Jacquizz & James Rodgers have thick football bond

073012 FLOWERY BRANCH: Falcons rookie wide receiver James Rodgers (left) shares a laugh with his brother Jacquizz Rodgers, a second year running back, at the end of team practice in Flowery Branch on Monday, July 30, 2012. The Rodgers brothers both played for Oregon State before joining the Atlanta Falcons. CURTIS COMPTON / CCOMPTON@AJC.COM

073012 FLOWERY BRANCH: Falcons rookie wide receiver James Rodgers (left) shares a laugh with his brother Jacquizz Rodgers, a second year running back, at the end of team practice in Flowery Branch on Monday, July 30, 2012. The Rodgers brothers both played for Oregon State before joining the Atlanta Falcons. CURTIS COMPTON / CCOMPTON@AJC.COM

FLOWERY BRANCH — When Jacquizz Rodgers started playing football, he struck fear in the hearts of quarterbacks.

“I was a defensive end in Pop Warner,” Rodgers said. “In Pop Warner, it was 10-man rush.”

But did he get after the quarterback?

“Always, always,” Rodgers said. “But later, I was mainly a running back.”

Playing with the Lamar Hornets, he was on the same team with his older brother James, the team’s tight end.

“He was actually playing defensive end and that was kind of weird,” James said. “I guess the positions that we were in at that time was something that is pretty memorable. Quizz is definitely not a defensive end.”

The two brothers, born just under 14 months apart and now stand 5-foot-6 (Jacquizz) and 5-7 (James), would go on to play together for the Lamar Consolidated High School Mustangs in Richmond, Texas, and then at Oregon State. Now, they are both in training camp and trying to make it with the Falcons.

Jacquizz, a running back, was drafted last season and James, a wide receiver, was signed as a free agent.

They hope to join such other brother duos like Boss and Champ Bailey, the former University of Georgia standouts who played together with the Denver Broncos in 2008.

073012 FLOWERY BRANCH: Falcons rookie wide receiver James Rodgers (left) has joined his brother Jacquizz Rodgers, a second year running back on the team, in Flowery Branch on Monday, July 30, 2012. The Rodgers both played for Oregon State before joining the Atlanta Falcons. CURTIS COMPTON / CCOMPTON@AJC.COM

073012 FLOWERY BRANCH: Falcons rookie wide receiver James Rodgers (left) has joined his brother Jacquizz Rodgers, a second year running back on the team, in Flowery Branch on Monday, July 30, 2012. The Rodgers both played for Oregon State before joining the Atlanta Falcons. CURTIS COMPTON / CCOMPTON@AJC.COM

They were raised by the mother, Tasha Williams, and their uncle Rodney Williams played a pivotal role in their upbringing. Their father, James Rodgers, went to jail when they were in the seventh and eighth grade. He was released in June.

“He helped us out a lot, leading us down the right path,” James said of his uncle. “He had us doing a lot of things to stay focused on sports and not getting into anything outside of that.”

Without their father around, the bond between the brothers grew stronger.

“That’s a part of us growing up a little faster and looking out for each other,” James said. “He was released last month, or little over a month ago. Some time in June.”

They are in contact with their father, who lives in the Houston area.

With the Falcons, the roles for the Rodgers brothers have been reversed. Normally, as the older sibling, James would show Jacquizz the ropes. But, with a NFL year under his belt, Jacquizz is playing the adviser role for James.

“I can give him a little advice about how things work around here,” Jacquizz said. “We talk mainly, about being a professional and how things work. I have to let him know what the coaches expect from you on this level and things like that. It’s different than college.”

In college, James arrived at Oregon State first in 2007. He would go on to set several career receiving and total-yardage records. Jacquizz followed him the next season and went on to set several marks of his own.

Jacquizz elected to forgo his final season of eligibility and enter the draft after the 2011 season.

Last season, Jacquizz didn’t receive his playbook until the lockout was over and he could report to camp. He went on to have a solid rookie season.

He rushed 57 times for 205 yards and a touchdown and caught 21 passes for 188 yards and a touchdown.

With a full offseason of organized team activities and a minicamp, Rodgers said this training camp has a different feel to it.

“I can anticipate everything,” he said. “Last year was just a blur. You never knew when you were going to be back in football. I always stayed ready. I just had to stay in shape and be prepared for the season.”

