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NC Times: Jammer Seeking a Rebound This Year
Jammer seeking rebound this year
By: MICHAEL KLITZING - Staff Writer
North County Times
Last modified Monday, August 15, 2005 9:07 PM PDT
SAN DIEGO ---- Turns out Quentin Jammer may just have been a little gun-shy last season.
A physical player by trade, the Chargers cornerback said he was not as aggressive in 2004 because of the NFL's crackdown on making contact with receivers after 5 yards.
But he found that backing off didn't help matters. Jammer claims to have led the league in pass interference penalties last year, and he may be right.
So this year, he's throwing caution to the wind.
"I'm going to make them call it every time," Jammer said after Monday's practice at Chargers Park. "If I get my hands on a guy (within five yards), I'm going to try to push him to the ground. That's what I do. I'm not going to let it dictate how I play."
As the vast majority of defensive backs surely do, Jammer can't stand the "chuck rule," the enforcement of which was widely believed to be a way for the league to increase scoring and create more offensive excitement.
"They need to change that rule," he said. "If you're going to get five yards to beat up a receiver, I think you should get five yards to beat up a receiver."
This year, he will take full advantage of the 5 yards he's allotted ---- and that aggressiveness may be a step toward making Jammer the playmaker the Bolts were expecting when they took him with the fifth overall pick in the 2002 draft.
Last year, Jammer tallied just one interception as the Chargers' pass defense was ranked No. 31 in the league. He has just five picks in 46 career games.
But rule enforcement wasn't his only problem in 2004. Jammer was also slow to adjust to the Chargers' new defensive scheme.
"(The defense) was something I struggled with last year just because of the fact that I thought I could always do it by myself out there," he said.
Jammer said he is now aware of where his safety help will be, giving him more confidence if he decides to jump a route and try to make a play.
Last year he had no clue. And as he struggled to grasp both the defense and the passes of opposing quarterbacks, self-doubt crept in.
"If you don't have any confidence in yourself that you can get things done, you won't make the plays that you know you can make," Jammer said. "Last year, I think I was at a point in my career where my confidence wasn't as high as it needed to be."
"I think my confidence right now is really high," he said.
Coach Marty Schottenheimer sees improvement in that area as well.
"I think he's finally now reached a point where he's got confidence in what he's doing," he said. "I think what he'll do now that he hasn't done in the past is he'll turn to locate the ball in routes down the field. That enables him to make plays on the ball.
"This is very, very exciting for all of us."
Jammer has also developed a stronger fitness routine.
In the past, he's waited for the start of the team's offseason workout program to get in game shape. This year he's made a greater effort on his own time, striving to improve core strength and ball awareness with personal trainer Todd Durkin.
Offseason corrective laser eye surgery has improved his ability to spot and track the ball, Jammer said.
Combine that with a more aggressive style, and Jammer could become a sight for sore eyes in the Bolts' secondary.
CHARGERS NOTES ---- WR Keenan McCardell sat out of Monday's workouts with mild tightness in his hamstring. Coach Marty Schottenheimer listed him as day to day. ... A day after returning to practice, LB Donnie Edwards (ankle) was back on the sidelines after reaggravating the injury. ... Rookie LB Shawne Merriman (hamstring) and DL Luis Castillo (rib strain) saw limited action during the afternoon session. ... Schottenheimer said LB Ben Leber (ankle) should return to the field today. ... Struggling K Nate Kaeding went 2-for-6 on field goals in the afternoon. ... The Chargers practice today at 3:30 p.m. at Chargers Park.
Contact staff writer Michael Klitzing at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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