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Cesaire has new title, familiar role

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Johnny Lightning, Aug 1, 2009.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

    Feb 7, 2006

    Casey Pearce
    Posted 18 minutes ago

    Jacques Cesaire has started 33 games in his seven-year career, but for the first time is entering a season atop the depth chart.

    In a way it’s something new, in a way it’s familiar territory.

    Chargers defensive end Jacques Cesaire has started 33 regular-season games in his NFL career, but this year marks the first time he’s begun a season atop the depth chart.

    So what does it mean to Cesaire?

    “I look at it as it’s just a title and we’re all going to play,” Cesaire said following Saturday morning’s practice. “We’ve got to gear up and get ready for the season. I’m not doing anything differently. I’ve always worked hard and I’m going to continue to prepare at the same level.”

    It was assumed that Cesaire would enter camp in a competition with Ryon Bingham and rookie Vaughn Martin for the position, but at this point it’s Cesaire’s job to lose according to Head Coach Norv Turner.

    “Jacques is the starter at right end,” Turner said. “He’s going to be the starter unless he performs poorly or someone beats him out.”

    As both Turner and Cesaire pointed out, the Chargers will regularly rotate their defensive linemen, particularly when the team goes to its sub packages that they were regularly in last season. While Cesaire started just twice in 2008, he played like a starter and as much as one in many situations.

    “We play a lot of guys,” Turner said. “In the last four weeks of the season, we were in a lot of substitution combinations because of the way people attacked us. Jacques played more snaps – or close to – than the guy who was the starter at that position. I don’t see it as a vacancy. I see it as one of the strengths of our team.”

    Cesaire joined the Chargers as an undrafted rookie free agent in 2003. He’s a favorite in the locker room because of his sense of humor, friendliness and work ethic, and Turner loves the way Cesaire approaches the game.

    “He’s a pro,” Turner said. “He does what he’s asked to do and he knows his responsibility. He does it. He’s strong and quick. He’s a good football player.”

    English arrives

    First-round pick Larry English was at Chargers Park Saturday morning but didn’t participate in the team’s first practice because he was finalizing and signing his rookie contract.

    English agreed to terms Friday night and inked the deal Saturday morning. He will be on the field with his teammates Saturday afternoon.

    Nice preparation

    Throughout the month of July, a handful of Chargers got together with players from around NFL to get ready for training camp. Wide receivers Legedu Naanee, Kassim Osgood and Malcom Floyd joined Rams quarterback Kyle Boller, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, Saints quarterback Drew Brees and Patriots signal caller Kevin O’Connell for throwing sessions.

    “In that dead time, it’s kind of hard to find that kind of caliber player to throw to you and keep that timing and be on the same kind of level that you’re playing at,” Naanee said. “I thought it was really beneficial.”

    The group met twice a week at San Diego’s West Hills High School.

    Supporting the Bolts

    Former Padres pitcher Jake Peavy, who was traded to the White Sox Friday, sported a camouflage hat featuring a gold Chargers Lightning Bolt and a grey Chargers t-shirt when he met with the San Diego media for the final time. The footage was shown on multiple national broadcasts.

    “Every time I’ve seen him he has that hat on,” Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers said.

    Rivers, who like Peavy hails from Alabama, became good friends with the 2007 National League Cy Young Award winner and is a little sad to see Peavy move.

    “I became a Padres fan just from being here, but I was probably more of a Jake Peavy fan,” Rivers said. “I always made sure the game was on when he was pitching.

    “We talked and traded texts back and forth yesterday. I’m sure there are probably pluses and minuses in his mind. We all know how competitive he is. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him out there soon.”

    Crowded backfield

    There figures to be a competitive battle the next few weeks for the right to backup LaDainian Tomlinson and Darren Sproles.

    In the past, the Chargers have typically carried just three tailbacks, meaning nine-year veteran Michael Bennett and fourth-round draft pick Gartrell Johnson will push to make their mark.

    Turner praised Johnson earlier this week for his downhill running style and competitiveness, but he also likes what he’s seen from Bennett.

    “Michael is a good runner,” Turner said. “He was kind of an insurance policy for us last year and he’s been impressive in the two practices. He’s always been a very fast guy but I think the offseason work, the strength and conditioning stuff, has helped him.”

  2. Sydalish

    Sydalish Addicted to Sports

    Nov 11, 2007
    So glad to see Jacques getting a chance to shine - I didn't realize he'd already been here 7 years!

    The cuts made this offseason are going to make me sad no matter what... we have so many talented guys here and not enough spots for everyone :( Just look at the RB/FB situation... LT, Sproles are locks - Hester, Gartell, Bennett, Tolbert and i think another one or two UFA's... I'm a big Tolbert fan btu I think he'll be lucky to land on the practice squad :eek:/
    • Like Like x 1
  3. ETicket

    ETicket Well-Known Member

    Oct 24, 2006
    Me too. He is a great guy and is well liked on and off the field. He would be a starter on many a team, so I think we'll be fine until Martin is ready. :tup:
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