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CHARGERS: Secondary making pass defense its primary goal

Discussion in 'American Football' started by Johnny Lightning, Aug 4, 2010.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

    Feb 7, 2006

    Veterans, newcomers prepared to bolster defensive backfield

    By SCOTT BAIR - nctimes.com | Posted: August 4, 2010

    SAN DIEGO -- Malcom Floyd has a knack for securing the uncatchable, which is why Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers threw a high lob to Floyd in the corner of the end zone during Tuesday afternoon's practice.
    While it has worked countless times, this play never stood a chance. Cornerback Quentin Jammer smothered Floyd from the snap, and got a hand up as the ball came down. Safety Eric Weddle read the play, swooped in and helped break up the pass.
    It was a perfect combination of coverage, reads and athleticism, and showed how the Chargers hope to defend the pass this season.
    "I'm excited about what our secondary is doing," Chargers coach Norv Turner said. "The combination of confidence, experience and a firm understanding of our scheme really helps them play aggressive and gives them a greater opportunity to go out and make big plays."
    A unit ranked No. 11 in pass defense last season believes it can move into the top five, with a significant number of takeaways to go with it.
    The optimism comes from fresh blood and open lines of communication. The Chargers brought in Nathan Vasher for depth, Donald Strickland to play nickel back and draft pick Darrell Stuckey to take over at strong safety. The team expects big things from Weddle, Jammer and Antoine Cason, promoted after Antonio Cromartie was traded to the New York Jets.
    "The guys we brought in are veteran guys who have been around the block, and mixed them in with the playmakers we already had," Jammer said. "In terms of experience and raw talent, we're a lot better."
    They've placed an emphasis on technique, consistency and improved communication. So far, it's worked. Defensive backs have been ball hawks in training camp, and are playing with confidence in themselves and one another.
    "We've really taken our communication and cohesiveness to the next level," Weddle said. "There's a lot of effort put into film study and walk-throughs and the meetings we have. There's an open dialogue and I feel that everyone has a better understanding of the defense and their role in it.
    "The secondary typically relies on safeties to make reads and relay that information to others, but now the corners are at the same level. The more we practice together, the better we're going to get. The better we communicate, the better off we'll be as unit."
    The secondary will carry on without Cromartie, a player known for making big plays one minute and costly ones the next. He also had off-field issues that Cason -- who is also believed to be a more complete corner -- doesn't have.
    "Everybody wants to make it seem like (trading Cromartie) is addition by subtraction, but we lost a great player," Jammer said. "We gained two great players in the offseason. This group will have its own identity and we'll be good at what we do."
    The secondary's new identity will be formed by Jammer and Weddle. Jammer isn't flashy, but he's considered among the most consistent cover corners in the league. Weddle is a big hitter who is confident in his reads.
    The secondary must find the proper combination of both playing styles to be successful.
    "We're expecting career years from most everyone in the secondary," Weddle said. "We have a great mix of experience and athleticism and energy. This is a chance for us to take it to the next level as a unit."

  2. MasterOfPuppets

    MasterOfPuppets Charger fan since 1979

    Aug 8, 2006
    good, because I wouldn't want the secondary to make the running game it's primary goal :icon_huh: :icon_tease:

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