Chargers jammin' with QJ at No. 5Posted: Saturday April 20, 2002 7:53 PM
And why not, since the guy with the perfect name for a cover cornerback will be playing on the same defense with hard-hitting strong safety Rodney Harrison and perennial Pro Bowl linebacker Junior Seau.
"This is where I wanted to be originally, but we can't come out and say that," the former Texas star said after the Chargers took him with the fifth pick overall in Saturday's NFL draft. "I'm really looking forward to playing with the hitman Harrison back there and Junior Seau. It's going to be great playing there."
The Chargers coveted Jammer but didn't think he'd be available. He was after Buffalo took offensive tackle Mike Williams -- another Longhorns player the Chargers liked and could have used immediately -- with the fourth pick.
"It just put a heck of a player right to us in Quentin Jammer," general manager John Butler said. "It really didn't affect us. Mike was gone and we wish him the best and there was Quentin for us."
After picking Jammer, the Chargers announced they'd agreed to a five-year contract with linebacker Donnie Edwards, formerly of the Kansas City Chiefs. He'll be reunited with new Chargers head coach Marty Schottenheimer.
The Chargers, 5-11 last year, are still desperate for help on the offensive line, where their two guards from last year are gone.
Jammer was considered the best cover corner available. This is the second year the Chargers have had to load up on cornerbacks. Last year, they spent $31.6 million on free agents Ryan McNeil and Alex Molden, then drafted Florida State's Tay Cody in the third round.
McNeil led the Chargers with eight interceptions and played in the Pro Bowl as a replacement for injured Sam Madison of Miami.
Molden was largely a bust. He started only three games and was burned often. Bothered by a lingering ankle injury, he ended the season on injured reserve. Cody started 11 games as a rookie.
San Diego's pass defense was ranked just 20th, giving up 24 touchdown passes. A year before, they led the NFL by allowing 33 TD throws.
Jammer will compete for the starting spot opposite McNeil.
"Clearly, we've gotten considerably better with that acquisition because speed is something we feel we really have to address defensively, and he brings that as well," Schottenheimer said.
"We think he brings the complete package that you need, which includes bump-and-run, man-to-man coverage as well as the ability to be involved in the run defense."
The Chargers have won just six of 32 games the last two seasons and have missed the playoffs six consecutive seasons.
"That's why I hope to come in and make an immediate impact on the team," Jammer said. "I want to come in and be a starter."
"I like to hit people," said the 6-foot, 204-pound Jammer. "I like getting in the receivers' face. I'm not sure if I can intimidate some of those NFL receivers, but I'm a very physical guy. I love to get up to the line of scrimmage and use my hands."