CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie
June 14, 2017
Q: How is the spring treating you?
A: Great. Really good.
Q: Almost over?
A: It is over for me right now.
Q: Nothing tomorrow?
A: No, that is a walk through. I donít count that.
Q: What do you think the secondary can be? Maybe Darian Thompson is on the field and the rest of you are pretty much back.
A: I think that we can be special. I think that we started something last year. The main thing is that we are coming back and everybody is together and we are in the same system. So once you know your system and you know your guys, it makes it that much easier to play.
Q: I donít think we have talked with you since the playoff game. What happened in that playoff game?
A: No, sir. Man, I canít think back that far. I had a thigh bruise and I think it was more so to do with the cold and it just being cold out there in the winter and it wouldnít allow me to lift my leg. Anytime you go against an elite quarterback like that with a slot like that, I felt like I would be more harmful than helpful.
Q: How tough was that?
A: Very tough. To watch that was very tough.
Q: How much did you think of how that unfolded in the offseason?
A: No. Short memory.
Q: You guys got some news guys back there in the secondary and on the line. Do you think that you guys are meshing well as a unit so far this spring?
A: Yes, sir definitely. The ones, twos and threes, man just any groups out there Ė the main thing is that guys have been flying around, talking and communicating and it is just on point. The offense has their days and we have our days, but for the most part it has been good.
Q: How would you describe the battles with all of you knowing now that you have Engram to deal with, Marshall to deal with and Odell is back?
A: It is tough because if you double one, then you still have somebody else one-on-one, so it is definitely hard. The main thing is that I think it gives us an edge on whoever we are going against. I think that we see the best guys here and then you have an elite quarterback who can definitely find the matchup, can find who is open whether you try to disguise them or not, so I think that we get the best preparation right here.
Q: If you are in the slot could it help you if you see Shepard and you see Engram?
A: Yeah, but even with Engram he is a bigger body type but he is just as fast and just as quick, so you get the smaller quicker guy and the big guy that is Ė some big guys arenít quick, but he is quick, so it helps you that way too.
Q: Landon Collins played well for you guys last year, how much better do you think he can be?
A: It is his [third] year, so you can only go up. The first year he came in and moved himself along, second year he took off and now I think in the third year he is going to thrive in that role. He understands his ability, he knows what he can do in this defense, they use him in many ways and I think that he takes that challenge on and can just go forward with it.
Q: Do you think that he can be the best safety in the league and do you think he is close to it?
A: Yeah, he is close to being there. You look at safeties Ė he covers, he tackles, he is a general and leads. He can play this position, that position, he is not just a strong safety, but he is everywhere so he is definitely one of the best.
Q: You are almost in that same spot playing in the slot. You said that last year it was the first time that you actually got to prepare for it. How big of an advantage is it and what can that do for you to be in that spot for another year?
A: That is a whole different area. That is hard regardless. You have a two-way go on a man and that is always tough. The main thing is that I am comfortable in there. I have been there a while, so I am comfortable there so it is better that way. But just as far as preparing for it, I donít think you can do that.
Q: Does Landon share his banana pudding with you?
A: No, he is greedy. He didnít give me any.
Q: What should the goal for this defense be?
A: Man, to be honest it is all about that trophy. We have to go out there and try to get some shutouts. I think that we have that capability to go out there and shut guys out. When everyone is on one accord and we are banging, we are pretty good.
Q: When you look at this defense and there are so many of the same faces, what kind of confidence does that give you?
A: It gives you a lot of confidence because these are your guys. You already have went to battle with them and like that last game you know how it feels, you know the feeling, so use that and you come back and you know what you have because you have been there before, so this time you can go right away.
Q: Did you feel dominant last year on defense?
A: I felt it at times. We definitely have some improvements to do, but at times I felt it.
Q: You have been in some good secondaries. Is this the best group you have been a part of?
A: Yes, sir. I have been around some guys from way back when to now, not only on the field, but off the field I think that this is the best group I have been around.
Q: Can Goodson do the job in the huddle?
A: Yeah, I mean he is very vocal. I almost had to get on him the other day because he kind of yelled at me a little bit and I had to realize that is my linebacker and he doesnít know me like that, so I let him have that. But he is definitely a guy that can voice his opinion, be loud, make the calls, so he is definitely good.
Q: So you let it go?
A: I let it go this time, but not next time.
Q: Does that say a lot about him though?
A: He was correct, but just say it to me. (Laughs)
Q: Does that say a lot about him though? That he feels like he can play that role.
A: Yes, sir. That just shows you the things that are built inside of him. He is not afraid out there and he comes to play, so I am definitely looking forward to seeing him.
Q: How much does it help the defense going up against this Giants offense?
A: It helps us a lot. I donít think that you can see that from the weapons that they have to the quarterback, the receivers, the tight ends and even in the backfield with guys coming out of the backfield and making moves. You cannot ask for nothing better. So I think that it is definitely going to help us in the long run.
Q: Has Engram surprised you?
A: Definitely. I am not a college football guy. I donít really watch that much football, so to see him come in and they tell you that you got a tight end in the first round and then just to see him get out there and put it together Ė he can play. He can go go.
Q: I know that you are fast. Can he race with you?
A: He is fast, but he is not that fast.
Q: How much does it change the way a defense thinks when a receiver as big as Brandon Marshall walks on to the field?
A: It changes your whole mindset because you want to get up there and be aggressive, but you look at him and that may not be the smartest thing that you want to do, so it is kind of hard because the defense that we have is guys that are in your face and coach wants you to get up there and press him. Coach likes that and wants you to do that, so it helps you to go against Marshall because you have guys like Dez Bryant and that nature that you will be going up against, so it helps you in that way.
Q: Last year you gave up 17.8 points a game. What number do you want to see this year?
A: I canít tell you. I am just trying to see Wís. But if you look at the best defenses it is all around that 16, 17-point area, so anything in there is good.