Memories of painful drop sticks with Da'Rick Rogers

A pass slips through the hands of Tennessee wide receiver Da'Rick Rogers (21) as South Carolina cornerback Marty Markett (39) defends during the Vols' 14-3 home loss.

A pass slips through the hands of Tennessee wide receiver Da'Rick Rogers (21) as South Carolina cornerback Marty Markett (39) defends during the Vols' 14-3 home loss.

Michael Patrick/News Sentinel
Tennessee wide receiver Da'Rick Rogers jumps for an errant pass by quarterback Justin Worley during the first half last Saturday against South Carolina at Neyland Stadium.

Photo by Michael Patrick, copyright © 2011

Michael Patrick/News Sentinel Tennessee wide receiver Da'Rick Rogers jumps for an errant pass by quarterback Justin Worley during the first half last Saturday against South Carolina at Neyland Stadium.

The memory stings, and it apparently doesn't get much less painful with time.

Certainly after just a couple days and without a chance to really atone yet for a critical dropped touchdown last weekend, the wound is still fresh for Da'Rick Rogers.

But based on the vivid recollection the Tennessee receiver has of another ball that slipped out of his hands three years ago, it's clear Rogers won't be forgetting the pass he mishandled in a loss to South Carolina last Saturday any time soon as he looks forward to a chance to make up for it against Middle Tennessee State on Saturday (TV: FSTN, 7 p.m.).

"Oh, most definitely — it hurt, it hurt," Rogers said. "Dropping a ball that easy, I haven't dropped a ball that easy since like my junior year in high school when I was standing flat-footed in the end zone. Probably basically just did the same thing. Just have to focus harder, probably took my eyes off the ball a little bit and got a little unfocused.

"I've got to make that play for (quarterback Justin) Worley, you know, his confidence and everything. I came up to him right after the play and told him, 'I owe you. I owe you a bunch of stuff.' "

Rogers could maybe start by helping get the freshman his first touchdown pass with the Vols (3-5, 0-5 SEC), something he probably already should have after delivering a perfect ball deep down the field to the team's leading receiver — only to see it end up on the turf and a golden opportunity go to waste.

UT had a couple other chances it couldn't take advantage of as it dropped yet another conference game, and Worley was on the hook for a pair of them after throwing costly interceptions.

But there wasn't much more he could have done when he looked down the right sideline midway though the second quarter, and Rogers was quick to shoulder the blame during preparations for the Blue Raiders (2-5, 1-3 Sun Belt).

"I looked up, saw the end zone and just let it go through my hands," Rogers said. "That's on me. I've got to make that play for the team.

"Really, I just have to come out here this week and make sure I focus on the whole route, catching it and the whole thing and not get too excited right there at the end zone."

Rogers hasn't been in it for a touchdown the last four games since being held out of the end zone against Georgia, a streak that mostly coincides with the broken thumb Tyler Bray suffered late in that game nearly a month ago.

The Bulldogs had generally contained him even with Bray on the field, but the loss of the starting quarterback combined with the continued absence of fellow wideout Justin Hunter has ramped up the pressure even more on Rogers. It's also cut down on his easy opportunities to make something happen, which is why blowing one seems to have cut so deep.

"Every drop is not good," Rogers said. "But just off logic, there are some drops that make a bigger difference — a 5-yard hitch compared to a 70-yard touchdown in the end zone.

"It hurts. You just really have to put it behind you."

Worley Word: The experience on the field was totally new for Worley.

It also was the first time for offensive coordinator Jim Chaney to call plays for him once he was out there.

That combination can make for some rough patches as the player gets comfortable and the coach finds out what his quarterback can do, which UT witnessed up close on Saturday. But with the first one is out of the way now, and Chaney is obviously expecting improvement for Round Two.

"I think the nervousness early on, he wasn't as accurate as he'd have liked to have been," Chaney said after practice Wednesday. "I think that showed up throughout the ball game off and on ... (but) we've tidied it down a little bit to tone down what he's having to do, and you know him a little bit more.

"It's always that first game with young quarterbacks. They think they know a lot, and the nervousness hits them and they don't know as much as they thought they did. Now, I know him a lot better, and he knows me better. We'll be better in Game Two."

