It’s hard to describe 6-4, 350-pound defensive tackle Shaun Rogers as being “overlooked,” so we’ll just say some of the other new additions to the New York Giants -- rookie David Wilson, linebacker Keith Rivers, etc. -- have been attracting a little more attention.
In spite of that, Rogers might make his presence felt before any other first-year Giants player.
Chris Canty’s ongoing knee issues have kept him from practicing, which leaves Rogers to compete with youngsters Linval Joseph and Marvin Austin as well as veteran Rocky Bernard for playing time. And since the 33-year-old Rogers -- who even refers to himself as “old” -- is far from an every-down player, he’s had to find ways to contribute to the Giants without even stepping on the field.
“He’s been very good in the meeting rooms, in a great frame of mind. He’s helping the young guys, and he’s off to a good start,” defensive line coach Robert Nunn said.
For Rogers, who is coming off one season with the New Orleans Saints after three with the Cleveland Browns and seven with the Detroit Lions, teaching seems to be coming naturally. Joseph and Austin both have similar builds as Rogers (albeit, not quite as large) so he’s tutoring them on the finer points of using size as an advantage.
Specifically, Rogers said he’s focused on teaching “technique issues,” teaching “hand-placement issues,” while keeping his teammates mindful of “how people are blocking” them.
But Rogers is still more of a player than a coach, and by showing up to camp in good condition, Nunn, defensive coordinator Perry Fewell and coach Tom Coughlin can feel confident keeping him on the field.
“With Chris being out, Shaun has come in here and made a strong commitment with his conditioning part of it,” Nunn said. “I really think Shaun’s going to be a guy who can really help us on Sundays.”
Even since OTAs and minicamp Rogers is noticeably slimmer. He wouldn’t divulge how much weight he’s lost (“enough to make them happy,” he said) so you’ll just have to his word for it.
But perhaps the best thing about the addition of Rogers is the offensive attention he attracts along the line. Even if he’s just appearing in red-zone or short-yardage situations, he still expects to be blocked by two people, and that’s going to free up Justin Tuck, Osi Umenyiora or Jason Pierre-Paul on the outside.
The Giants are definitely eager to get Canty back on the field, but as backup options go, Rogers is a pretty big one.
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