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Chargers' Jammer turns the corner

Discussion in 'American Football' started by Johnny Lightning, Sep 12, 2009.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

    Feb 7, 2006

    Seen as one of NFL's most consistent CBs

    By Kevin Acee
    Union-Tribune Staff Writer
    2:00 a.m. September 12, 2009

    Into the water off the tee, into the weeds and then into the weeds again, three shots from the fairway, sink a long putt, walk off the green and record a “5.”

    A Quentin Jammer par.

    He's not cheating; he's being a cornerback.

    “Amnesia, even on the golf course,” Chargers safety Steve Gregory, a frequent playing partner of Jammer's, will say later, with a knowing laugh. “That's why he has pars every hole. He's got an unlimited number of mulligans in his bag. He just has a good time out there. He doesn't really care. He hits a bad shot, it doesn't bother him.”

    This occurs to you, too, as you play a round with Jammer at his new club this summer. He's been telling you for years that a cornerback's best trait is a short memory.

    Don't be upset, golf purists, especially if you also happen to be a Chargers fan. This is what makes Jammer who he is.

    Forgetting a bad play on the field. Forgetting a bad shot on the course. Doing it all with a shrug and a smile.

    Look, it shouldn't shock you when Jammer looks up from the Fairbanks Ranch rough at one point and says, “Never had a lesson.”

    And there it is, golf as a metaphor for life yet again.

    Jammer took up the game a few years ago, joining The Crosby in Rancho Santa Fe, where he has a home. (That course is closed on Tuesday, the NFL's in-season off day, so Alicia Jammer made sure Fairbanks was open Tuesdays when she got him the membership there for his most recent birthday.)

    He takes pride in being self-taught. And no one who knows him and his journey from a small Texas town to All-American at the University of Texas, to first-round pick who endured years of scorn from fans, to one of the NFL's most consistent cornerbacks, should be surprised.

    Penalized too often and picking off passes too seldom his first three-plus seasons in the NFL, Jammer was never the bust that many fans so loudly proclaimed. But he did need to make some changes to cut down on the fouls: to get in better position, look back at the ball and also tone down the trait that otherwise serves him so well — being physical.

    Jammer was steadfast and stubborn. He would say he didn't need to change, and then he just did.

    Jammer was called for a league-high 12 pass-interference and illegal-contact penalties in 2004; he was called for a total of four last season and three the year before. Meanwhile, from 2005 through last season, only Asante Samuel had more passes defended than Jammer's 66.

    “Just playing smarter,” Jammer said recently. “It seemed like one day I got confidence. Things started falling into place. It got easier and easier. I'm not saying this game is easy, but the game has gotten a lot slower.”

    While he acknowledges the guidance of coaches in his improvement, nothing was changed until Jammer changed it.

    “No one else could tell me the way to do it,” he said.

    Now, even as he's enjoying a two-year run of being acknowledged as one of the league's most consistent at his craft, Jammer is contemplating a change of vocation.

    Jammer figures he will be moved to safety by the time he's in the final year of his contract, in 2012. He hopes that buys him some more time with the Chargers, as he'd like to play through about 2015.

    “The more I can do, the longer the Chargers will keep me here,” he said, noting that safety is where many corners matriculate before leaving the field altogether.

    It's where many thought Jammer was more suited, though those cries have been almost nonexistent the past few seasons.

    While coaches say a move is not even being contemplated, and Jammer says he'll remain a corner as long as possible, he has already begun studying what safeties do while watching film and listening in meetings.
    “It's inevitable,” he said. “I know it's going to happen.”

    Jammer called safety his natural position and likes the cerebral requirements.

    “Safety is mentally tough,” he said.

    On the field, Jammer has shown safetylike qualities with his tackles and intuition. A safety needs a grasp, too, of what the other players are doing on the field and to offer his input and assistance.

    On the golf course, Jammer certainly shows that ability.

    Throughout a round, he reminds a playing partner of all the hazards.

    “You're hitting into the wind,” he reminds.

    “Watch the water,” he says.

    “There's some sand,” he points out.

    And he's got a few years to hone both games.
  2. LFEpooh124

    LFEpooh124 BoltTalker

    Dec 4, 2006
    If only he had better hands though. (And yes, I know if he had better hands, he'd be a wide receiver.)

    I just wish it'd be somewhere between his current abilities and that of a wide receiver. The man would make the pro-bowl, year in and year out.

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