Bumps And Bruises: After sitting out the loss to the Gamecocks, Curt Maggitt appears to be ready to go again after recovering from his calf injury.

And for now, the Vols freshman is taking it out on his teammates on the practice field.

"He's been fine, yeah," UT coach Derek Dooley said. "He looks good to me, glad to have him back — made a lot of plays in the team periods.

"He brings a lot, and it hurt us in the game not having him."

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Comments » 118

dvhill100 writes:

Never look back with regret, just with cold analysis.

HtownVol writes:

He looked real"painful" on the sideline afterward when he was laughing with a few other players.

May be nothing but I dont feel too good about the team making jokes on the sideline when tey are down in a big game.

kjvols writes:

Stop twittering and start practicing

Razor784 writes:

He's dropped quite a few this year, he might need to change his name from Darick to Darop

RoadTrip writes:

in response to HtownVol:

He looked real"painful" on the sideline afterward when he was laughing with a few other players.

May be nothing but I dont feel too good about the team making jokes on the sideline when tey are down in a big game.

I agree. Why should the fans care if the players don't? Everything about his guy rubs me the wrong way except yards after the catch. His bad attitude, his poor hands, his not fighting for the ball, etc. grate on me. I can't wait until we get some quality WRs to compete with this clown for PT.

That 5 yard hitch drop can be a TD if you catch it and evade the tackler. Grow up, man.

scvols writes:

Yea, I wanted to put a stick somewhere after the drop too.

Volunteer-Varmint writes:

in response to HtownVol:

He looked real"painful" on the sideline afterward when he was laughing with a few other players.

May be nothing but I dont feel too good about the team making jokes on the sideline when tey are down in a big game.

Kinda sounds like the late fulmer years.

florida-volfan writes:

in response to Razor784:

He's dropped quite a few this year, he might need to change his name from Darick to Darop

lol maybe thats da'drop

BigVolinCarolina writes:

in response to HtownVol:

He looked real"painful" on the sideline afterward when he was laughing with a few other players.

May be nothing but I dont feel too good about the team making jokes on the sideline when tey are down in a big game.

Absolutely right, Htown. I saw that, as well, and it didn't sit easy with me.

I'll add another thought--Da'Rick has potential and is a good receiver; however, I wish he'd spend less time trash-talking with the other teams DB's and spend more time trying to make plays. In several games, I've seen him catch the ball, get tackled and then immediately start jawing with the other team. I don't like that and I never will. He seems a little too consumed with it, in my opinion. Let your play do your talking, for that's what ultimately shuts up the other team and their fans.

florida-volfan writes:

Yes I noticed that too and if they keep going on like that we'll be looking at a loss to mtsu. This team needs some fire in their belly and maybe a sense of urgency

Colliervol writes:

in response to BigVolinCarolina:

Absolutely right, Htown. I saw that, as well, and it didn't sit easy with me.

I'll add another thought--Da'Rick has potential and is a good receiver; however, I wish he'd spend less time trash-talking with the other teams DB's and spend more time trying to make plays. In several games, I've seen him catch the ball, get tackled and then immediately start jawing with the other team. I don't like that and I never will. He seems a little too consumed with it, in my opinion. Let your play do your talking, for that's what ultimately shuts up the other team and their fans.

He does do a little too much talking but I figure that's because he's only a sophomore. Getting to be a junior or senior in this league will calm him down some.

But I would also point out that even the best of teams have plenty of players that like to talk these days. Ever notice the Bama and LSU defensive players when they make a tackle? Unfortunately, it's part of the times we live in. It ain't your grandaddy's game anymore. Trash talk is part of it and it ain't going away.

kjvols writes:

in response to florida-volfan:

lol maybe thats da'drop

Love it. Da Rop. Da Ball Rogers

born2ride writes:

Da'Rick is very strong and physical receiver but he needs to cut down on the drops. He has been one of the few bright spots in a dismal year.

LJS1984 writes:

That was another game changer by a VOL WR. Just like Gerald Jones dropping the sure TD to start the second half against VA. Tech. We need five more Justin Hunter's. Arnett does look promising though.

