Jets’ receiver Zach Rogers taking on ghosts of No. 15

Zach Rogers birngs and unfamiliar name to a familiar number on the Jets.
Zach Rogers brings an unfamiliar name to a familiar number on the Jets.
Credit: Getty Images

This No. 15, unlike their last one, might actually be given the chance to make an impact for the Jets .

Zach Rogers, an undrafted rookie free agent who is trying to latch on with the Jets, is making a case to get a look at next month’s minicamp and perhaps beyond. Rogers comes to the Jets as an underappreciated wide receiver at Tennessee, where last year he was fourth on the Volunteers in receiving yards. But he’s a solid route runner with very quick feet and even faster hands and he comes to the Jets with a legitimate chance at making the roster.

And he inherits jersey No. 15, the same number worn last year by quarterback Tim Tebow, who was released shortly after the NFL Draft. Tebow, of course, is the much-talked-about and highly scrutinized quarterback who spent an underwhelming season with the Jets in 2012.

“When I got here, that was the number given to me. I literally just walked in and that was the number given to me,” Rogers said following OTAs earlier this week. “I knew it was his number, as I watched him last year, but I just wanted to roll with it.”

Before the NFL Draft, Rogers prepared for his Pro Day at the Volunteers’ facility at D1 Sports Training just outside of Nashville, Tenn. There he was joined in his workouts by none other than Tebow himself.

The Jets’ last No. 15 was throwing passes to the Jets’ current incarnation of that number.

“He was great to work with and a great guy,” Rogers said. “He was always very open with us and willing to give his time and share his thoughts on playing in the league. He was a great guy.”

Rogers was often overlooked in an offense which boasted wide receivers Justin Hunter and Cordarrelle Patterson. During his Pro Day at Tennessee earlier this spring, Rogers was clocked running a 4.49-second time in the 40-yard dash and he has drawn comparisons to Patriots wide receiver Danny Amendola.

He always seems to be in the right spot and he said he worked hard in college on developing quick hands so he can show for the ball and get yards after the catch.

“That’s what I need to do to make a name for myself,” Rogers said. “I’m not big in stature, I’m not the fastest guy out there, but I have to work technique to open up leverage for me.”

Tebow’s time with the Jets was lackluster to say the least. He was used only in the Wildcat offense and on special teams as a personal punt protector. Not one of his eight passes thrown last year was in the conventional offense. He arrived in New York to a press conference with 150 media memebers and a dozen television cameras. He left with questions about his NFL future.

Rogers is hoping his future in the NFL is bright. He earned praise from head coach Rex Ryan two weeks ago during rookie minicamp.

Unlike Tebow, Rogers is hoping to stick around for a while.

“I know Tim made a name for himself here wearing that number and I want to do the same,” Rogers said. “I need to go out there and work hard and show the coaching staff what I can do so that No. 15 is my own.”

Follow Jets beat writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Federal mediator joins Met Opera labor talks as…

Unions representing the orchestra and chorus of the Met Opera agreed to have a federal mediator join labor talks on Thursday as a threatened lockout loomed.

Local

Winning $7 million New York lottery ticket sold…

The only $7 million winning New York Lottery ticket for Monday's Cash4Life drawing was sold at a Queens 7-Eleven, officials said on Tuesday.

Local

Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.

International

Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…

Movies

Review: 'Guardians of the Galaxy' is a refreshingly…

Marvel is sitting so high on a cash mountain that it's now thrown $170 million at the relatively obscure and very silly title "Guardians of the Galaxy."

Movies

Review: 'Get on Up' is a war between…

James Brown finally gets his own boring biopic with "Get on Up," but the Godfather of Soul puts up a good fight against the usual cliches.

Movies

Review: 'Child of God' finds director James Franco…

James Franco's 11th directed feature is a noble but sloppy adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's "Child of God," about a feral mountain man (Scott Haze).

Movies

Review: Alex Gibney's Fela Kuti doc 'Finding Fela'…

Prolific documentarian Alex Gibney takes on Afrobeat god Fela Kuti in "Finding Fela," but fails to capture his unique essence.

MLB

Yankees land Stephen Drew, Martin Prado at trade…

Yankees land Stephen Drew, Martin Prado at trade deadline

College

Playing the Field: Valentine's Day coupling edition

  It’s Valentine’s Day, a day created by Hallmark to make couples spend loads and loads of money on candy, flowers and gourmet dinners. Or…

MLB

Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.

NFL

Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.

Career

What do you wear to a career fair?…

Getting that gig starts with presenting the most polished and memorable version of yourself, so refer to our expert fashion advice.

Style

Editors pick: Margiela's finger armor ring

These cool rings from Maison Martin Margiela are designed to overlap over the finger, covering each joint like armor.

Style

Givenchy champions diversity

Riccardo Tisci's uses a variety of ethnically diverse ladies for his spring campaign including Erykah Badu.

Wellbeing

Don't settle for the hotel fitness center with…

Travelers who want to skip the hotel fitness center in favor of local gyms that may offer better equipment, classes and amenities can turn to…