Rodgers was unhappy with the performances of his youngsters after giving them a chance in Sunday's shock FA Cup defeat at Oldham.
Gerrard was sent on in the second half by Rodgers and the Reds captain almost inspired a fightback at Boundary Park, hitting the crossbar with a fierce strike that would have drawn Liverpool level, but the damage had already been done as they went down 3-2.
Rodgers said: "This is a harsh school. 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.
"Sunday hurt, very much so. But as the manager it gives you even greater motivation to push on. You learn things about players because if we're going to progress we need to make sure we have a group that's hungry in every game.
"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.
"He absolutely flipped the game on its head. It was fantastic but he does that every day of his life, and that's why he's a world-class player.
"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."
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