The Falcons’ coaching staff hopes that with a year under his belt, Rodgers — with running back Jason Snelling — can help lift some of the rushing load off Michael Turner’s broad shoulders.

“Everybody has to find their identity on the team and their role,” Rodgers said. “That’s what I’m aiming to do, is find a role on the team and just go with that role; if it’s getting two carries or if it’s getting 10. I want to take advantage of it.”

James, who set a school record with 222 career receptions, including 91 in 2009, has been a quick learner.

“He was just telling me how fast-paced everything was and how you got to get up to speed and go out there and compete with everyone,” James said.

At Oregon State, James set the school mark with 6,377 all-purpose yards and was the first player in OSU history with 1,000 yards rushing and 2,000 yards receiving. He was one of the nation’s top return men, averaging 24.7 yards per kickoff return and 13.7 on punt returns over his career.

With Eric Weems now playing for the Chicago Bears, the Falcons have an opening at kickoff and punt returner.

“I think the main thing, especially for a guy my size, is being able to play on special teams,” James said. “I just want to make the best of any opportunity that I get on special teams and show everyone what I have.”

Instead of playing defensive end and tight end, maybe the Rodgers brothers can help the Falcons at running back and wide receiver.

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–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog

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57 comments Add your comment

DR. FALCON

August 3rd, 2012
12:00 am

GOOD THINGS COME IN SMALL PACKAGES! GO RODGERS’ BROTHERS!

D. Orlando Ledbetter

August 3rd, 2012
12:19 am

DR. FALCON – Thanks for stopping by!

Gell

August 3rd, 2012
12:33 am

Great piece DOL…Love watching Quizz cut it up this year as a change of pace

Rick (the other Rick)

August 3rd, 2012
12:34 am

Oooweee! So glad to have these two on the team! Go birds!

Michael M.

August 3rd, 2012
6:25 am

D-Led……………………….you sure have done a heck of a job on reporting all this the past few weeks on the Sports Page Blog here. I saw that video of Asante Samuel over on youtube talking about they was going to take no s*** this season on the defensive side of the ball, they guy is a card huh ?

James Rodgers is going to turn some heads and make some noise this year too, in fact this whole Team is actually looking better by the week and maybe that chemistry is finally taking shape to go to the next level.

Rick

August 3rd, 2012
7:28 am

Great story line……I really hope to see James out there on Sundays…..

SeenThis B4

August 3rd, 2012
7:38 am

These guys together could really give us trouble in the NFC South.

Terrernce X

August 3rd, 2012
7:52 am

Leadbetter, you’re no Terrence Moore

Sun Tzu 7

August 3rd, 2012
8:29 am

It would be nice if both brothers could make the team but there’s going to be some intense competitiion for that last WR spot or spots and it sounds like the staff really likes 2 of the other WRs.

Pre-season should be interesting. If James wants to make the active roster he’s going to need to show something in the pre-season games.

Oh and Dled if both brothers make the team you might want to go with “James said” or “Jaquizz said.” “Rogers said” can be a little confusing when both guys in the story have the same last name.

;)

Vote justice Roberts out of the supreme court in Noveber

August 3rd, 2012
8:36 am

Enter your comments here

Vote justice Roberts out of the supreme court in Noveber

August 3rd, 2012
8:36 am

I think they are 2 small for the NFL

Mikefalcon63

August 3rd, 2012
8:48 am

I really want James Rodgers to make it, but that would probably mean we are carrying 6 receivers, which I am not a huge fan of, assuming White, Jones, Douglas, Meier, and Cone make the team.

don

August 3rd, 2012
8:55 am

Ever heard of Walter Payton Yor Honor?

Cejay

August 3rd, 2012
8:58 am

Hey Seen, did you finally get that perscription of smart pills filled ????

D. Orlando Ledbetter

August 3rd, 2012
9:19 am

Terrence X — Thanks! There’s only one D. Orlando!

D. Orlando Ledbetter

August 3rd, 2012
9:20 am

Rick — Thanks. I wouldn’t count either of them out.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

August 3rd, 2012
9:25 am

Michael M. — THANKS FOR YOUR KIND WORDS. Having Chris Vivlamore is MAJOR HELP and shot in the arm for our coverage. Now, we just have to get the layout guy to quit putting all of the stories on the bottom of the page. Who gives a hoot about the Olympics.? It’s football season. Yeah, Asante is a piece of work. Going to have some fun with him this year. Yeah, I focused on the steep decline thing and didn’t the take no sh***t quote in the paper.
I not counting James Rodgers out of the competition at all! Those tough little dudes have a way of sticking around.

