San Diego heads into the 2012 NFL season with high hopes that their secondary has improved significantly from last year, but there still remain a few question marks about who the starters will be and what we can expect from them.
WILL QUENTIN JAMMER REBOUND IN 2012?
Quentin Jammer has been a model of consistency at the cornerback position. One of the longest tenured and most consistent players on the Chargers roster, he has quietly had a pretty stellar career, even if never making the Pro Bowl. But even a player of his caliber is susceptible to off-the-field distractions, as was the case with Jammer last year, facing the unfortunate reality of divorce.
Jammer described himself as "mentally shot" in 2011, and freely admits that his performance on the field suffered as a result.
"I was going through a divorce. It's hard playing football when so much is on your mind," said Jammer, the father of three.
#23 had one the worst seasons of his career, allowing more yards per attempt and more touchdowns than his career average previously.
Quentin Jammer hopes to move past this difficult period and refocus himself on football. These men make incredible sacrifices, both physically and mentally, to play in the NFL at a high level. But a supportive team and fanbase can do wonders for a player's confidence.
WHAT DOES THE ATARI BIGBY SIGNING MEAN FOR THE BOLTS?
Atari Bigby was signed as an offseason free agent by the Chargers to the tune of a 1 year, $2.5 million dollar contract, worth up to $4.5 million based on escalators. Making that kind of money, it's difficult to imagine that Bigby won’t get serious consideration for the starting safety position opposite Pro-Bowler Eric Weddle.
"This was the opportunity I was looking for during the offseason. I just wanted a chance to start and play ball. Everything is going as planned, and I'm getting the chance I asked for," said Bigby, via the North County Times.
Bigby's main problem has been health-related. But despite a career riddled with injuries, he still displays some nice ability, especially on special teams and playing the run. BOLTHYPE Senior Writer Anthony Blake describes Bigby as "heady" with a high football IQ. And so far, he seems to be gelling well with his new teammates in San Diego.
"The dude can play," says Eric Weddle. "He's been impressive to me by how he carries himself and the way he works. He's a lot like me, only a little bigger. He's very knowledgeable and understands the role of each player in the secondary. That's why I think we're going to have a solid working relationship."
Even though the Chargers made an excellent draft-day move to go up and get Brandon Taylor, their safety of the future, they don't have much of a history starting young defensive backs as rookies. Expect Atari Bigby to get plenty of playing time in the base defense, with Brandon Taylor coming in on some Nickel and Dime packages.
What expectations do you have of the Chargers secondary in 2012? Has Cason developed into the cornerback he was expected to become? Will Jammer bounce back? Does signing Atari Bigby remind you of last year's signing of Bob Sanders? Are the Chargers young enough, smart enough, and fast enough to convert more turnovers in the secondary this year? Sound off in the comments section below!
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