Cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie
January 1, 2018
Q: How would you describe this season?
A: Long. It was very tough, but at the end of the day, we got through it, so got to look forward to whatís happening next year.
Q: Do you expect to be back?
A: I donít control that, you know what I mean? If I am, I am. If I ainít, I ainít. My main thing is just getting home and just relaxing really.
Q: Would you like to be back?
A: Yes sir. Definitely. I think this is a classy organization. I love the guys in the locker room, the young guys. I made a lot of friends here and it will be sad to be gone. But at the end of the day, my main focus is just chilling.
Q: Why do you think the defense struggled so much compared to last year besides injuries?
A: I think thatís the main thing. You got guys coming in and out of the building and itís hard to gel as a team and get a feel for people and their style of play. Especially when you come off of a season where you bring everybody back, you look to hit the ground running. It donít work like that when you get hit with injuries and all kinds of stuff. You just got to keep battling through it so I think the main thing is that itís hard to put pieces together like that that arenít normally there.
Q: Is it possible that this team can turn it around quickly?
A: Easily. Definitely. I know the guys that are in the locker room, the guys that were hurt, I know they are eager to get back and get started and I can tell you that no man wants this taste in their mouth this whole offseason. So I think it was good to get a win even now to get that feeling back. It was a very, very difficult season, but I think guysí mindset is coming back and not having that feeling again.
Q: Was this the most unpredictable season you had from high to low?
A: Definitely, man. I just looked at the locker room with the guys we had, I thought we would do much, much better, but at the end of the day itís football and you can never truly know whatís going to happen in a season. You just got to live through it and we got through it.
Q: Is this a year where youíre just glad itís over?
A: Nah, man. When footballís over, you want that rest, but youíll miss it. It will hit you so youíd rather be playing this week and next week and so on and so on. Itís tough, but I think you just got to get away from it a little bit and get back to grinding.
Q: How curious are you in this coaching search?
A: Not at all. Thatís out of my control, man. I just go out and do what I do. I just play ball. So whoever they bring in, whoever they donít bring in, it donít matter to me.
Q: Do you think that Eli Apple can straighten himself out?
A: Definitely. Easy. You got a whole offseason to think about it and reflect. I think he was a guy thatís young and didnít know how to deal with a lot of stuff. But I think he has a tremendous upside and I think they should definitely give him another look.
Q: What about the accountability shown in the last game where guys were shown the door and others got benched? Do you think the organization needed that?
A: This late in the season? Nah.
Q: Does it make a statement about the future?
A: Nah. I donít know why some of that stuff happens. Thatís out of my control, I will say that. I can tell you thatís itís clear cut that theyíre about business and you have to be about your football and go about certain things a certain way. But to make certain things happen this late in the season, nah.
Q: What does it take for a coach to take command and control the room?
A: I donít know, to be honest. I just think you just got to mean what you say and say what you mean and hold everybody accountable. At first, if you see something wrong, you correct it then. You donít wait until you start losing or things of that nature, so I think it just should be straight forward from the moment whoever gets here.
Q: Do you think thatís part of the problem of what happened this year?
A: Nah. I just think we were hit with a lot of stuff and we just didnít overcome a lot of things.
Q: Did you listen or hear what Dave Gettleman said?
A: No sir, thatís out of my control. I ainít got nothing to do with that. Iím just here to play ball, baby. I know heís here to kick ass and thatís what weíre about. I heard that and Iím all for that, so definitely looking forward to getting in and turning things around.
Q: What did you think when you hear Landonís (Collins) comments about Eli (Apple)?
A: What did he say?
Q: He called him a cancer.
A: I mean heíll apologize for that. So I just feel like itís like a little brother, big brother relationship. Sometimes you want to hit your little brother and say some things and he can get under your skin. But at the end of the day, I know itís love though because Iíve been around those guys the whole season. I think that anytime that youíre out and you get caught off guard, you say some things that you may not mean, itís just caught up in the moment. When you have time to reflect, any time a man can come back and apologize, whether itís sincere or not, it still means a lot. I definitely think that he was just caught off guard. Venting a little bit, you know? I donít think that Eli is a cancer.
Q: Do you plan on being back next year?
A: Iím just chilling, baby. Iím just chillen, man. I would definitely love to be back if thatís the case. I know itís a business, I know. I know being old and what not, but Iím not worried about that. I let the chips fall where they fall.
Q: Would you be open to moving to free safety?
A: Hey baby, you can put me anywhere as long as I plan to get on that field a little bit, I donít mind. Free safety, strong safety, linebacker, it doesnít matter. Iím just trying to be out there.
Q: Do you think that that could work for you?
A: Yeah, definitely, definitely. Back there you can see that ball a whole lot better and there ainít that much responsibility at the free safety position. Youíre just back there patrolling.
Q: Can Eli and Landon be teammates moving forward?
A: Easily. The offseason is long. You can put all of that behind you. You can talk about it, get on the phone with each other. Whatever you have, get away from it. I just think itís just this season, the atmosphere of being in this locker room, thatís it. This offseason, I definitely think theyíll gel back.
Q: Isnít that going to be a hard label for Eli to shake?
A: No. Thatís just the guys in the locker room. I canít really speak for guys. I know if he comes back in here, Iíd give him a hug and continue where we left off. I wouldnít even look at it like that. I wouldnít say thereís Eli. I wouldnít do that.