Kacy Rodgers

Being son of a D co-ordinator helping Kacy Rodgers II settle into unfamiliar territory of Eskimos camp

SPRUCE GROVE — He’s only been here for a couple days now, but Kacy Rodgers feels right at home with the Edmonton Eskimos.

The newest addition to training camp is actually Kacy Rodgers, the Second, considering he shares the same name as his father, who just so happens to be the New York Jets defensive co-ordinator.

So, it isn’t that much of a stretch to growing up with a defensive co-ordinator type of father to coming to the CFL and playing for a head coach who’s also one.

“We come from a football family so I remember being very young and my dad playing,” said the junior Rodgers, whose dad served a stint with the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1992 — the year he was born — before playing in the CFL for one season with the Shreveport Pirates in ‘94. “I’ve been a coach’s kid my entire life, so it’s second nature at this point.”

His football-oriented upbringing has proved every bit as advantageous as having a father with connections in the biz, but Eskimos head coach Chris Jones said the six-foot-two, 208-pound product of the Miami Hurricanes program has earned his own right to be here.

“Kacy is a guy we’ve been tracking for quite some time,” said Jones, who also co-ordinates Edmonton’s defence. “(Eskimos offensive co-ordinator) Steve McAdoo is good friends with his dad and his dad knows myself and (Eskimos director of player personnel) Paul Jones.

“He’s a D co-ordinator in the League for one of the NFL teams, so Kacy’s a kid we’ve known for quite some time. He’s very athletic and really a guy who’s searching for a position. Athletically, he’s as gifted as anybody out here.”

Rodgers will need every advantage he can get after turning up to a training camp that was already four days in.

“It’s been a few months since I’ve played football,” said Rodgers, who graduated in 2013 and spent the past year working out for different teams. “I’m learning from these vets and it’s just great to be out here showcasing my skills.

“I’m just fighting for a starting position or a position on this team at all. They’ve got a lot of good players, I’m coming in here trying to do what I can and show the team what I have to offer.”

The senior Rodgers spent the past seven years coaching the defensive line of the Miami Dolphins before earning the first co-ordinator position in his 22-year coaching career.

“When I got up here, he was asking different kinds of questions because it’s kind of new for him too, being in his position,” Rodgers said. “How do we do things, and blah-blah-blah? But his main focus was to tell me good luck, go out there and make the team.

“He’s proud of me, so that means a lot.”

Of course, the life of a coach’s kid isn’t always easy, especially when it comes to the level of expectations placed on him.

“It kind of is (high), I’m just so used to it now,” Rodgers said. “Being a coach’s kid, they probably expect you to have not as many mental errors and just be a good pro.

“I’ve learned that from my dad, so I’ve got a good handle on it so far.”

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Two More NFL proCanes Sign As Free Agents

David Gilbert and Luther Robinson – signed NFL contracts Monday.

Gilbert signed a contract with the Tennessee Titans where he will play outside linebacker, which is moving to a “hybrid” 3-4 defense. Gilbert had tried out for the Titans last week, as did AJ Highsmith who was not signed.

Luther Robinson signed a rookie deal with the Green Bay Packers, where he is listed as a defensive end.

Here is the full list of NFL proCane Rookies and where they have signed.

RG Brandon Linder: drafted 3rd round, 93rd overall by Jacksonville
P Pat O’Donnell: drafted 6th round, 191st overall by Chicago
OT Seantrel Henderson: drafted 7th round, 237th overall by Buffalo
QB Stephen Morris: signed with Jacksonville
WR Allen Hurns: signed with Jacksonville
Basketball player Erik Swoope: signed with Indianapolis to play TE
TE Asante Cleveland: signed with San Francisco
OG/C Jared Wheeler: signed with Carolina
FB Maurice Hagens: signed with Atlanta
DT Justin Renfrow: signed with Arizona
LB Jimmy Gaines: signed with Buffalo
S A.J. Highsmith: had Tennessee tryout, but was not signed, will workout with San Francisco
S Kacy Rodgers II: will try out with Kansas City this weekend
LB Tyrone Cornelius: will try out with Washington this weekend
DT Curtis Porter: signed with Oakland
DE Shayon Green: signed with Miami

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3 NFL proCanes Drafted, 11 Sign Free Agent Contracts

Three NFL proCanes were drafted this past weekend during the NFL Draft, while 11 other proCanes signed Free Agent Contracts.

3rd Round, 93rd pick overall: Brandon Linder, Jacksonville Jaguars.
6th Round, 191st pick overall: Pat O’Donnell, Chicago Bears
7th Round, 237th pick overall: Seantrel Henderson, Buffalo Bills

Free Agent Signings:

Stephen Morris, Jacksonville Jaguars
Allen Hurns, Jacksonville Jaguars
Maurice Hagens, Atlanta Falcons
Jared Wheeler, Carolina Panthers
Justin Renfrow, Arizona Cardinals
Shayon Green, Miami Dolphins
Jimmy Gaines, Buffalo Bills
AJ Highsmith, San Francisco 49ers
Curtis Porter, Oakland Raiders
Asante Cleveland, San Francisco 49ers
Erik Swoope, Indianapolis Colts

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