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Q&A with Stephen Cooper

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Johnny Lightning, Jun 2, 2009.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

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    Q&A with Stephen Cooper

    Casey Pearce
    Posted May 29, 2009
    Chargers.com

    Earlier this week, we invited fans to submit questions to inside linebacker Stephen Cooper. We selected the best ones and posed them to the seven-year veteran.

    FROM CORNELL KEITH IN CHAMBERSBURG, PENN.

    Can you explain the different roles of the two middle linebackers in a 3-4 defense?

    “Cornell, in our system, we have a ‘Mike’ and a ‘Mo.’ The Mike is more of a downhill linebacker and the Mo is more of a skate linebacker who is covered up a lot by the nose guard. I’m a Mike, and I feel like I’m a more physical linebacker and the Mo is more of a freelancer. I’m more of a thumper and the Mo is more of a chaser.”

    FROM BRIAN HUNT IN JEFFERSON CITY, MO.

    With Ron Rivera entering his first full season as defensive coordinator, what kinds of different things can we expect from the defense in 2009?

    “Brian, a lot of people asked this question in our mailbag. I think there’s going to be a lot more pressure on the quarterback. We want to create more turnovers and score a lot more on defense and we’re practicing things this offseason that we think will help us do that. Ron spent a lot of time studying the 2006 defense and we’re getting back to a lot of the things we did then. We’re excited to have Shawne Merriman[​IMG] back and we’ve got a couple new faces who are going to help us like Larry English[​IMG] and Kevin Burnett[​IMG]. We’re all really excited about how things are shaping up.”

    FROM CYNDI P. IN SAN DIEGO

    Are there any linebackers in the NFL you try to emulate?

    “Cyndi, Ray Lewis is a guy I admire. He plays with so much tenacity and he’s always around the ball.”

    FROM VIKRAM RAO IN ENCINITAS, CALIF.

    In your opinion, which NFL running back is the hardest to bring down?

    “Vikram, it’s definitely Adrian Peterson. It’s hard to get a clean hit on him because he’s so fast and he’s so agile. He’s really strong, too.”

    FROM SFC PAUL CAMPUZANO, STATIONED IN FORT CAMPBELL, KENT.

    Stephen, during my deployments, I’ve always woken up in the middle of the night to watch Chargers games on American Forces Network. I’m wondering, what’s your favorite part of your job? HHHOOOAAAHHH!

    “Paul, first of all, thanks so much for your service. It’s greatly appreciated. My favorite part of my job is just being around my teammates. We’ve got a really good locker room and we enjoy hanging out on and off the field.”

    FROM JASON CLARK IN CARLSBAD, CALIF.

    Do you have a favorite hit from your career, one that you’re really proud of?

    “Jason, in 2006 in Baltimore, I hit Daniel Wilcox on the goal line and made him fumble just before he reached the end zone. That’s one that stands out.

    FROM DAVE YANDOW IN SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY

    Why do you think the Chargers have had so much success finding undrafted free agents like yourself?

    “Dave, I think it has to do with the systems and the coaching staff. We have great coaches who teach us how to play the game the right way and the systems on offense and defense are made for the guys who are here.”

    FROM SAM ORCUTT IN SAN DIEGO

    Last year was the first season the NFL used a helmet radio on defense and you wore the device for the Chargers. Can you describe how the system works and how it changed defenses?

    “Sam, I don’t think it’s changed the game much but I really like it. Instead of just getting a signal from the sideline like I used to, I get to hear the coordinator in my ear. He gives you the play call plus a little detail, like what to watch for in certain situations. If a guy makes a mistake out there, he’ll tell me and I can coach him up a little bit. The communication is just better. It’s a really good thing.”

    FROM TREVOR HECK IN SAN DIEGO

    I’ve seen you at a couple mixed martial arts events with your teammates. Who are a couple of your favorite fighters?

    “Trevor, Chuck Liddell is my favorite. He’s been around so long and done such a great job. I think he’s put a big stamp on the sport. I’ve gotten to know Chuck personally and he’s a really good dude. I also like Anderson Silva a lot.”

    FROM ROBERT SUD IN AUSTIN, TEX.

    Which of your teammates has the strangest pregame ritual?

    “Robert, Nick Hardwick[​IMG] vomits in the locker room before every game. That’s without questions the weirdest.”

    FROM RATH DAVID HY IN SAN DIEGO

    If you were stranded on a desert island, which two teammates would you like to have with you?

    “RathDavid, I’d say Jamal Williams[​IMG] and Shaun Phillips[​IMG]. Jamal could wrestle bears and all kinds of wild animals and Shaun is really smart. He’d figure out a way to build us a raft or something and get us out of there.”

    FROM KANRININ IN TOKYO, JAPAN
    How many Japanese words do you know?

    “Sayonara!”
     

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