Sunday, 06 March 2011 00:52

Shaun Rogers Tells Why He Chose New Orleans Saints

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The Saints beefed up their defensive line by signing free agent Shaun Rogers, 6-foot-4, 350 pounds, last week to a one-year contract for $4 million.

"Big Baby" Rogers has never played on a winning team in his nine-year career (Detroit and Cleveland) although he has appeared in three Pro Bowls and was a second-team All-Pro in 2004.

He was offered $2 million more by another team after he was released by the Browns, but chose the Saints. When he was healthy, he had the reputation of being one of the most disrupting interior linemen in the NFL.

Q: Why did you decide to sign with the Saints?
A: Everyone knows Gregg Williams is a talented guy when it comes to scheming defenses and focusing on making big plays. I am encouraged to be in a system with such a respected coordinator. I am also thrilled with the offense they have. To face Drew Brees, one of the top-3 quarterbacks in the league, in practice every day is pretty exciting.

Q: There were a few other teams that you were talking to you as you were a free agent. What made you decide on the Saints?
A: I just felt this was the best situation for me at this point in my career. I wasn't really weighing what teams offered me or didn't offer me. I just felt at the end of the day a team this talented was the best situation for me to be in to achieve the goals that I want to achieve.

Q: You've played quite a bit of nose tackle in your career and also some in the 4-3 defense, The Saints' defense has shown an ability to throw a lot of different looks at teams. What are your thoughts on playing in a varied defense with the Saints?
A: What was appealing going to the Saints was that I have had success in all interior positions and provide a little versatility. I am a sizable guy (laughter) so I think I can benefit the situation.

Q: Coach Sean Payton talked about how difficult it was to play against you and some of the different things you bring to the table. The first is obviously your size and quickness. Can you give the Who Dat Nation some idea of how you're feeling physically and some of the attributes you bring to the table?
A: Hopefully, I continue to be the player that I have been throughout my career. I look to be disruptive on the other side of the scrimmage. With me and the number of tools they already have there, I think I can be a good fit.

Q: New Orleans is in the middle of Mardi Gras celebrations. Have you ever been here during Mardi Gras and do you know what it's all about?
A: I can't say I've been to a Mardi Gras before. I'm not sure I'll make it this year, but definitely in the future if the opportunity presents itself I will have to make it out to one.

Q: How may guys do you know well on the Saints and have you had any discussions with them about joining the team?
A: Actually, I'm not too familiar with the guys that are currently on the team, but I played with Scott Fujita last season at Cleveland and he spoke very highly of the organization. Everyone I spoke to who had played there just had god things to say. I'm looking forward to being  part of the solution to getting the team back to the Super Bowl.

Rogers was commended last July for nabbing a drunken driver in the Cleveland area. That's something you don't often see in the NFL.

by Ed Staton

Go To Louisiana Sports Talk

Ed Staton

Ed Staton is a former sports writer for the Times Picayune and New Orleans States Item.  He also served as the New Orleans Saints Information Director.  He has won 43 media awards in writing, design and photography. | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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