For the last six seasons Carlos Rogers was with the Washington Redskins before deciding it was time for a change at this stage in his career. The San Francisco 49ers called and he felt they were the best fit. Rogers sure wasn’t shy about discussing the distractions he faced in the Nation’s Capital off the field and how clear his mind became out in the Bay Area. This season Rogers has 6 interceptions and 44 tackles. To put that into perspective, Rogers had just 8 interceptions in his first six seasons. No.22 has been an anchor in the secondary for this San Francisco 49ers defense and was named to the Pro Bowl this season. Rogers also hopes the weather will not play a factor this weekend in the NFC Championship game. Carlos Rogers joined WFAN in New York with Joe and Evan to discuss the difference in his performance with the San Francisco 49ers, the impact of Aldon Smith for the 49ers defense, the blessing of having Jim Harbaugh as a head coach, his confidence in Alex Smith to lead the 49ers on a game winning touchdown drive against the Saints, and his weather preference for the NFC Championship game at Candlestick Park.
What has been the difference for you personally this year in San Francisco?
“Probably just a clear mind. I just needed to get away from Washington. As everybody knows there is just so much stuff that goes on there and I think even with the football there is so many outside distractions that this team is just strictly about the team and it is about football. It’s not about individuals and all the outside stuff that has nothing to do with football. I think this year just clearing my mind and just relaxing and just playing football.”
What has Aldon Smith meant to the 49ers defense this year?
“He’s unbelievable. Anytime you get a team on third down we know them guys up front are coming and that guy is unbelievable at rushing. He’s a young guy. He’s got a lot of energy and he’s got real long arms. He uses a lot of moves. He’s fast so them tackles are doing their little stunts up there and them guards? They think they got him? He just scissors right through. He gets his hands on them guys, so he’s a real big challenge for those guys up front and hopefully he can keep it up for two more games.”
How about the job that Jim Harbaugh has done in San Francisco?
“It’s just a blessing. He’s a real players coach. Someone who understands and someone who knows how to get us motivated. Someone who knows how to keep us calm throughout all the glory and all the attention we get, keeping our mind focused on our goal and that’s trying to get to the Super Bowl. It’s unbelievable. I’ve never experienced or heard a story like this, especially a new coach that hasn’t even had an off-season. A coach that is installing a new defense and a new offense. A coach that got a quarterback that they said couldn’t do it. He is just proving people wrong each and every week, so it’s truly been a blessing and it’s unbelievable to see.”
How confident were you that Alex Smith was going to drive the team down the field to win the game against the New Orleans Saints?
“That was unbelievable. With that time left we always…we haven’t had many games where we had to come back like that and Alex and them came back and scored a touchdown. At that time I was thinking truthfully go down and get a field goal. We’ll just see what happens and to not get a field goal and get a touchdown. That’s unbelievable and that just shows you the power of this offense and Alex can be that quarterback that everybody thought. They say he can’t be. With Vernon Davis that whole drive and throughout the game unbelievable plays out of him, so that shows you what we can do. We just gotta continue to do it.”