Secondary/cornerbacks coach DeWayne Walker spoke to Redskins.com about 2005 first-round draft pick Carlos Rogers on Monday:
Q: What is it about Carlos that intrigued you?
A: "Carlos is a very good athlete. He has good size and good speed. He's aggressive and physical. His style of play really fits in our division going against Dallas, Philly and New York. So we're really happy to have his attributes with us on defense. There's a definite need at the position and obviously he was one of the top three corners in the draft. I feel fortunate to have a chance to coach him and keep him going."
Q: Was it tough to lose a player like Fred Smoot?
A: "It's always tough losing a player like Fred. He's in the prime of his career right now. But due to free agency and the style of the NFL right now sometimes those things are unavoidable. We
knew we had to replace him because he was one of the better players on our defense last season."
Q: What made Carlos stand out from the other cornerbacks in the draft?
A: "We liked all three of them. You could say we liked Carlos more or (Antrel) Rolle or Pacman (Adam Jones) but all three of them are very good college corners and we liked all three. On draft day anything can happen so we just needed to see how it was going to develop. We're happy Carlos fell to us. Obviously, we knew there was a good chance that at the 9th pick, two of those guys would be gone."
Q: Will Rogers be a starter in 2005?
A: "If you look at Gregg Williams' history as a coordinator, none of his first rounders came in as a starter. Even though we drafted him for a reason--with Shawn (Springs) and Walt (Harris) you
have two veterans and two 30-year-olds--we're going to be patient with him and when the time is right he'll get in there. For Carlos it's a pretty good situation for him comparatively speaking to maybe Rolle or Pacman that he has two veteran corners that have started a lot of games in the league. It gives us a chance on defense to really develop him. May the best man win."
Q: Was picking a defensive player over an offensive player with the first pick was a testament to what the defensive coaching staff accomplished in 2004?
A: "In this league, you need corners. And Fred Smoot did a lot of good things for us. To leave a void at that position, especially in the league, it was an obvious choice to replace Fred with a talent
like Carlos Rogers."
Q: Does the coaching staff convey the legacy of being a Redskins' cornerback (Darrell Green, Champ Bailey, etc.) to the younger players?
A: "These guys, they know that already coming in. We want to try and keep that tradition going. We're fortunate to have Shawn and Walt and now Carlos."
Q: Will Rogers' versatility help in the NFC East against some of the bigger receivers?
A: "When you break it down, in the NFC East there are big, physical receivers. He's fast, he's physical and he's athletic. He's been well-coached. He can also play in the slot which is an added
dimension. He brings a lot to the table."