Redskins cornerback Carlos Rogers, who recorded just two interceptions during two full seasons under former defensive coordinator Greg Blache, already has a pickoff in just two games for new coordinator Jim Haslett.
"It was a long time coming," Rogers said of his interception last Sunday against Houston, his first in 21 games dating to December 2008.
Rogers walking around Redskins Park with a constant smile was also a long time coming. The ninth pick in the 2005 draft enjoyed playing for Gregg Williams, who ran Washington's defense from 2005-07. But Rogers, who missed the second half of 2007 with a torn ACL, clashed with Blache, who benched him in each of the past two seasons.
"It's totally different around here," said Rogers, who signed a restricted free agent tender on the eve of camp after the Redskins didn't offer a long-term deal. "We have coaches that understand things, have your back and want the best for you. We're playing more defenses and getting an opportunity to make plays. I could be mad about the contract, but I'm not worried about that because I'm happy about all the other stuff that's going on. After last season, I thought I'd be out of here."
Aside from the interception -- just the seventh of his career -- Rogers has been credited with 17 tackles (12 solos) and two passes defensed so far. The Texans torched the Redskins' secondary last Sunday after Washington held Dallas to seven points in the opener. But Haslett still values the 6-foot, 192-pound Rogers.
"I'm a fan of Carlos Rogers," Haslett said. "He's got really good cover skills. I think he's a special type of guy. I can see why they drafted him in the first round. Here's a guy that's big, long, fast, tough. You don't find too many guys like that."
Coach Mike Shanahan likes Rogers' work ethic, a quality that Blache didn't appreciate.
"Carlos worked extremely hard in the offseason to pick up our defense," Shanahan said. "He's very strong and very physical. He can match up against anybody. I've been very impressed with the way he has handled himself and how hard he has worked. I will be surprised if he doesn't have a great season."