HtownVol writes:

in response to BigVolinCarolina:

Absolutely right, Htown. I saw that, as well, and it didn't sit easy with me.

I'll add another thought--Da'Rick has potential and is a good receiver; however, I wish he'd spend less time trash-talking with the other teams DB's and spend more time trying to make plays. In several games, I've seen him catch the ball, get tackled and then immediately start jawing with the other team. I don't like that and I never will. He seems a little too consumed with it, in my opinion. Let your play do your talking, for that's what ultimately shuts up the other team and their fans.

Plus the times in the past few games where he has been thrown to and it is not a great throw but it is possibly catchable but 21 refuses to make an attempt to dive for the ball.

One sticks out to me that Simms threw to him on the sideline like a 7-10 yard pass. It was not a horrible throw but Rogers completly gave up on the ball when it was halfway to him. No effort at all to catch the ball.

Sometimes I just do not know how the coaches do not rip him a new one.

Then again I am not sure I have ever seen Dooley get in a players ear when he makes a costly mistake.

I would like to see that change but I can live with it if it is his style.

Rogers not competing for catches, that I can not live with.

This story will only make me have less sympathy for Rogers. If he was a team player then he would lay it all on the line to make a play.

I do not want to hear him say "it is painful".

That is a complete lie when he was shown on the sidelines laughing it up with other players.

I believe that if it bothered him he would be focused on the game...Just a thought.

Does Dooley tell the team "laughter is the best medicine?

GO VOLS

volfaninbuckeyeland writes:

in response to Razor784:

He's dropped quite a few this year, he might need to change his name from Darick to Darop

One of the funniest posts I have ever read on this site.

TNVolunteers57 writes:

Da'Rick will be a great player for the volnation. A little time and patience and he will be ripping up sec defenses on a regular basis.

TommyJack writes:

You guys are seriously bustin chops. Loosen that cork a little.

VolFanInTheBoro (Inactive) writes:

in response to Abdul_Wauhatchie_Tiftonia_Rahman_of_Orange:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Packer pork, how many times are you gonna change your name

OrangeinCarolina2 writes:

Early in the season, opposite Hunter, Rogers was impressive. He made great catches,ie touchdown in endzone between 2 defenders and had his helmet knocked off, and seemed to have a great repoire with Hunter. But with the Hunter injury defenses just began to key on Rogers. Hardly any single coverage. So the frustration began to set in. Immaturity. Not making excuses. There were none for that dropped ball. That catch changes the game. It changes our freshman QB. I totally understand the sentiment towards Rogers right now. But let's hope he grows up a bit during the next 4 games and becomes a team player-again. Egos can be fragile. GO VOLS!

clvolfan writes:

in response to HtownVol:

He looked real"painful" on the sideline afterward when he was laughing with a few other players.

May be nothing but I dont feel too good about the team making jokes on the sideline when tey are down in a big game.

Yeah,kinda reminds me of the situation when we got smoked under CPF in Atlanta a few years ago-embarrasing to say the least.

TarheelVol writes:

in response to HtownVol:

He looked real"painful" on the sideline afterward when he was laughing with a few other players.

May be nothing but I dont feel too good about the team making jokes on the sideline when tey are down in a big game.

I was at the 2008 Florida game - Fulmer's last
year and noticed the same laughing and goofing
around on the sideline by players as the Gators
were kicking our butts. And the kicker, Lincoln,
was at the back of the sideline talking to some
majorettes for half the game. Probably didn't know
who we were playing.

I'd bet a million that if you look at the Bama sideline,
that you see a minimum of goofing around and
none at all when things are tight.

TarheelVol writes:

in response to born2ride:

Da'Rick is very strong and physical receiver but he needs to cut down on the drops. He has been one of the few bright spots in a dismal year.

If Da'Rick focuses better and grows up a little, he'll be first rate.
I'd like to see him pull off some dive catches. Notice how the Bama
receivers went after the ball? And they aren't
big name guys. Kids playing sandlot ball go after it more than some of UT's receivers.

CheckerBoardMeanMachine writes:

in response to LJS1984:

That was another game changer by a VOL WR. Just like Gerald Jones dropping the sure TD to start the second half against VA. Tech. We need five more Justin Hunter's. Arnett does look promising though.

