The Reds were embarrassed on Sunday as they were dumped out of the FA Cup 3-2 by third-tier Oldam Athletic at the fourth round stage.
Rodgers gave a number of youngsters the chance to make an impact in the competition, but the boss admits that he was not impressed by his side's display.
"This is a harsh school," said Rodgers. "This isn't a club where a young player can come in and have lots of time to settle, this is one of the biggest clubs in the world, so you need to understand that every game you play is a cup final.
"And [on Sunday] we had one or two that were too soft, simple as that. If you want to have a career at a club like this, you've got to be tougher. It's where the admiration of the likes of a Steven Gerrard and the Jamie Carraghers of this world comes from. You look at Steven [on Sunday] - take away his quality, just his sheer enthusiasm for the game.
"Our young players, they won't have a greater role model to follow, and they're in pole position to learn, because they're seeing him every single day. If they're bright enough, they'll learn from him, and then hopefully they can be here for a long time. If not, they might find themselves playing in League One later on in their life, and they'll regret the opportunity they had of looking at a world-class player every day and learning."
Liverpool travel to Arsenal on Wednesday in the Premier League.