Eli Rogers: 'This was home for me'

Reunited with the Steelers, Rogers says the team will have the best receiving corps in the league.

Shelby Cassesse
July 26, 2018 - 1:57 pm
Eli Rogers returns to camp with the Steelers.

LATROBE (93.7 The Fan) - A day after signing a one-year contract with the Steelers, wide receiver Eli Rogers said he never lost contact with the team after becoming a free agent in the spring. 

The Steelers decided not to offer Rogers a new contract after he tore his ACL in his right knee during the loss to Jacksonville in the playoffs. After visiting with the Kansas City Chiefs and Cleveland Browns, Rogers landed back in Pittsburgh and will begin the season on the physically-unable-to-perform list, although he says his knee feels great.  

"I let God guide me, and stayed in contact with these guys out here, Coach Tomlin and stayed in contact with Ben [Roethlisberger] throughout the process," Rogers said. "He did a great job of leading me and giving me his insight on this space of life, and I just ultimately came back here and felt like this was the fit. This was home for me."

Rogers returns to a group of receivers missing only Martavis Bryant from last season, but Rogers has lofty ambitions for what he calls the best receiving corps in the league even without Bryant.

"He obviously is a great deep threat, but our mentality is the next guy up," he said. "Like I said, I feel like we'll have the best receiving corps this year. Everybody could play every position. We'll make it happen."

In 2017, Rogers caught 18 passes for 149 yards and one touchdown, a significant decrease from his 2016 campaign where he made 48 receptions for 594 yards and three touchdowns. The decrease in numbers stemmed from an increase in competition among the Steelers receivers with the arrival of Juju Smith-Schuster and the return of Bryant following his suspension. This season, second round draft pick and wide receiver James Washington could add more competition to the Steelers depth chart.

Rogers says he is not worried about what the others are doing, especially considering he is still in the team's injury rehabilitation program. 

"There's always competition out here, but I'm never trying to prove anything to anybody outside of myself," he said. "Obviously, the coaches have faith in me. They trust me to a degree, and I'm just out here ready to prove to myself that I can do it."