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DT Rogers' weight loss shows commitment

Even by the outsized standards of the NFL, Shaun Rogers is big. Very big.

"He's an exceptionally large human," defensive coordinator Perry Fewell said.

But in the spring, Rogers was too big for the Giants' liking. After signing with the team on April 26, the 12-year veteran defensive tackle spent much of the spring drills as a spectator.

In the six weeks between minicamp and training camp, Rogers lost weight. He will not divulge how many pounds he dropped.

"I lost enough - enough to make them happy," Rogers said. "So that's all that matters."

According to the weights listed on the Giants' official roster, Rogers is still the heaviest Giant at 350 pounds. But the coaches took notice of his commitment to come to training camp at the University at Albany at a lighter weight.

"We were (concerned about his size) when he went home," coach Tom Coughlin said. "He did an incredible job of working over the summer. He came back and made his weight easily. He's been a little bit weak because of the weight loss. We'd like to have him gain his strength back and still maintain that very good weight position. We're encouraging him to keep the weight down."

"He worked his butt off," Fewell said. "As a veteran, he didn't have to do that. He could've stayed at (his spring weight). But he knows, 'Hey I have an opportunity to win a title.' He's very motivated to come back and win a title. I think that showed his commitment level to our players and coaches."

A championship is all that's missing from Rogers' resume. He's played in three Pro Bowls and has 37.5 sacks among his more than 600 career tackles. Rogers has also blocked 14 field goals. But he played for mostly losing teams in Detroit and Cleveland before spending the 2011 season with the NFC South champion New Orleans Saints. He came to the defending Super Bowl champions largely because he saw an opportunity to win that elusive ring.

"I think that's still one of the single motivating factors in me being here," he said. "My resume speaks for itself. I've accomplished a few things on an individual level that were nice. Having that jewelry would be better."

Rogers could play a larger role than he perhaps anticipated when the signed with the Giants. Chris Canty, who started every game last year at right tackle, is on the physically unable to perform list after undergoing offseason knee surgery. Rogers and Rocky Bernard have split the first-team reps next to Linval Joseph.

And even among that group of renowned girth, Rogers stands out.

"We think that Linval Joseph is a big man, but when you're looking at the end zone copy of the practice tape, you're looking at the butts, Rogers is just a wide, big, large human," Fewell said. "We talked about having a one-gap defense. He takes a gap and a half probably as far as the gaps are concerned. And that's a fun thing because the guy has tremendous athletic ability to go with his size."

Fewell said Rogers' size and strength will be a tremendous benefit for the defense.

"I don't think you can block that guy with just one player," Fewell said. "With the talent level he has, he's going to eat up two blockers. Which again, it makes it great for our defensive ends. It makes it great for the tackle playing opposite him. We're going to have to do some things to free him up. But if you put one man on him, I think because he has quickness and speed and burst, that if you put one man on him in the pass rush, he's gonna be able to rush the passer for us. So we're not going to limit him in being a run stopping football player. We're going to let him play football and let him be the best football player he can be within our system. We're going to have several packages because he's such a wide man. We're going to have several other packages for him."

Left guard Kevin Boothe has most frequently drawn the unenviable assignment of blocking Rogers in practice.

"He has been a great player for a long time," Boothe said. "And he does make Linval look small. He's definitely a big guy and he's been playing well so far during camp. I think he'll be a great asset to this team. I'm happy that he's on our side now."

Rogers looks forward to using his size to torment opponents and further the Giants' defensive cause.

"It's been an advantage my whole career being able to mix some size with a little bit of quickness and strength," he said. "Hopefully I can get in position to where I can still use those characteristics to take advantage of certain situations.

"I can't say that I have the same quickness. I obviously have enough to still be out there. I hope some of my experience and due diligence in the league will compensate for some of the atrophy of my talent."

Not to mention his size.


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