I believe that was Denarious Moore...Chik-fila bowl at the Dome!

1963VOLS writes:

DA rick damismal

spacificislander writes:

in response to OrangeinCarolina2:

Early in the season, opposite Hunter, Rogers was impressive. He made great catches,ie touchdown in endzone between 2 defenders and had his helmet knocked off, and seemed to have a great repoire with Hunter. But with the Hunter injury defenses just began to key on Rogers. Hardly any single coverage. So the frustration began to set in. Immaturity. Not making excuses. There were none for that dropped ball. That catch changes the game. It changes our freshman QB. I totally understand the sentiment towards Rogers right now. But let's hope he grows up a bit during the next 4 games and becomes a team player-again. Egos can be fragile. GO VOLS!

seemed to have a great RAPPORT with Hunter

OrangeinCarolina2 writes:

in response to spacificislander:

seemed to have a great RAPPORT with Hunter

I stand corrected. Thanks. And to thenk I allways prided miself on spelin. LOL. GO VOLS!

holleyab writes:

in response to RoadTrip:

I agree. Why should the fans care if the players don't? Everything about his guy rubs me the wrong way except yards after the catch. His bad attitude, his poor hands, his not fighting for the ball, etc. grate on me. I can't wait until we get some quality WRs to compete with this clown for PT.

That 5 yard hitch drop can be a TD if you catch it and evade the tackler. Grow up, man.

Yeah, i agree.... the kids should have no fun at all.... as a matter of fact why don't we ban anyone under 25 from playing on the team, that way there will only be mature adults. Because at the end of the day the main goal isn't to give these kids an education or a future, or even win a few football games for the university, it really is to make some nobody on a message board happy.

Orangeblood13 writes:

in response to LJS1984:

That was another game changer by a VOL WR. Just like Gerald Jones dropping the sure TD to start the second half against VA. Tech. We need five more Justin Hunter's. Arnett does look promising though.

that was danarius moore not jones

ClassicVol (Inactive) writes:

He was too busy trying to persuade fans to have a black out rather than concentrate on catching a ball.

Looks like he succeeded. I thought i was at a South Carloina home game.

madisonvillevol writes:

ever since that db from georgia knocked him into last week he's been scared to catch the ball...he ain't been the same since, he's gun shy.

PennVol writes:

I think Hunter or Arnett catches that ball easily.

volfanz writes:

in response to OrangeinCarolina2:

Early in the season, opposite Hunter, Rogers was impressive. He made great catches,ie touchdown in endzone between 2 defenders and had his helmet knocked off, and seemed to have a great repoire with Hunter. But with the Hunter injury defenses just began to key on Rogers. Hardly any single coverage. So the frustration began to set in. Immaturity. Not making excuses. There were none for that dropped ball. That catch changes the game. It changes our freshman QB. I totally understand the sentiment towards Rogers right now. But let's hope he grows up a bit during the next 4 games and becomes a team player-again. Egos can be fragile. GO VOLS!

Good post. What it all boils down to is maturity. Young, Freshman Bray built up a great ego and a head of steam throwing to a pair of Seniors that excelled at not only catching his good throws, but seriously helping out their QB on the many bad ones. It's easy for a young, new QB to build confidence when your receivers are good enough to protect you even in the bigger games.....Just look at Oakland and what one of those receivers are doing for them now.

volsn3 writes:

That dropped pass changed the game completely for WORLEY. Make that catch and the young man's confidence would have grown sky high. The stats never show drop passes just incompletes, and that is such an injustice to the quarterbacks. I hope WORLEY lights them up against MTSU and COACH DOOLEY doesn't let up. GO VOLS

volaholic45 writes:

Yeah, the memory of that painful drop is kind of sticking with me, too.

lomas98 writes:

in response to HtownVol:

Plus the times in the past few games where he has been thrown to and it is not a great throw but it is possibly catchable but 21 refuses to make an attempt to dive for the ball.

One sticks out to me that Simms threw to him on the sideline like a 7-10 yard pass. It was not a horrible throw but Rogers completly gave up on the ball when it was halfway to him. No effort at all to catch the ball.

