CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie
August 12, 2015
Q: Youíve been in several defensive systems under several coordinators, what has it been like learning Spags defense? Is it easy, hard, how different?
A: Itís kind of complicated because it takes a lot of communication. Thatís the number one thing on defense, is communicating. Communication tends to be hard, but you just got to come in and know your assignments and know what youíre doing.
Q: When youíre a veteran and you have inexperienced safeties trying to prove themselvesóthe coaches were telling you and Prince to stay back a little bit to see if those guys can communicateóis that a hard thing to do when youíre a veteran and you know whatís going on, but you have to wait and see?
A: Yeah, because I think thatís the best way you learn is from your mistakes. I know itís been a lot asked to be put on their shoulders, but theyíve been handling it well. You bring in [Jeromy] Miles, a guy that has been around the league for a long time, that will help out with the young guys. I think heís been doing a good job with them. Basically, just going off them for right now.
Q: So youíve been impressed with Miles even though heís only been here for a couple weeks?
A: Yes, sir. Heís came from Baltimore so he knows the system, and heís helping out with these young guys and itís been going well.
Q: Is what youíre asked to do in this defense different than what you were asked to do last year?
A: No, itís still the same thing. A lot more pressures, guys getting after it, but still outside covering guys.
Q: Did you get anything out of yesterday, being matched up with AJ Green?
A: Itís always good to against somebody else, you get a different feel of other kinds of receivers and their receiving corps is definitely one of notice. Anytime you get to go against somebody else and not see your own guys, it lets you know where you are as a player and how far youíve come along in OTAs.
Q: Seems like youíve handled everything without any physical issues this summer?
A: Iím alright.
Q: I mean youíre out thereÖ?
A: Yeah, for the most part. I donít know.
Q: Not so much?
A: For the most part. You want to go out, but Iím limited right now. Even though you want to take time off and try to heal your body, your guys are out there fighting. You've got to be out there with them. Iíll get through it.
Q: If Prince and you are both healthy, are you as good as any corner tandem in the league?
A: I donít know, man, I just play ball. I know one thing, we can play ball. As far as saying tandem or this and that, I donít knowóit doesnít matter to me. Iím trying to play ball.
Q: Is there a different feel with Spags there. Heís very aggressive, outspoken. Whatís your feel for him?
A: I can tell that heís going to be a guy that gets after that ball. On the back end, you've got to hold up. We've got to be more focused, disciplined, and have that shutdown mentality because you know heís going to go get it.
Q: Heís not going to play it safe?
A: No, no, heís definitely not doing that. You know, sitting back, offenses are lined up and playing ball.
Q: So thereís a lot of reward there, but also a lot of risk?
A: A lot of risk, especially at the corner position. One little thing, and itís six [points]. You definitely just have to be zoned in.
Q: Do you like all that on you?
A: Yeah, at the end of the day, it just comes down to competing. When you know youíve got some guys that can get after that ball on our front four, it makes you feel a little bit better about yourself. You know the ball has to come out quick, so it does put pressure on you. Weíre ready for it.
Q: Because if they donít get there, theyíve committed a lot to get there?
A: Yes, sir.
Q: Do you think even more so, when and if JPP comes back, youíll have more people?
A: Heís an add on. Just looking at us going against those guys yesterday, they definitely got off the ball real good, and in his face a lot. With that being said, you add a guy like JPP, it could get scary.
Q: Injury-wise, you fought through a lot physically last year. Did you learn anything about your game last year that you didnít know? Change things, tweak things to compensate?
A: Not really. I still try to play the way that I play. It did slow me down in some areas, but I learned that I donít always have to use my speed and just being more patient and technical. From that standpoint, yeah.
Q: Do you still find yourself at times, itís been a while now, looking back for 26 Antrel Rolle and you knew he would be there. Now itís young guys, is it part of the transition?
A: Not so much. Me and him talk a lot through communication, but I do understand this game. Itís tough for him to be gone, but we've got some guys that stepped in. Itís always that next man up mentality.
Q: He seems to be doing well?
A: Yes, sir. Heís happy over there from what we're texting, it seems like.
Q: Iím sure you text a lot of non-football also?
A: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Mostly that.
Q: Now that heís a fatherÖ?
A: Right. Itís definitely been good. Iím impressed with the guys that we have right now.
Q: Is that just saying that, or are you really impressed with them?
A: I really am. When you think about it, which one of our safeties right now played in a real gameóNFL game? I mean, none of them, for real. So to come out here and for us to go out against a team that I think has a good offense, weíre right on track.
Q: Collins is a second round pick, what are you seeing in him?
A: A guy thatís hungry, always asking questions, always trying to learn. When youíre young and you make mistakes, you tend to get on yourself, but you donít see that with him. Itís like he gets in, get it corrected, and donít make it again.
Q: How about Bennett Jackson, a guy that used to be a corner?
A: Yeah, that surprised me. To move from corner to safety and pick up all the terminology and run fits and things of that nature, and still come out and play nickel a little bitóthat says a lot about him. So heís definitely been doing a good job.