IT'S ALL RIGHT WITH ROGERS FORMER USC LINEMAN VYING FOR STARTING SPOT WITH DALLAS.Byline: Billy Witz Staff Writer
OXNARD - Back in his hometown home·town
The town or city of one's birth, rearing, or main residence.
Noun 1. hometown - the town (or city) where you grew up or where you have your principal residence; "he never went back to his hometown again" , Jacob Rogers Jacob Rogers (born August 17, 1981 in Oxnard, California) is an American football offensive tackle in the NFL who is currently on the Denver Broncos roster. Early years
Rogers attended Oxnard High School, where he played tight end, defensive end, linebacker, and punter. is on familiar footing. But what's most comforting at the start of his second season with the Dallas Cowboys
adv. & adj.
With one's identity disguised or concealed.
n. pl. in·cog·ni·tos
1. One whose identity is disguised or concealed.
The switch from left tackle, where he was a three-year starter and All-American at USC An abbreviation for U.S. Code. , to the right side left him lost a year ago and led to a lost season.
A second-round draft choice, Rogers was unable to beat out a pair of former undrafted free agents - Torrin Tucker Torrin Tucker (born December 25, 1979 in Meridian, Mississippi) is an American football offensive tackle who is currently a free agent. He was originally signed as an undrafted free agent by the Dallas Cowboys out of The University of Southern Mississippi in 2003. and Kurt Vollers - on an offensive line screaming for help.
So lacking was the Cowboys' confidence in Rogers that he saw action in just two games, both on special teams.
``Obviously, I would have liked to have played last year, but it wasn't in the cards,'' said Rogers, conceding his frustration from a year ago. ``I can't change that. All I can do is work hard in the off-season like I did and battle it out in camp.''
Among the changes made by Dallas after last season's disappointing 6-10 finish, offensive line coach George Warhop was fired and the team spent $9 million in bonus money to sign free agent Marco Rivera Marco Anthony Rivera (born April 26, 1972 in Brooklyn, New York) is an American football offensive lineman in the NFL who is currently a free agent. Rivera is of Puerto Rican descent. High School Years
Rivera attended Elmont Memorial High School in Long Island, New York. , a Pro Bowl guard in Green Bay.
With coach Bill Parcells Duane Charles "Bill" Parcells (born August 22, 1941 in Englewood, New Jersey), nicknamed "The Big Tuna", is a retired American football head coach, last coaching the Dallas Cowboys of the National Football League. saying Thursday he wants to run the ball 35 times per game - a number the Cowboys reached just three times last year - one of the questions to be answered over the next month is whether Rogers can hold hold his own at right tackle.
After a productive off-season, Rogers has spent the past four days taking most of the first-team reps. The real signs of progress will start to come next week when the preseason games begin.
``The exhibition season will be very critical for him,'' offensive line coach Tony Sparano said. ``Jacob is a guy who really hasn't played in a ball game. As much work as we can get him will be valuable. It will give us a great idea being able to see him in a game situation.''
Sparano said one of the tests will be to see how the 6-foot-6, 315 pound Rogers fairs against the more physical ends he'll face on the right side. Left tackles more frequently deal with the speed and athleticism of pass-rushing ends.
As Rogers spoke with reporters after practice Thursday, he hardly seemed concerned. The word he kept coming back to was comfortable.
``It s just doing things backwards the way I did them the last three years in college, he said. ``I'm not guessing on every play and going back through the playbook in my mind. More so, it's just being comfortable in my stance, in my sets and all my footwork, compared to last year when it was all new to me. I'm able to see things so much better. It's all comfortable now.''
As practice concluded, he stopped at the fence to visit with some of the handful of friends he grew up with. His parents, wife Erin and their three-month-old daughter, McKenzie, are all regular visitors. In two weeks, they'll be around to celebrate his 24th birthday and perhaps news that he'll be starting this season.
On the field or off, Rogers would agree, it's nice to feel at home.
Billy Witz, (818) 713-3621