UPDATE -- Bay Area News Group's Cam Inman spoke to Rogers, who upon hearing the inspiration of Cruz's salsa dance (see below) said it "definitely" changes his plans to mime the dance should he get the opportunity Sunday.
Giants receiver Victor Cruz today explained why he was so steamed after Carlos Rogers mimed his patented salsa-dance routine in last year's regular-season matchup between the 49ers and Giants.
"It's just something that I do for my grandmother," the wideout said. "It's something that's sacred to me, it's something that's due to her passing. Before she passed away, it was something dear to me. Why I do it is for her because she told me she loved it so much, and she taught me how to do it and all of that put together. Knowing that, it's just a little slap in the face."
Rogers said Tuesday that he had the highest respect for Cruz and admitted that he liked the salsa dance, which Cruz does after he scores touchdowns. But Rogers also said he'd probably do his own rendition if he makes a play against Cruz on Sunday.
"I obviously won't be ok with that," Cruz said, "but it is what it is. He's going to choose what he wants to do. But it is what it is - I'm not going to try to retaliate or go crazy. That's not me. But it obviously won't sit well with me, as I've stated in the past."
Cruz said Rogers is the only cornerback in the league he has "friendly, competitive games against." By the end of the season, Rogers also was one of the few cornerbacks who would play Cruz one-on-one.
He said that happened at the beginning of the 2011 season. But as his reception count grew, defenses began to play more zone coverage against him. That's also what the 49ers did in the second half of the championship game after Cruz, with Rogers covering him one on one, caught eight passes for 125 yards in the first half alone.
Asked what he expected from the 49ers this week, Cruz said: "I expect the same thing I got last year - a lot of Carlos Rogers."
Cruz ranks fourth in the NFL in receptions (37) and is tied for the lead league with Green Bay's James Jones with five touchdown catches.
That amounts to a lot of salsa dancing.
-- Matt Barrows