Shaun Rogers fills big need
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ALBANY -- Shaun Rogers is the oldest position player on the Giants' roster, so sometimes he hears about it from younger teammates. Some of them were in junior high school or even elementary school when he was drafted in 2001. Even he gets in on the act himself. Asked Sunday to name a few of the players who helped him when he came into the league, he drew a blank.
"I'm so old I'm forgetting names now," the 33-year-old defensive tackle chuckled.
Soon after his self-deprecating jab, though, Rogers followed with a caveat. "Don't take that old comment for a lack of motivation, movement or weakness," he warned.
If anything, Rogers has proved that he wants to be with the Giants. They signed him during the offseason at a time when he was mulling retirement and then asked him to lose weight from his famously large frame.
Rogers did that during the six weeks between the end of the offseason training program and the start of training camp. How much?
"Enough," said Rogers, whose listed weight of 350 is about as rounded off as he is. "Enough to make them happy. So that's all that matters."
The Giants are happy. Thrilled, even. Rogers may have slimmed down for them, but his girth remains his biggest asset.
"We think that Linval Joseph is a big man, but when you're looking at the end zone copy of the practice tape, you're looking at the butts, and Rogers is just a wide, big, large human," defensive coordinator Perry Fewell said. "We talked about having a one-gap defense. He takes a gap and a half probably, as far as the gaps are concerned. And that's a fun thing because the guy has tremendous athletic ability to go with his size."
And, clearly, the drive to want to play for a winner.
"There are still things left to prove," the three-time Pro Bowler said. "Coming into an atmosphere where these guys won a championship last year and have championship experience, that's one of the things on my resume that I'm lacking. That's motivation for me. I want to play a part in it, hopefully get another ring for these guys and not just be along for the ride."
Former Giants WR Devin Thomas, who recovered two key special-teams fumbles for the team in the NFC Championship Game in January and signed with the Bears during the offseason, announced his retirement Sunday.
"I'm just moving on with my life from football," Thomas told the Chicago Tribune. "I don't have the enthusiasm to play the game anymore."