Carlos Rogers celebrates in a 49er uniform
LANDOVER, Md. (WUSA) -- The first month of Washington's season was all about "remember me?" matchups against their former teams for new Redskins starters: nose tackle Barry Cofield against the New York Giants; running back Tim Hightower against the Arizona Cardinals; defensive end Stephen Bowen against the Dallas Cowboys; and safety Oshimogho Atogwe against the St. Louis Rams.
Now after a three-game interlude, we're about to start old home week with the return of cornerback Carlos Rogers on Sunday in a San Francisco uniform. Washington's remaining home games feature visits from guard Derrick Dockery (Dallas), quarterback Mark Brunell (New York Jets), defensive linemen Albert Haynesworth and Andre Carter (New England) and quarterback Donovan McNabb (Minnesota).
Rogers was taken by the Redskins with the ninth overall pick in the 2005 draft. During his six seasons in Washington, Rogers played for three coaches and three defensive coordinators but in just two playoff games (he was sidelined for the first-round exit in 2007).
Known for his hands of stone with the Redskins whose last NFC East title came when he was in high school, Rogers has three interceptions - as many as the entire Washington secondary -- for the surprisingly strong 49ers who have a whopping four-game lead in the NFC West just seven weeks into the season.
In contrast in no surprise to Rogers, the Redskins have turned a 3-1 start into what's looking like another train wreck of a season with three straight defeats. Including its bye week, Washington hasn't won in more than a month. Only winless Indianapolis and Miami and 1-6 Arizona have gone longer without celebrating a victory.
In 2005, the Redskins lost six of eight after a 3-1 start and needed a 5-0 final tear to reach the playoffs. In 2006, a 2-2 beginning became a 5-11 finish. The next year, Washington lost its first four games of the second half and needed a 4-0 final month to grab a wild card.
In 2008, the Redskins reversed their 6-2 first half with a 2-6 second half. In 2009, they lost 10 of their last 12 games after a 2-2 start. Last year, their 4-3 beginning became a 6-10 finish.
Rogers, who had wanted out of Washington since he was first benched by former defensive coordinator Greg Blache in 2008, declined to rip the Redskins even though they didn't try to re-sign him during the offseason.
"I'm past the Redskins," Rogers said while noting that he loved playing for coaches Joe Gibbs, Gregg Williams, Jerry Gray, Steve Jackson, Danny Smith and Bob Slowik. "I just want to go out there and have fun, play against my friends for bragging rights. I got no hatred towards the (current) coaches. With that coaching staff, my mindset was already to get out of Washington."
Rogers was also close with several teammates, especially fellow cornerback DeAngelo Hall, and was such a cooperative and candid interview that he won the 2010 Good Guy Award in a vote of media who cover the Redskins.
"I had some fun times in Washington, a lot of good relationship(s) with guys," Rogers said. "The fans (are) unbelievable."
What's not unbelievable is that Rogers is in a better place since leaving the Redskins. Many people are.
WUSA-9's Redskins Insider, David Elfin, has covered sports since he was a junior at Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School in 1975. He is the Washington representative on the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee and is the author of five books on the Redskins including the new "Washington Redskins: The Complete Illustrated History."