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Shooting The Breeze with Antoine Cason

Discussion in 'American Football' started by Johnny Lightning, May 30, 2010.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

    Feb 7, 2006
    SHOOTING THE BREEZE WITH .... Chargers cornerback Antoine Cason



    SAN DIEGO -- Antoine Cason is heading into the most important season of his young professional career.
    The Chargers traded cornerback Antonio Cromartie in the offseason and need Cason to become the star they expected him to be when they drafted the Arizona product in the first round of the 2008 NFL draft.
    He played nickel back as a rookie but lost his position to Steve Gregory in 2009 despite collecting two interceptions early in the season. Cason's playing time diminished significantly from there, but his confidence never waned.
    Apparently, the Chargers believe in him, too.
    When they traded Cromartie, they installed Cason as the heir apparent to his starting spot. While he had to fight for playing time in his first two seasons, Cason now is expected to play most every snap. And he says he’s ready for it.
    He took some time last week to discuss his demotion, the Arizona heat, football fashion sense and living up to expectations in the upcoming season.
    Question: You’re sporting a visor on your helmet this year. Why the change?
    Answer: It looks cool doesn’t it? (laughs) I wore one in high school and I always thought it made me look tough. Now I realize it has some practical advantages, no fingers can get in there, no grass or dirt can obscure my vision. But, let's be honest. I got it 'cause it looks cool.

    Q: You’re from Long Beach and went to Arizona for college. Did you ever get used to the heat?
    A: You get accustomed to it, but you never get used to it. The heat always affects you, but you find ways to get from one air-conditioned spot to another really fast.
    Q: Football practice in August isn’t air conditioned. How’d you survive that?
    A: You can't escape it then. It's just plain hot, and you deal with it. But in my opinion, I'd rather have it hot than cold.
    Q: Growing up in Long Beach, were you a Chargers fan?
    A: Nope. I wasn't a Raiders or Rams fan either, but I went and watched the Chargers training camp when it was at the Home Depot Center (in Carson).
    Q: What's your focus in the offseason? I hear you spend a lot of time on the track.
    A: That's where it starts. I get a solid base (by) running on the track to get the conditioning right before I get into the football stuff. By the time you get into the meat of the offseason program, you're ready for drills and practices. You can't do any of that well until you're in the best possible shape.
    Q: With Antonio Cromartie traded to New York, you're the presumptive starter at cornerback. Has that changed your offseason in any way?
    A: It didn’t. I prepare for every season like I'm going to start each game. I'm going to keep working and do the things I know I can do and prove that I belong in the starting lineup at this level.
    Q: What was the reaction to Cromartie getting traded? It definitely opened up an opportunity for you.
    A: It certainly did, but I honestly didn't give it too much thought. I have nothing to do with this team's offseason activity, but I believe that I was going to get my shot either way. No matter who was here, I was going to come in here and compete for a starting job.
    Q: Last season, you were taken out of the nickel back spot (and replaced by Steve Gregory) and moved into a backup cornerback role. Were you upset by that?
    A: It happened, and there was nothing I could do about it. I wasn't happy, but it made me stronger as a person and better as a player. Trust me when I say that I never stopped working hard. That's why I'm coming into this season an even stronger player.
    Q: Do you see growth within this pass defense?
    A: We've been together for some years now, and you really get to know each other as people and as players. You know what they do and how they react to certain situations. Familiarity helps a secondary tremendously, and I think it's going to do a lot for us this season.
    Q: Being a first-round pick comes with riches, clout and big-time expectations. Is it a blessing or a curse?
    A: It’s a blessing. I worked my tail off to get to that point and earn that recognition. There are expectations, but no more than I have for myself. I won't trade that distinction for anything.

    Antoine Cason
    Position: Cornerback
    Team: Chargers
    College: Arizona
    Height: 6-foot-1
    Weight: 195 pounds

    Career highlights: Presumptive starter at cornerback in 2010; First-round draft pick in 2008, Jim Thorpe Award winner (given to college football’s top defensive back), track star at Arizona
    Quick hits
    Favorite track event: The 200 meters to run, the 400 to watch
    Coolest pet: Bailey, my English bulldog
    Hobbies: American muscle cars, bowling
    Your bowling average: Right around 200
    Where is your Thorpe award right now: My house, on the mantle
  2. Bergo23

    Bergo23 BoltTalker

    Sep 28, 2006
    He is going to get every opportunity to become rock solid like Jammer, he doesn't have as much speed as Jam...but maybe he has closed the gap with his track work and Jam's age. I am just excited to get a corner who WANTS to tackle!!! You watch this D will take it to the next level with Case in there instead of "Mr Me" #31.
  3. Rainman

    Rainman BoltTalker

    Sep 4, 2006
    I like that Cason doesn't spend his time Tweeting, or rubbing body parts and legal filings with Tila Tequila.

    He takes football seriously and stays out of trouble off the field.

    The Chargers' roster could use at least 20 more guys like this. :yes:
  4. Dublin Bolt

    Dublin Bolt BoltTalker

    Aug 12, 2006
    I really like Cason. I think he can be a real solid corner back there opposite Jammer. Seems like he has a good head on his shoulders too. I'd be very surprised if Vasher beat him out.
  5. Bergo23

    Bergo23 BoltTalker

    Sep 28, 2006
    I really hope either Vasher or Strickland get the slot position which is vital in today's pass happy NFL.

    I think vets like Gregory, Vasher and Strickland are better suited for the slot.

    I love the way our secondary is shaping up adding Stuckey to the mix behind these guys!!!
  6. matilack

    matilack Take A Knee McCree!!!

    Aug 14, 2006
    This guy was basically Joe Haden in 2007 when he won the Thorpe award for best DB in the country, its lucky for us he waited 1yr too long to enter the draft. His value slipped because teams avoided his side of the field the next season, and his production wasn't quite as prolific.

    I don't miss Cromartie at all.
  7. sickswonnyne

    sickswonnyne Well-Known Member

    Oct 12, 2006
    It's a vanilla interview piece. Which I'll take anyday over police blots and TMZ pieces.

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