Yesterday, I posted on Twitter about how I was writing a piece on Carlos Rogers and his familiarity, or lack thereof, with Dallas wide receiver Miles Austin. Tre9er got into it with me about how it's been done several times over the last few days, and I totally agree with him - it has. But my angle is a bit different than the angle of the rest of the beat writers. Contradictory, if you will.
You see, their big thing has been Rogers' familiarity with Austin, simply because the two were division rivals when Rogers played for the Washington Redskins. I can't help but feel that some people have been grasping at straws and just kind of ... you know, going for it. Conventional wisdom says that Rogers, a great corner, covered Austin, a great receiver, an awful lot, right? Wrong.
The familiarity between the two starts and stops at the fact that they have film on each other and spent two weeks a year preparing to take on one-another. Is Rogers a tad more familiar with Austin due to that fact? Sure ... but the two didn't spend a lot of time trying to beat the other in actual game situations. I wrote this piece over at SB Nation Bay Area earlier today, but my points are pretty easily to summarize:
I watched a lot of film and noticed that the Redskins played a ton of zone against the Cowboys, and Rogers rarely was ever assigned Austin on man-to-man, and Austin rarely was around to catch passes in Rogers' zone. So I do not think that the pieces published lately about Rogers' familiarity are ... accurate.
However, the two are likely to see a lot of eachother on Sunday. On one hand, Austin moves to the slot position when the Cowboys split out three wide, while Rogers covers the slot when the 49ers revert to a nickel defense. Outside of that man-to-man coverage, Rogers should be assigned to Austin in normal man-to-man situations, but that's still up in the air. San Francisco will likely blitz a lot to try and get to Tony Romo.
So my question to you ... how do you feel Rogers will do against Austin? Keep in mind that the familiarity plays very little into things at this point. What we have is our best corner taking on Dallas' best receiver. Hopefully Rogers will have a good pass rush to depend on, otherwise I personally see him struggling with Austin.