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Jammer answers your questions

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Johnny Lightning, Jun 16, 2009.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

    Feb 7, 2006

    Casey Pearce
    Posted Jun 16, 2009

    Only three players on the Chargers’ roster have been in San Diego longer than cornerback Quentin Jammer. The veteran has spent seven NFL seasons in San Diego and is committed to his family, his community and his job. Get to know the Texas native a little better in this week’s fan Q&A.

    How has the secondary looked this spring and what can we expect from the Chargers’ defense as a whole this season?

    “I think the secondary is going to be strong. I honestly think we’re one of the most talented groups in the league and even last year I felt that way, even though it didn’t translate over. Our new secondary coaches, Steve Wilks and Cris Dishman, are putting their stamp on us. Coach Wilks doesn’t let anything slide. He’s going to coach hard and at the end of the day it’s making us a better group.”
    “The addition of Larry English[​IMG] and getting Shawne Merriman[​IMG] back will help a lot, too. When the pass rush is better, we don’t have to cover for as long and we can just go out and have fun. I think that was part of the problem last year. We weren’t having as much fun. We were worried too much about what was going on up front instead of worrying about our business.”

    Who is one receiver you really enjoy matching up against?

    “There are a lot of guys. I respect Reggie Wayne’s game a lot. Marvin Harrison is another guy I think a lot of. Another guy that I unfortunately haven’t gotten a chance to play against is Steve Smith. He’s a smaller guy but he plays like he’s 6-6, 220 pounds. I respect guys like that, which is why Darren Sproles[​IMG] is one of my favorite players. Another guy I’ll see in the preseason is Larry Fitzgerald. Any time I get to matchup with guys like that I get up for it. Randy Moss is always a big guy for me to cover it because I get up for those games and seem to have my best games against those guys.”

    Do you feel like the last couple of years you’ve received more of the respect you deserve from the fans and media?

    “I get respect from the fans and players, which is appreciated. Sometimes I don’t get the respect from all media outlets, but you can’t get respect unless you take it. That’s why I continue to work hard and try to command it. I feel like I’ve had a great offseason and I look to have a big year.”

    Have you ever thought of moving to safety as your career progresses?

    “I was a safety two years in college and it’s actually one of my favorite positions that I’ve ever played, but I’m not looking to move right now. I’m having too much fun at cornerback and all my focus is on becoming a better corner. You’ve seen guys like Rod Woodson make the move late in their career. If I could pull a Rod Woodson, that would suit me just fine, but for now I’m a corner and I love it.”

    Would you rather have a season where you led the league in interceptions or one in which you didn’t give up any touchdowns?

    “I’d rather have one where I didn’t give up any touchdowns. Even if you do have a lot of interceptions but you give up five touchdowns, I don’t consider that a successful season at all. The media will hype it up, but it’s not everything. Look at Nnamdi Asomaugh in Oakland. He had one year where he had eight interceptions and that put him on the map. Since then he’s a one or two-pick guy but he’s shutting guys down and not giving up touchdowns. That’s what you should judge a guy off of. I don’t care what coverage you’re in, if a guy’s not catching the ball on you, you’re a good corner.”

    Are there any cornerbacks that you model your game after?

    “I consider myself a throwback, a Mike Haynes and Lester Hayes-type cornerback. They were guys who got after you. The rules have changed a lot since those guys played, but when you watch NFL Films and see those guys take somebody, pick them up and throw them in the dirt, I think that’s who I pattern my game after. I didn’t grow up watching them but I’ve seen a lot of old film on them. That’s who I model my game after.”

    What’s your routine like on the morning before a game?

    “We stay in a team hotel the night before the game, so I usually wake up early so I can get home to my family. I take a long shower and gather my thoughts. I have three young boys and I play with them for a while. My mother-in-law cooks my eggs, tortillas and sausage. For a 1:00 game, I leave the house around 10:00 and get to the stadium early. I always look through the game program and I feel like if I don’t do it something’s not right. In this business you can’t take everything too seriously, so I crack jokes and keep myself loose so I don’t get uptight. I keeping joking right up until the ball is kicked off. For me it’s not really superstitious or anything; it’s just what I do every Sunday.”

    With the way the rules have changed even in the last few years regarding defensive contact, how has your game changed?

    “My first couple of years in the league it was difficult to adjust because that was the only way I knew how to play the game. I was good at being physical. Then they kind of changed the rules up on me and it took a little while until I could be physical without drawing ticky-tack calls. You have to abide by the rules and by physical within five yards. After that, I take my knowledge, film study and practice and translate that. You can be as physically gifted as you want, but probably 90 percent of this game is mental. You have to have physical talent, but you have to be smart, too. Deion Sanders was physically gifted but what made him great was that he was the smartest player on the field. People fail to realize that. I tried to take my physical style and got smarter and worked harder in the classroom. As I’ve matured, I’m playing more with my head and not just my hands and feet.”

    I don’t pretend to know what’s going on in a cornerback’s mind, but can you explain why NFL corners sometimes play 10 yards off a guy when it’s 3rd-and-5? I see this a lot and it can be frustrating to watch.

    “It’s usually the defensive coordinator’s call. If we’re in man, we’ll press and if we’re in some type of zone we’ll play off. Sometimes we’ll play off so it looks like zone because we’re trying to bait the quarterback into throwing a certain route. Without giving away too many of our secrets, we have a heavy pass rush so sometimes we just expect them to get there before they can get the pass off. When we’re off, we’re sometimes sitting on a certain route and trying to jump it. It’s all situational based on what the coach is trying to do.”

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