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Justin Rogers learns valuable lesson in matchup with Welker

By Jay Skurski

Chan Gailey was honest Monday about his team's struggle to cover New England slot receiver Wes Welker.

"To be honest with you I don’t believe we’ve had a guy in the three years I’ve been here that can cover that guy one-on-one for an entire ball game," Gailey said during his weekly radio show on WGR 550. "He can get open. That’s why he made the Pro Bowl so many years."

The job Sunday largely belonged to second-year cornerback Justin Rogers.

"He's effective. He's proven that over the years. You can say what you're going to do to him, until you really get out there," Rogers said. "It was definitely a learning experience. There were some things I could have done better. The thing is, you've got to get your hands on him, but it's easier said than done. Like I said, it's a learning experience. There's things I know now I could have done in the game.

Rogers said after watching film of the game he believes he needed to play more physical against Welker.

"Just a little bit more to slow him up. I was on him with good leverage, but then you've got Tom Brady, a Hall of Fame quarterback, throwing it on time. ... I can help that a little bit by trying to mess up the timing and slowing him up on his route."

Welker finished with nine catches for 129 yards Sunday in the Patriots' 52-28 win. While the film review wasn't much fun, Rogers said learning from it is a must.

"That's the whole team's mind-set. The whole defense learned from it," he said. "The good thing about it is it's still early in the season. It's only Week Four, so we can correct the mistakes and bounce back." 

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About Press Coverage

Tim Graham

Tim Graham

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

@ByTimGraham |

Mark Gaughan

Mark Gaughan

Buffalo native Mark Gaughan started working at The News in 1980 and has been covering the Bills exclusively since 1992. He is a former president of the Pro Football Writers of America, and he is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee.

@gggaughan |

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida. He writes a weekly Fantasy column in addition to his beat writing duties.

@JaySkurski |