2013 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

Aldon SmithApr 17 09:32p

The San Francisco 49ers do not plan on releasing LB Aldon Smith this offseason. Smith is expected to be suspended at the beginning of the season, but the length [ More ]

Chris JohnsonApr 17 08:52p

New York Jets RB Chris Johnson (knee) said he expects to receive medical clearance to resume football activities in the near future. He underwent knee surgery in January but [ More ]

Sebastian VollmerApr 17 08:42p

New England Patriots OG Logan Mankins said OT Sebastian Vollmer (leg) has looked good this offseason while he recovers from the broken leg he suffered during the 2013 season.

Chris SneeApr 17 07:32p

New York Giants OG Chris Snee (hip, elbow) is expected to participate when offseason workouts begin next week even though he is not 100 percent.

Rolando McClainApr 17 06:02p

The Baltimore Ravens reinstated LB Rolando McClain from the reserve/retired list Thursday, April 17.

Russell AllenApr 17 05:02p

The Jacksonville Jaguars released LB Russell Allen, WR Jabin Sambrano and DEs Will Pericak and D'Aundre Reed Thursday, April 17.

Chad JohnsonApr 17 02:22p

Free-agent WR Chad Johnson (Patriots) signed with the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League Thursday, April 17.

Brian CushingApr 17 01:32p

Houston Texans LB Brian Cushing (knee) was medically cleared Thursday, April 17.

LaMichael JamesApr 17 10:04a

According to a league source, the San Francisco 49ers have been shopping RB LaMichael James. He finds himself behind RBs Frank Gore, Kendall Hunter and perhaps Marcus Lattimore on [ More ]

Mike BrownApr 16 11:33p

Jacksonville Jaguars WR Mike Brown signed his exclusive-rights free agent deal Wednesday, April 16.

Eli ManningApr 16 11:33p

Former New York Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride said in a radio interview this week that it is 'ludicrous' to say QB Eli Manning is declining. 'There's been no [ More ]

Sidney RiceApr 16 08:03p

The Seattle Seahawks are re-signing WR Sidney Rice to an undisclosed one-year deal Wednesday, April 16, according to sources.

Dwayne BoweApr 16 07:03p

Kansas City Chiefs WR Dwayne Bowe pleaded guilty Wednesday, April 16, after being arrested last November for marijuana possession. He pleaded guilty to lesser charges of littering and defective [ More ]

Arian FosterApr 16 04:53p

The Houston Texans may consider selecting a running back during the middle rounds of the 2014 NFL Draft that could become RB Arian Foster's backup in the future.

Chris JohnsonApr 16 04:43p

The New York Jets signed RB Chris Johnson to a two-year deal worth $8 million, with another $1 million in incentives available.

Terrelle PryorApr 16 04:33p

The Oakland Raiders hope to trade QB Terrelle Pryor before the start of the offseason program Monday, April 21.

Clay MatthewsApr 16 04:13p

Green Bay Packers LB Clay Matthews (thumb) said he likely will be limited during offseason workouts because of his surgically repaired thumb.

Chris JohnsonApr 16 03:53p

The New York Jets will use RBs Chris Johnson and Chris Ivory as a tandem this upcoming season and have them split carries. RB Bilal Powell will be the team's No. 3 running back.

Dan SkutaApr 16 03:33p

San Francisco 49ers LB Dan Skuta (foot) is not expected to need surgery on the foot injury that bothered him during the 2013 season. Skuta met with a foot [ More ]

Gus BradleyApr 16 02:53p

Jacksonville Jaguars general manager Dave Caldwell and head coach Gus Bradley watched Georgia QB Aaron Murray participate in his pro day Wednesday, April 16.

Reggie BushApr 16 02:13p

Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi said RBs Reggie Bush and Joique Bell likely will receive similar workloads this upcoming season than they did during the 2013 season. Bush [ More ]

Cheta OzougwuApr 16 01:53p

The Chicago Bears have waived DE Cheta Ozougwu.

Mike JamesApr 16 12:53p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Mike James (ankle) said he is happy with the progress he has made in his recovery from an ankle injury and that he has been [ More ]

Carson PalmerApr 16 12:43p

Arizona Cardinals QB Carson Palmer said he would understand if the team selects a quarterback during the 2014 NFL Draft, because he knows the team has to think about [ More ]

Josh FreemanApr 16 12:23p

The New York Giants have agreed to terms with free-agent QB Josh Freeman (Vikings). Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Rolando McClainApr 16 12:13p

Updating previous reports, retired LB Rolando McClain failed his conditioning tests during his workout with the Baltimore Ravens. The test consisted of six timed 150-yard runs.

Golden TateApr 16 10:53a

Detroit Lions WR Golden Tate said he thinks he can be a 'more explosive Lance Moore,' referring to the former New Orleans Saints receiver. Moore caught 65 passes for [ More ]

Matt FlynnApr 16 10:01a

Green Bay Packers QB Matt Flynn is expected to compete with QB Scott Tolzien for the backup quarterback job, but head coach Mike McCarthy anticipates keeping three QBs on [ More ]

Rolando McClainApr 16 12:03a

Retired LB Rolando McClain (Ravens) worked out for the Baltimore Ravens Tuesday, April 15, as he attempts a comeback. The workout wasn't a smooth one in terms of conditioning, [ More ]

Chris JohnsonApr 16 12:03a

The New York Jets are sticking to their budget/value system. While they want free-agent RB Chris Johnson (Titans), they will not 'overpay' for him. The depressed running back market [ More ]

Aldon SmithApr 16 12:03a

San Francisco 49ers LB Aldon Smith hasn't only lost the benefit of the doubt with the team, but he probably won't play with the team in 2014, according to [ More ]

Malcom FloydApr 15 11:53p

San Diego Chargers WR Malcom Floyd (neck) continues his rehab from a neck injury, but his status is still uncertain. When the team begins voluntary workouts April 22, Floyd [ 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