SeenThis B4

August 3rd, 2012
9:27 am

Jacquizz: Hey Jim, coach wants to see ya man….bring your playbook.

Cejay

August 3rd, 2012
9:28 am

DLed….. I’m impressed !

SeenThis B4

August 3rd, 2012
9:42 am

…..because the playbook is now on the iPad

I usually just read but....

August 3rd, 2012
9:49 am

Hopefully we have Weems replacmement.

BK

August 3rd, 2012
10:42 am

GO DIRTY BIRDS !! ATL IN THE HOUSE

BK

August 3rd, 2012
12:52 pm

I’M A ROGERS FAN HE IS QUICK,FAST,AND TUFF GUY..JUST NEED TO USE HIM AND COME WITH SOME REALLY GOOD SCREEN PLAYS,THATS WERE HE WOULD SHINE..

cdog

August 3rd, 2012
12:57 pm

rodgers will replace michael turner at rb unless turner comes in serious about winning a championship, be and stay in shape for the whole season. he gets too fat as the season goes on which tells me he is lazy plus coaches baby him

WooYeah

August 3rd, 2012
2:34 pm

@DLed – Thanks for the increase in Falcons coverage. Please keep the articles coming.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

August 3rd, 2012
3:18 pm

WooYeah – Thanks. Glad you noticed.

SirReal

August 3rd, 2012
5:05 pm

D Led. I know you love your job…..but I foresee you following Wyche’s path. It’d be fun to see your different bow ties on the NFL Network as a correspondent! :) Thanks for the shout outs you always give and yes Chris did a great job for ya. I hope his bro can stick around on special teams…..maybe too small for WR in our system but who knows how those two could produce with a special package. I’m pulling for him. I like the Mighty Mouse/Pocket Hercules players of the league.lol

Statues R' Us

August 3rd, 2012
9:07 pm

1-800-statues.com

Day OneFan

August 3rd, 2012
10:07 pm

I hope James dose make the team. I got him to sign my football at friday night lights tonight. He also impressed on the field.

The Burner Turner

August 4th, 2012
11:30 am

cdog

August 3rd, 2012
12:57 pm
rodgers will replace michael turner at rb unless turner comes in serious about winning a championship, be and stay in shape for the whole season. he gets too fat as the season goes on which tells me he is lazy plus coaches baby him
…………………………………………………….

thats the dumbest comment I have ever read on here.

Cheesburger, cheeseburger, double cheeseburger, pepsi, pepsi, triple cheesburger

Falcon James

August 4th, 2012
1:30 pm

I have never seen James play, but his stats look good. Quizz make his mark last season. I look forward to seeing him play this year now that he has that year under his belt. I would say, as a whole, the Falcons are strong. I bet we see James as a return man this year.

[...] Jacquizz and James Rodgers have a thick football bond  [...]

Brayden Felan

August 5th, 2012
3:08 am

Nice blog keep writing!

[...] Jacquizz and James Rodgers have a thick football bond [...]

Whiznot

August 5th, 2012
6:24 pm

Jacquizz cannot play pro ball. Cut him now.

[...] Jacquizz and James Rodgers have a thick football bond [...]

[...] Jacquizz and James Rodgers have a thick football bond [...]

[...] Jacquizz and James Rodgers have a thick football bond [...]

[...] Jacquizz and James Rodgers have a thick football bond [...]

[...] Jacquizz and James Rodgers have a thick football bond [...]

Grimey

August 6th, 2012
5:37 pm

Hope James Rodgers makes the team

[...] Jacquizz and James Rodgers have a thick football bond [...]

[...] Jacquizz and James Rodgers have a thick football bond [...]

[...] Jacquizz and James Rodgers have a thick football bond [...]

[...] Jacquizz and James Rodgers have a thick football bond [...]

[...] Jacquizz and James Rodgers have a thick football bond [...]

[...] Jacquizz and James Rodgers have a thick football bond [...]

[...] Jacquizz and James Rodgers have a thick football bond [...]

[...] Jacquizz and James Rodgers have a thick football bond [...]

[...] Jacquizz and James Rodgers have a thick football bond [...]