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Inside Slant

Discussion in 'Latest Chargers News & Headlines' started by robdog, Aug 14, 2006.

  1. robdog

    robdog Code Monkey Staff Member Administrator

    Jun 29, 2009
    Source: <a target="_blank" href="http://www.usatoday.com/sports/football/nfl/chargers/home.htm">USA Today</a>

    Cornerback Quentin Jammer is usually the lightning rod for criticism regarding the Chargers' shoddy pass defense. Critics point to him having but six interceptions in a five-year career, and but two in his past 36 games.

    But the Chargers think otherwise and they proved it by extending his contract through the 2011 season. The deal includes some $13.5 million in bonuses and could be worth an estimated $30 million.

    "The bottom line is we just think he's a terrific player that has been getting better each year," general manager A.J. Smith said.

    Much of the criticism directed at Jammer stems from the fact that he was a fifth overall pick of the 2002 draft. By comparison - fair or otherwise - running back LaDainian Tomlinson was the fifth overall pick of the 2003 pick.

    Jammer has been far from one the league's best at his position.

    "I have fans, and I have critics, and I listen to both," Jammer said. "I try to correct some of the mistakes that the critics have about me. It's not really about the fans; it's about the organization and their faith in me to be what they drafted me to be.

    "I'm appreciative to the organization for feeling that I was a big part of this team. I've felt like for the past few years I've been getting close and closer to becoming that shutdown Pro Bowl cornerback."

    Now, if he could just snag a few picks.

    "Interceptions are great, but the thing I pride myself on is not letting my man catch the ball," Jammer said. "If you can keep the receiver from catching the ball, you've pretty much done your job. Picks look good, They get you in the Pro Bowl and everything.

    "But shutting down receivers gets you wins, and that's all I'm concerned with. Wins get you championships."

    If the Chargers are to ever reach that goal, they need to beef up their pass defense. While there is no doubting its run defense - lead the league last year - the backend has yet to show the promise Smith has been promising since taking over in 2003.

    Smith is confident Jammer's improvement - he set career highs in tackles (72) and pass defensed (19).

    "I would love (Jammer) to have eight or nine picks a year," Smith said. "But in saying that, I think he'll get better over time. But to build a championship football team, we need good football players, and we as an orgainzationhave identified him as one."

    CAMP CALENDAR: Aug. 22 - Night practice at Chargers Park; Aug. 25 - Camp ends


    -The Chargers prevailed in QB Philip Rivers' first start, 17-3 over the Green Bay Packers. Rivers was 15-for-21 for 169 yards and touchdown. "It felt good to get back out there," Rivers said. "I think we will certainly look at the tape and find some mistakes." Coach Marty Schottenheimer described Rivers' play as "excellent." Rivers played most of the first half.

    -WR Vincent Jackson had a nice scoring catch Saturday night. Jackson could be a factor in the passing game after a spotty rookie year that showed but three catches. Injuries derailed his first season.

    -Former Chargers great Junior Seau is retiring. He was selected to 12 Pro Bowls when in San Diego before finishing his career in Miami.

    -Schottenheimer raised some eyebrows when speculating that Pro Bowl RB LaDainian Tomlinson would see extended field time in Saturday's exhibition season opener. "I told him he could probably expect to play a half," Schottenheimer said. "And he said, 'Anything you want, coach' - and of course I was only kidding. (Maybe) half of the pre-game warm-ups."

    Tomlinson has but 12 carries in meaningless games before Saturday; he didn't have any rushes on Saturday.

    -Pro Bowl fullback Lorenzo Neal was also rested to avoid injury.

    -CB Antonio Cromartie, the Chargers' top pick, snagged an interception late in Saturday's win.

    -The Chargers are still shopping ILB Donnie Edwards.

    -The Chargers held their walk-through for Saturday's game aboard the USS Ronald Reagan, which is at port in San Diego Bay.

    -The team signed veteran OL Cory Withrow, who started seven games at center for the Vikings last year, and waived guard Jason Murphy.

    QUOTE TO NOTE: "You just want to keep them honest, because he's always been able to punk them." - Defensive end Igor Olshansky, on Pro Bowl teammate Shawne Merriman working on his technique in preparing for his second NFL season.


    PLAYER OF THE WEEK: ILB Matt Wilhelm. With starting Donnie Edwards on the trading block and missing practices with a bad back, Wilhelm has seized his chance. Wilhelm is the heir apparent to Edwards' job, the question is only when. Wilhelm had another solid week and seldom seems out of position. "He is very, very smart," Schottenheimer said. Wilhelm's continued strong performance eases the Chargers' reluctance of trading Edwards, who has led the team in tackles in each of the past four years.

    BATTLE OF THE WEEK: A.J. Feeley vs. Charlie Whitehurst for backup quarterback. Most thought this would be a slam dunk, with the veteran Feeley playing behind Rivers. But Whitehurst, a third-round pick, has played with poise and has a presence in the huddle. "The game doesn't seem to be big for him," Schottenheimer said. Feeley has rallied of late, and it would seem to go against Schottenheimer's preference for veterans at key positions.


    -Darren Sproles vs. Eric Parker vs. Michael Turner vs. Antonio Cromartie at punt returner. Sproles has fielded punts better this camp; his lack of doing just that cost him the job late last year. But Sproles turned an ankle Saturday and had to be carted off the field - no word yet on the extent of his injury. Parker, Turner and Cromartie have been taking punts in practice. Parker has the best hands, but he's out with a thumb injury. Turner has been OK, but he's built a little thick to be a return guy. Cromartie did it in college, but Schottenheimer is wary about giving the rookie too much to digest.

    -Malcom Floyd vs. Greg Camarillo for the No. 5 WR spot. Camarillo has come on lately, and could push Floyd for a position he has an inside track on. The Chargers might not carry six receivers on the roster, so this is a decent paycheck these two are competing for. Camarillo had one catch for 8 yards against the Packers; Floyd didn't have a catch.


    -Cromartie continues to show his athletic skills with a nifty interception on Saturday after having solid position on the receiver. He also beat for a 28-yard pickup as well.

    -LT Marcus McNeill is getting a lot of work with Roman Oben (foot) and Leander Jordan (groin) missing time.

    -QB Charlie Whitehurst continues to push A.J. Feeley for the backup job. But Feeley has come on of late.

    -ILB Tim Dobbins has opened some eyes with is run-support play,


    -PR Darren Sproles (ankle); status to be determined.

    -T Jeromey Clary (ankle); status to be determined.

    -LT Roman Oben (foot) won't be practicing for some time.

    -ILB Donnie Edwards (back); not considered serious but no timetable for his return.

    -WR Eric Parker (thumb); out 7-10 days.

    -DT Chase Page (knee); out 1-2 weeks.

    -WR Sean Coffey (shoulder); out 1-2 weeks.

    <a target="_blank" href="http://www.usatoday.com/sports/football/nfl/chargers/home.htm" />

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