Unedited version filed for print . . .
Rather than look far and wide to solve a problem at cornerback, the Raiders hope to have found the answer by crossing the county line and signing 49ers free agents Tarell Brown and Carlos Rogers.
The revolving door of veteran corners started in 2012 with Ron Bartell and Shawntae Spencer, neither of whom could stay healthy. Spencer went on injured reserve and Bartell was released before the season was over.
Last season it was Mike Jenkins and Tracy Porter, with the Raiders determining at the end of the season that neither merited a serious contract offer.
Brown and Rogers represent a third chance to get it right, and likely will go into training camp as the projected starters _ just as they were for the last three seasons on a 49ers team that went 36-11-1 and went to the NFC championship game each year, winning one.
Rogers, who sat out his second straight minicamp practice with a minor calf injury, said the 49ers team he joined in 2011 as a free agent was in a similar place to where the Raiders are now.
The 49ers had gone eight years without a winning season before Jim Harbaugh and his staff arrived. Rogers was one of several veterans brought in to go along with some good young players drafted in previous years.
“Before I got there, they weren’t good,’’ Rogers said. “They always had a top 10 pick, were sorry, and the division wasn’t really good, period.’’
Brown, who played under Mike Nolan and Mike Singletary on teams that went 5-11, 7-9, 8-8 and 6-10, can see a parallel.
“My first few years we weren’t as successful, but he attention to detail changed, the mindset changed and the attitude changed and you can see that here,’’ Brown said. “On days like this at practice, the attention to detail is amazing and guys have been putting in extra work. You see guys standing afterward and asking lots of questions. That’s how we started with the 49ers.’’
Brown, who felt slighted by the 49ers initial contract offer and signed with the Raiders for one year and $4.5 million, is entrenched as one starter.
Rogers was brought in to play in the slot and will on third downs, but could end up playing fulltime if second-year player DJ Hayden can’t stay healthy long enough to develop into the player the Raiders thought he’d be when he was taken in the first round in 2013.
One advantage the veterans have over their predecessors at cornerback is they are already familiar with each other as well as similarities in a defensive scheme that has seen coordinator Jason Tarver borrow heavily from the 49ers.
Tarver was a 49ers assistant when Brown was there but departed for Stanford when Rogers arrived. He said both players have already identified familiar plays called by different names.
“The biggest thing with those two guys is they want to be right,’’ Tarver said. “They want to win, they understand how to win, and they’ve won.’’
Brown said there’s a comfort level from having Rogers on the same team on the opposite side of the bay.
“We understand each other,’’ Brown said. “We understand what we like, we understand our body language, how to play together and how to win games.’’
Rogers feels like a handful of his teammates in that at age 32 he feels he’s got plenty of football left.
“You can be playing good, but you get to a certain age and it’s not about how you’re playing,’’ Rogers said. “If you’re making too much money at age 30, they’re ready to push you out and get somebody younger. It happened with (Tarell) and he’s younger than me.
“We’ve got guys, whether we were pushed out because of cap room or age, we’ve got something to prove. We still think we can play _ actually, we know we can still play. Things are happening. Me and `T,’ we’re on the on the other side of the bay and we’re going to make a change.’’
– Weak side linebacker Miles Burris got into a scuffle with left tackle Donald Penn, with teammates breaking it up.
– Wide receiver James Jones missed practice with an AC sprain and also won’t practice in Thursday’s final minicamp session.
– Former Raiders on hand at practice included Clem Daniels, Howie Williams, Proverb Jacobs, Jerry Porter and Isaiah Ekejiuba.
– Offensive tackle Emmett Cleary was claimed off waivers from Tampa Bay and wide receiver David Gilreath was waived.