Thursday, August 31, 2006

Rogers Will Make The Team, But Is That Enough For Him?

So Charlie Rogers says he'll still be a Detroit Lion come Sunday, when the final 53-man roster has to be submitted to the NFL's offices. He's probably right. But he should take no joy in that fact, nor presume that along with a roster spot comes any sort of entitlement.

I suspect Rogers' making the cut has a lot more to do with his 2003 draft status and the dough committed to him than anything he's shown on the football field. So it seems to be a case of making it the same way a team backs into a playoff spot. Not much honor.

I just hope that Rogers looks at his roster spot as a privilege, not a right. I hope that he treats every week as if it could be his last in the league. I hope he does enough to convince coach Rod Marinelli that his roster spot was earned, not begrudgingly given. And, of course, I hope he doesn't get hurt (again) or violate the league's substance abuse policy (again).

But I'm eager to see Rogers in a Lions uniform in the regular season, if for no other reason than to finally get some tangible reaction of him from Marinelli and offensive coordinator Mike Martz, beyond this training camp doublespeak and nonspeak we've been reading and hearing for six weeks. Also, it will be fun to see how the team uses him -- if they use him at all. Same with Rogers' partner in grime, Mike Williams -- who's a story unto himself.

Rogers is treating tonight's exhibition finale with the Buffalo Bills at Ford Field as nothing special. "It's just a game, man," he told reporters. "It's not the Super Bowl."

Then, in the other corner, here's his coach saying, "For a lot of players, this is like their Super Bowl."

Maybe Charlie Rogers is right, though, because "a lot of players" aren't the third overall pick in the 2003 draft, with a bijillion dollars committed to them in guaranteed signing bonuses. "A lot of players" aren't being kept on the squad because it would appear to be poor business in releasing them.

If Rogers is happy with that sort of status, then maybe he wasn't worth keeping around to begin with.

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