practice, according to head coach Jeff Fisher.

Jordy NelsonAug 24 06:32p

Updating a previous report, Green Bay Packers WR Jordy Nelson (knee) has a torn anterior cruciate ligament, but the MRI revealed all of his other knee ligaments are fine.

Montee BallAug 24 05:22p

Denver Broncos RB Montee Ball has already lost the backup running back role to RB Ronnie Hillman. RB Juwan Thompson may also surpass Ball in the near future, according to Mike Klis of 9news.com.

Jordy NelsonAug 24 05:22p

Green Bay Packers WR Jordy Nelson (knee) is officially out for the season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament.

Jason McCourtyAug 24 04:42p

Updating a previous report, Tennessee Titans CB Jason McCourty (groin) is expected to miss a few games after undergoing groin surgery Monday, Aug. 24, according to sources.

Ronnie HillmanAug 24 04:32p

Denver Broncos RB Ronnie Hillman has worked his way the second running back position behind RB C.J. Anderson. Hillman said head coach Gary Kubiak's zone-blocking scheme has helped his [ More ]

Joique BellAug 24 04:02p

Detroit Lions QB Matthew Stafford said the Lions will still take a committee approach at running back even when Joique Bell (knee, Achilles') returns.

Joique BellAug 24 03:02p

Detroit Lions RB Joique Bell (knee, Achilles') is expected to return this season as a bellcow running back, according to head coach Jim Caldwell. Bell has been nursing injuries [ More ]

Maurkice PounceyAug 24 01:52p

Pittsburgh Steelers C Maurkice Pouncey (ankle) will undergo surgery on his fractured ankle Monday, Aug. 24, or Tuesday, Aug. 25. There is no timetable for his return, but it [ More ]

Jeremiah RatliffAug 24 01:42p

Chicago Bears DT Jeremiah Ratliff has been suspended three games by the NFL for violating the league's substance abuse policy.

Jason Pierre-PaulAug 24 01:42p

New York Giants DE Jason Pierre-Paul (hand) plans to report to the team before the start of the regular season but his status for Week 1 is uncertain, according [ More ]

Reggie WayneAug 24 01:22p

Free-agent WR Reggie Wayne (Colts) agreed to a one-year deal with the New England Patriots Monday, Aug. 24, according to a source. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Michael PrestonAug 24 10:22a

Miami Dolphins WR Michael Preston posted on Twitter that he was released Sunday, Aug. 23.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group