Rogers eager to build on big '11 season with 49ers
SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — There were times in Washington when Carlos Rogers chose to skip offseason workouts with the Redskins even though his contract called for a bonus if he participated.
Regardless of such rewards, Rogers is eager to be around his San Francisco teammates this week as the NFC West champions prepare for what they hope is another run at a Super Bowl after it was right within reach last season.
This is also coach Jim Harbaugh's first chance to run his team through a full offseason routine. Last year, he was hired in January and then limited by the lockout.
"I want to be out there with the guys competing," Rogers said. "Football is fun. Actually this is only my second time in eight years even doing a full offseason program. It's something that a lot of older guys really don't go to because it's about learning, kind of doing some of the stuff you did in the season. Especially if you already know the offense and defense, a lot of guys have their own trainer or someone they work with. That's what they do."
The 30-year-old Rogers has been at 49ers headquarters for organized workouts and minicamp even while nursing a strained right calf that had been keeping him out of team drills. Rogers participated in position work Tuesday — backpedaling, running and catching passes with the defensive backs — and also some team portions of practice on a hot Bay Area afternoon. He even lined up opposite new wideout Randy Moss on one play.
Trainers and the Pro Bowl defender have been cautious at this stage to make sure Rogers — who shared the team lead with six interceptions in 2011 and also had 43 tackles — is full strength for training camp starting late next month.
"I just strained it a little bit in the workouts, toward the beginning of OTAs," Rogers said after Tuesday morning's practice. "I started doing more today. There ain't no rush. Not worth messing it up even worse. I'm just following their guidelines of what they've got me on. I'm just doing individuals today, doing some more running. It's nothing to be worried about. It's nothing serious."
Harbaugh said Rogers is "working through something" but noted it's "nothing to be alarmed about."
Less than an hour into practice Tuesday afternoon, Harbaugh pulled All-Pro linebacker Patrick Willis out of team drills and Willis then jogged to the locker room with Jeff Ferguson, director of football operations and sports medicine. No further details were immediately known, though Willis didn't appear hurt.
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