Sometimes I just do not know how the coaches do not rip him a new one.

Then again I am not sure I have ever seen Dooley get in a players ear when he makes a costly mistake.

I would like to see that change but I can live with it if it is his style.

Rogers not competing for catches, that I can not live with.

This story will only make me have less sympathy for Rogers. If he was a team player then he would lay it all on the line to make a play.

I do not want to hear him say "it is painful".

That is a complete lie when he was shown on the sidelines laughing it up with other players.

I believe that if it bothered him he would be focused on the game...Just a thought.

Does Dooley tell the team "laughter is the best medicine?

GO VOLS

Do you remember the catch against Cincinnati in the end zone when his helmet got knocked off? Everyone talked about how much of a man he was then. I think a lot of Darick's problem is he just doesn't have confidence in the QB throwing him the ball. None of this was being said before Bray got hurt.

VOODOOley-2011 (Inactive) writes:

This young man needs to quit parading around with the diamond studs in his hears, thinking that he's Michael Irvan.. He catches that one pass and we might have won the game. I get the sense that it's "All about D'Rick" and that needs to change.

slb#1351874 writes:

Isn't it wonderful to live in the USA. This a land where A body who knows nothing about anything can spout off insult and belittle anyone or anything at anytime they want with no fear of being reprimanded. If I was as smart as some of you think you are God only knows what I could achieve in this world today.
Come on people shut up the whinning and complaining and support these kids and the coaches. Both will in due time get the job done.
trust me I'm a Doctor.

Voloyalty writes:

He is a Sophmore and everyone who posts on this site treat him like a Senior. Give him a break. What other Sophmore WR in the SEC has the entire weight of the passing offense on their shoulders? He is young and needs to grow. Its funny how all you haters were calling him NFL bound after his Junior year post the Cincy game. I am so sick of the TN fan base, at least the ones on these sites. You want Dooley fired, Da'Rick sucks, Simms sucks, Worley shouldn't be playing, Tauren Poole is overrated, etc. etc. etc. Da'Rick is not the one who needs to grow up, our fan base does. Get your head out of the late 90's, those days are OVER!!!!

TennesseeFab5 writes:

in response to holleyab:

Yeah, i agree.... the kids should have no fun at all.... as a matter of fact why don't we ban anyone under 25 from playing on the team, that way there will only be mature adults. Because at the end of the day the main goal isn't to give these kids an education or a future, or even win a few football games for the university, it really is to make some nobody on a message board happy.

Good for you holleyab! At least somebody gets it! These kids face enough pressure as is being a Division 1 college athlete and somebody who has never been close to their situation is telling them not to have a laugh every now and then is idiotic!!!

lomas98 writes:

in response to VOODOOley-2011:

This young man needs to quit parading around with the diamond studs in his hears, thinking that he's Michael Irvan.. He catches that one pass and we might have won the game. I get the sense that it's "All about D'Rick" and that needs to change.

he catches that pass and it is 10-7 at HALFTIME, not the end of the 4th quarter. I have seen nobody get on Prentiss Waggoner for not sprinting to the sidelines instead of cutting back all over the field. If he goes to the sidelines it is the same score as if Darick caught the ball. Nobody is getting on Worley for throwing the interception from the 2 because he is a freshman. Darick is only one year older and just like another poster said, he has the entire passing offense on his shoulders and he probably doesn't have any confidence in the QB getting it to him since Bray went down. As bad as some of you think he is, he is the best player on offense we have right now.

Digital5000 writes:

in response to Voloyalty:

He is a Sophmore and everyone who posts on this site treat him like a Senior. Give him a break. What other Sophmore WR in the SEC has the entire weight of the passing offense on their shoulders? He is young and needs to grow. Its funny how all you haters were calling him NFL bound after his Junior year post the Cincy game. I am so sick of the TN fan base, at least the ones on these sites. You want Dooley fired, Da'Rick sucks, Simms sucks, Worley shouldn't be playing, Tauren Poole is overrated, etc. etc. etc. Da'Rick is not the one who needs to grow up, our fan base does. Get your head out of the late 90's, those days are OVER!!!!

