The DRC experience

Posted by Darren Urban on January 27, 2014 – 12:28 pm

The last time I talked to Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie at any length, he understood he hadn’t played as well as he should have during the 2010 season. Perhaps that underscored what the cornerback was about, or at least how I had perceived DRC during his brief and mercurial NFL career that featured a Pro Bowl and, well, oddly uneven play. The Cardinals’ 2008 No. 1 pick was a guy who seemed to play better when the team was playing better. When the team wasn’t playing well, well …

All those thoughts and DRC memories came rushing back this morning when DRC, now playing for the Denver Broncos, told a bunch of reporters at a media session that if the Broncos win Sunday and beat the Seahawks, he might just retire. He wanted to play five seasons in the NFL, he told reporters. This is his sixth season. It’s all math, apparently. Sure, DRC is only 27. Sure he had a pretty good year and is an unrestricted free agent to be, a combination that would seem to point toward a decent pay day from someone. Then again, this is DRC we are talking about.

DRC always was quirky. He made his fried baloney sandwiches in college and even after he got to the NFL with an iron. (I can’t recall if he actually used the iron on clothes as well.) When teammates would have a Gucci or some other brand of bag to take on their road trips, DRC would wear a kids’ backpack featuring Dora the Explorer or Toy Story. Once he wore footie pajamas in the locker room. (OK, it was late in the season, so maybe he just wanted to be warm). He dressed as a baby, complete with giant diaper, once for Halloween. He shaved half his hair during part of one offseason, going with the Two-Face-from-Batman look (at least on top). Sometimes, his toenails were painted. In odd colors.

It’s one thing to be different off the field. But he could be frustrating to coaches. He wasn’t shy about admitting he’d lose focus on the field, one time saying teammate Karlos Dansby came over to headbutt him because Dansby didn’t think DRC was paying attention. And again, when the team didn’t do well, there always seemed to be a parallel with DRC.

Maybe that explained his 2010 falloff, which coincided with the Cards’ slide. DRC was traded for quarterback Kevin Kolb after that season, because that was the price for Kolb, and while I don’t think the Cards really wanted to part with DRC and his talent, his inconsistency was rough on coaches. It doesn’t sound like it changed much during his two years in Philadelphia (where, perhaps not coincidentally, the team did not play well.) He found himself in Denver this year and he’s been an important piece to the Broncos. Oh, and the Broncos won. A lot.

Would DRC really retire? Who knows. Many fans have asked if the Cards would ever re-sign him. I suppose I wouldn’t rule it out — assuming, of course, he’s still playing in 2014. But I guess, if I had to canvas my mind of the players I have covered who would up and walk away from the game, seemingly out of left field, DRC would probably fit the bill.


Posted in Blog | 13 Comments »

13 Responses to “The DRC experience”

  1. By Rugbymuffin on Jan 27, 2014 | Reply

    To each his own……..

    but what a waste of talent in my humble opinion.

    It is a sacrifice of about 10 years for these players. If they work hard they will have enough money to live 5 lifetimes for a upper class citizen ( Over 250k a year, BTW).

    I never understood DRC, and how someone so amazingly gifted could be so complacent.

    He could have been great.

  2. By georgiebird on Jan 27, 2014 | Reply

    DRC is a clown- he would never retire with a big payday staring him in the face. Except for the four horrible AFC teams (Oak, Hou, Jax, Cleve), the Broncos gave up the most points in the AFC. DRC finally found a team that can outscore the opponent and defensive mistakes are covered by Peyton’s passing game.
    I think that Seattle wins the game by 14 points so DRC doesn’t have to retire. It would be nice if DRC learned how to tackle before he retired.

  3. By jay on Jan 27, 2014 | Reply

    DRC is my favorite player of the 2008 cards. Got into peoples faces and backed it up with pick 6’s. Loved the way he would flaunt and celebrate afterwards. Defiantly made it exciting to be a cards fan just like dansby, warner and Fitz. Still upset how we traded him for eggshells in Kevin kolb but would love to see him back with big red if he doesn’t retire.

  4. By LadyBird04 on Jan 27, 2014 | Reply

    Like the little girl with the curl, when he was good he was very, very good but when he was bad – well we all remember.

    I wondered sometimes if he fell asleep or went into a trance on the field. Re: the Bologna sandwiches, once on the Big Red Rage he said he travelled with an iron he used JUST for making sandwiches and didn’t use it on his clothing.

    I got a kick out of him and the “backpack boys” – they were young men with light hearts and seemingly got a kick out of their lives.

    Wish him nothing but the best as he seemed like a good kid. If he’s saved his money and can swing it, if he retires healthy – good for him.

  5. By NJAzCardsFan on Jan 27, 2014 | Reply

    DRC, PP, Jefferson, Tyrann, Powers all in the same defensive backfield would be interesting.
    I wonder how long BA and the other older Cards coaches would put up with DRC’s antics in practice and on the game field…..

  6. By Eazy E on Jan 28, 2014 | Reply

    DRC is a funny guy. I love him!

  7. By Big Ken on Jan 28, 2014 | Reply

    @ Eazy E You mean funny ha ha?

  8. By Fan in Chi Town on Jan 28, 2014 | Reply

    Funny how? Like he’s a clown? He’s here to amuse you?

  9. By Big Ken on Jan 28, 2014 | Reply

    Yeah he made some money, but to bad he couldn’t have thrown some $$ on that funky grill of his. Check out that picture Darren selected for this article. Wow!

  10. By Jesus G. on Jan 28, 2014 | Reply

    He had an iron for clothing and one for the bologna sandwiches. He said it on the big red rage show. -39:42

  11. By Eazy E on Jan 29, 2014 | Reply

    Big Ken-

    Naw not that funny that you laugh at him, it’s that he’s different but I respect him for being him.

  12. By Scott H on Jan 30, 2014 | Reply

    Fan in Chi Town –

    Just wanted to let you know that SOMEBODY got your post and thought it was awesome! LMAO!!!

    Geez, I don’t get DRC…I know we all have our own drum beat that we dance to, but….why would anyone who is clearly capable of playing at a high level in the NFL set a limit of playing for 5 years so he could retire in his physical prime? Why not stick around for awhile, make a whole lotta money doing something that you love and that most people could only dream of doing, then have the rest of your life to do whatever else you want to do??? Strange dude….whatever.

    I will say that among the many reasons I am rooting for the Broncos on Sunday, DRC is NOT one of them. I think he is going to his 2nd SB in the last 5 years w/out really having a whole lot to do with getting either of his teams there. Well, to be fair, he made a contribution to the Cardinals in 2008, had some big plays here and there, including a BEAUTIFUL pass-defended play early in the SB. Probably the play of his career and it sure came at a great time! But the 2013 Broncos??? Please. It would be a shame to see DRC get a ring for simply being on a team that is TOTALLY about Peyton Manning and its offense. Maybe he can dye half his hair orange and the other half blue and at least he’ll match the team colors.

  13. By Fan in Chi Town on Jan 31, 2014 | Reply

    Thank you, Scott H.

    Goodfellas has so many quotable lines.

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