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Life has gone from good to great for Chargers' Cesaire

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Johnny Lightning, Aug 5, 2009.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

    Feb 7, 2006

    By Tod Leonard
    Union-Tribune Staff Writer
    5:25 p.m. August 5, 2009

    Jacques Cesaire can mark the passing and progress of his six-year career as a Chargers defensive lineman in cash value. Or in the amount of his playing time. Or in the gushing praise his teammates have for his attitude, work ethic and consistency.

    All of those are nice, but for Cesaire, the guy in the locker room who sees life through a bemused and twisted prism, that stuff is far too boring. He has the gift of finding something comical in just about everything. So how does he put his professional path in perspective?

    “It's funny, I look around, especially at the guys I came into the league with,” Cesaire was saying after a recent Chargers practice. “That first year, we were all talking about what kind of car we were driving.

    “Couple years later, it was, 'What kind of house did you buy?'

    “Now,” he says, breaking into a huge grin, “it's, 'Man, I got pooped on last night!'


    Cesaire, 28, is a first-time daddy. His wife Jill gave birth to their daughter, Viviana, in March, and it has given the Chargers' most mirthful man more fodder than ever. Not that he needed any extra material. It's like the guy is living in a “Seinfeld” episode.

    “My favorite show,” Cesaire says. “It's a show about nothing, and that's pretty much what I talk about every day – nothing. It's just the little things about people, their little quirks. I just point them out and it's funny. I just have a good time.

    “You can't be out here and be 100 percent serious all of the time, every single day. You'll go crazy.”

    For Cesaire, who joyfully proclaims that “every day is the best part of my life,” it couldn't get much better than it is right now.

    The former undrafted free agent out of little Southern Connecticut State has been an integral part of the Chargers defense, having played in every game over the last five seasons. He has been considered the super sub, performing capably at all three positions on the defensive line.

    Now, for the first time, the 6-foot-2, 295-pounder has been tabbed by head coach Norv Turner as the starter at right defensive end. Not because somebody is hurt, but because Cesaire has earned the right to be there.

    “Seven years into his career, to come back and start, we're excited for him,” said Luis Castillo, the speedier bookend to Cesaire at left end. “We see his level of enthusiasm, his accountability. He does all of the things that are asked of him, and that's how you stay around in this league.”

    Superficially, at least, Cesaire isn't buying into the excitement. “It's no different, man,” he said. “It's the D-line. There are only three of us out there, so we know we're always going to get a rotation.”

    The promotion is more symbolic than anything; Cesaire already has started 33 of the 68 games he's played. Late last season, when the Chargers were clicking on their way to making the playoffs, Cesaire was in for many more plays than the original starter at right end, Igor Olshansky, who signed with the Dallas Cowboys in the offseason.

    Cesaire will rotate with five-year veteran Ryon Bingham and possibly rookie Vaughn Martin, the fourth-round draft pick out of Western Ontario.

    “He's pretty much my ultimate example as far as looking for my techniques,” Martin said of Cesaire.

    Technique is a nebulous term for fans, but it is valued like gold in the trenches, and Cesaire is revered, particularly for his footwork, and for filling the right gap at the right time.

    He prides himself on it.

    “We're not just out there because we're big dudes,” Cesaire said with a laugh. “I look at technique this way: Everybody on the field is an All-American this, All-American that. There are a lot of elite players. But even those guys have to work on their technique. If you don't, you're going to hurt your team. I pride myself on asking a lot of questions. If you turn your technique into second nature, you can play with confidence.”

    Said Castillo: “We all have bad plays in training camp. But for a guy like Jacques, one play means so much, carries so much weight. Every single time he's on that field, every moment is so important to him. As a player, you know he's going to give it his absolute best in every situation.”

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