True Dat my man. This is a joke that people are ripping Da'Rick. If you don't think this kid can ball then you are just flat out wrong.

Im more than happy with what he's done as a soph in the SEC. Hes had some drops; that happens. Hes also made some of the most incredibly athletic plays I've seen a Vol make in years.

Do your thing Da'Rick. Talk trash, throw the Honey Badger off you like a little kid, keep running over people, and make your way to the NFL. Some of us are pulling for you.

-Enjoy Yoself

shipperman#280095 writes:

in response to Colliervol:

He does do a little too much talking but I figure that's because he's only a sophomore. Getting to be a junior or senior in this league will calm him down some.

But I would also point out that even the best of teams have plenty of players that like to talk these days. Ever notice the Bama and LSU defensive players when they make a tackle? Unfortunately, it's part of the times we live in. It ain't your grandaddy's game anymore. Trash talk is part of it and it ain't going away.

Difference is: Bama and LSU players can back up their talk. When our players learn how to kick rear, then let them talk

MemphisHog writes:

In the immortal words of that great philosopher, Homer Simpson: "DOH!!!"

Pipe_Down_Otis writes:

Rogers just quit running his route when Worley threw that interception near the end zone, too. He went in the end zone and turned around, but didn't drift to the right to give Worley more room to throw it. That let the SC guy just move right in front of him. Granted, maybe Worley should have saw that and not threw it, but it's his first game. Rogers takes plays off...he's good when he tries, but he don't try every play. He especially takes plays off when Simms is out there cause he doesn't think Simms can get the ball to him.

orangeman1 writes:

in response to Voloyalty:

He is a Sophmore and everyone who posts on this site treat him like a Senior. Give him a break. What other Sophmore WR in the SEC has the entire weight of the passing offense on their shoulders? He is young and needs to grow. Its funny how all you haters were calling him NFL bound after his Junior year post the Cincy game. I am so sick of the TN fan base, at least the ones on these sites. You want Dooley fired, Da'Rick sucks, Simms sucks, Worley shouldn't be playing, Tauren Poole is overrated, etc. etc. etc. Da'Rick is not the one who needs to grow up, our fan base does. Get your head out of the late 90's, those days are OVER!!!!

Ditto. He is a great receiver and I cant believe the comments from supposed fans. Actually, I can because I have witnessed it for many years. UT fans have the most unrealistic expectations of any team in the country. Funny, I watch NFL games and see receivers that are getting PAID MILLIONS drop balls. Rodgers is only a sophomore and will make many more big plays for UT in his career. Fans need to give these players and staff a chance before they bash them like they are doing. Next year, with Bray and Hunter back, UT will have the the top receiver duo in the country, yet you bash this 19/20 years old for dropping a pass and laughing on the sideline. Pathetic.

VOLliven2it writes:

Everybody drops a big one now and again. When I heard it on the radio traveling I knew the Vols were in for a long night trying to score but that is not all on Da'Rick. So hang in there man and get the rest of them.

snakeplissken writes:

in response to NachoPappy_76:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You described the situation as it sadly is. The problem is that when we do recruit an elite player like Da'rick, we're not developing their skills at all! Dooley and his staff think he can recruit good players and they'll always be good with no coaching. Watching other teams get good players and seeing those players develop and become better players over the season is sad, when we see ours not only not improve, but get worse as the season goes along.
South Carolina rammed the ball down our throat last Saturday on a 98 yard drive using a sophomore 3rd string quarterback and a true freshman 3rd string tailback. Those young men have improved through great coaching and development while they waited for their chance. Unfortunately we haven't seen any of that at Tennessee.

Volunatic writes:

in response to holleyab:

Yeah, i agree.... the kids should have no fun at all.... as a matter of fact why don't we ban anyone under 25 from playing on the team, that way there will only be mature adults. Because at the end of the day the main goal isn't to give these kids an education or a future, or even win a few football games for the university, it really is to make some nobody on a message board happy.

Good response.

Volunatic writes:

in response to ClassicVol:

He was too busy trying to persuade fans to have a black out rather than concentrate on catching a ball.

Looks like he succeeded. I thought i was at a South Carloina home game.

It's not easy finding warm jackets that are Orange.

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