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San Diego Chargers Positional Analysis: Cornerbacks

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A rare moment where a cornerback made a play that got the ball in his hands.
A rare moment where a cornerback made a play that got the ball in his hands.

Losses: Dante Hughes

Additions: None

Returning: Quentin Jammer, Antoine Cason, Marcus Gilchrist, Shareece Wright

Projected starters: Quentin Jammer and Antoine Cason

Strengths:

  • Experience: This Jammer's 11th season in the league and Cason's 5th. Gilchrist and Wright will be suiting up for their 2nd season in San Diego.
  • Upside: Jammer has probably seen his best days, but given some of the issues he dealt with in 2011 one could make a case that he might play better with those in the rear view. Cason struggled to start the 2011 season, but played his best football down the stretch. Gilchrist and Wright were drafted with a lot of promise and will get more opportunities. Given Hughes' poor play, it'd be hard for them not to be an upgrade.

Weaknesses:

  • Big plays: Jammer has never been one of those flashy corners with interceptions and pick 6's. In fact, last year he had no interceptions. Cason wasn't much better with only 2 picks to his name. Cason did however rack up 17 passes defensed, which doesn't turn the ball over, but always results in zero games. Jammer had only 8. Gilchrist and Wright will look to improve on Hughes' 0 interceptions and 3 passes defensed in 2011. However, Gilchrist finished his college career with only 1 interception, so don't expect much.
  • Third Down Coverage: There's a lot of blame to go around for why the Chargers were so bad at getting off the field on third downs, but the CBs are certainly one of the issues. Whether it's the aforementioned lackof big plays, the inability to cover after working hard the previous two or more downs or a propensity for penalties, this unit hasn't done enough on 3rd downs to help the defense succeed.