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Eric Rogers talks about growing up and his very different journey to the NFL

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The 49ers wide receiver and CFL star was on KNBR to talk about Chip Kelly's offense, being signed and growing up witha single mom working all the time. You can listen to the full interview here.

On how Chip Kelly called him on the way to the airport before he was officially introduced as coach of the San Francisco 49ers:

"I don't really know if he was at the airport but he called me that night and I talked to him for a couple minutes. He was excited for the opportunity he was having and I was excited to hear the phone number pop up in my phone. The conversation was he was interested, and I knew the 49ers were interested and they were one of the top teams I wanted to come in with."

What did he like about the 49ers over the other 13 offers:

"Just the fact I knew I would get a fair shot and a lot of opportunity. In the meeting with them, I had a lot of good vibes Chip Kelly. As well as Coach Bick [49ers wide receivers coach Bob Bicknell], I spent a lot of time with them while they were with the Philadelphia Eagles. I had a good visit overall and was excited they landed on the new team."

On how he landed at Cal Lutheran:

"I originally agreed to Chadron State, but I backed out last minute, a week before, maybe a month before Cal Lutheran opened up their camp. One of their coaches called me and wished me well on the triple jump. I was doing the triple jump in high school. I had one all league awards or something. He calls me and says, "Congratulations."

I said, 'Hey coach, by the way I backed out of Chadron State, I want to go to Cal Lutheran. I know it's not a scholarship program, but it's an hour from home and feel like the best opportunity to go to a four year university and not transfer and just graduate and establish myself.'"

Did he have a connection from high school that led him to Cal Lutheran?:

"The guy who recruited me, his dad coached me my freshman year of high school. He was a good guy and they lived right near where I finished up high school and that's how it all led to Cal Lutheran and it was the best thing that ever happened to me."

On his relationship with his mother and how her raising three kids on a home-nurse's salary affected him.

"She's a home nurse now. She's been doing it for the past couple of years, actually. As I was growing up, she drove a school bus for the city, and the school district. She also drove a bus for the metro and the valley. She would get up early in the morning, 4:00 or 5:00 and get us up, leave us lunch money, I had to catch a bus at the high school and all those different things and she'd get back late at night. She was a hard worker, I definitely saw that, definitely saw her, working as hard as she could to provide for us. I definitely drove me to be successful at life and take care of her. As I got older and become a man, she was getting older in age. My life goal is to provide for her and take care of her, because if I don't, nobody else will."

Does he think Trent Baalke has a good 'bead' on how passionate he [Rogers] is about the game?:

"Absolutely. Anyone who will go play not for a scholarship program, go work a UPS job just to wait for an arena football opportunity. To go play in the CFL and just make it all back, that shows you the guy and motivation and the love for the game just to play in any league anywhere anytime. I love the game, and a lot of people do, I just had to go on a different journey, nothing wrong with that."

On what his experience in Canada was like:

"It was a great experience. Calgary is probably the best organization up there. Granted, I'm little bias and that's the only one I've been with. Just hearing it from other guys, it's definitely top tier in the league as far as organization and the guys they have. The fans up there are amazing, and you see a lot of talent as far as receiver up there as far as the cornerbacks and it's competitive up there, because a lot of people don't know that half the team is Nationals, A.K.A. Canadians and half are Americans so there aren't many spots for Americans going up there, so you definitely gotta be one of the better guys in camp."

On what part of his game improved the most playing in Canada.

"Definitely route running, being subtle while you're in a similar route top of the route. I was able to work on getting to the top, you know, fake a guy going one way and going the way or give him a double move, or go in the opposite of that. Just work the defender a lot because I didn't you didn't see a lot of press up there, so you had to work on moving that defender off where you want to go and break that up. So it helped a lot and once I got the rhythm down as far as with the motion and all that, it was just that easier."

On where he sees himself fitting into the 49ers offense:

Everyone pretty much moves around a lot. My strength is being a bigger guy, being able to know what i'm doing on every play with the ball in the air. Using my body to shut off defenders and going and getting the ball. So either inside outside, but wherever the coaches really want me. Right now, we have a lot of guys in there competing together and growing.

His thoughts on the young defensive backs:

"They all really can play. Every day there's another guy making plays every period the other guy making plays. They're all competing on the DB side, we're all competing on the receiver side. We're all competing against each other and everyone's out there getting better and making plays. One time I may make a catch against somebody, next time he may, or break up a ball or something. We're all just getting better and we're all making plays, that's good when you see that as a team because not just one or two guys are making plays, because those two guys have a bad day, team goes down. But if everyone makes a play we're harder to defend and harder to cover."

On talking with Torrey Smith about playing wide receiver in the NFL:

Oh yeah, we help each other out all the time. All the receivers do. We're in meetings together, been here since April 4th so, I learned a lot from the guys that have already been here and are established in the league. And I learn a lot from Coach Bick, he's been here a year or two. But Torrey is a guy, he's makes plays all the time. He's fast, he's smart and he works hard.

On the competition with the wide receivers:

"Definitely got a lot of young talent in the receiver group, receiver room, but it all comes down to health and opportunities and as a receiver you gotta do your part and take advantage of that. And that's all I really want or ask for and I think everyone is going to have that fair opportunity as long as they're healthy and ready to go. Everyone is going to play a lot of preseason and from then-on it's on you to dictate what happens after that."

On playing in a fast-tempo offense like Chip Kelly's

"The first week or two was pretty tough on everybody, but now that first snap of the ball around that same time that you just said gets easier and easier. Sometimes we're waiting for plays to be called and are like, "What is it? What is it?". We're getting in that same mindset of going fast and it's getting easier for a lot of players and we're having a good time with it. I played at Cal-Lu, we signaled everything in, but we didn't go as fast. We only went fast when we needed to like in a two minute drill. I played with signals before so it's nothing new to me."