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Chargers' Jammer Takes a Compliment

Respected vet avoided on field, overlooked off it

By Michael Gehlken
|  Tuesday, Nov 1, 2011  |  Updated 12:07 AM PDT
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San Diego Chargers cornerback Quentin Jammer #23 stands during a preseason game at Cowboys Stadium on August 21, 2011 in Arlington, Texas.

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The way this season has gone so far, San Diego Chargers cornerback Quentin Jammer should be blushing every time he walks off a football field and into a post-game locker room.

No NFL player is receiving so many compliments.

Entering Week 8, quarterbacks had targeted Jammer 10 times all season, the fewest among any cornerback who has played at least a quarter of his team's snaps, according to Pro Football Focus. The steady Jammer has played 87.8 percent.

He has been thrown at 12 times altogether — when including two pass interference calls last week against the New York Jets, at least one of which can be considered dubious — and allowed six catches for 62 yards with two pass deflections and no touchdowns.

Jammer believes quarterbacks will soon buck the trend, and it could start Monday night when the Chargers face Matt Cassel and the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium. The game begins at 5:30 p.m. PST.

"I take it as a compliment," Jammer, 32, said. "I think here, in the next couple of weeks, I'll get tested. I definitely think that Kansas City will try to get (Dwayne) Bowe going. He's a great receiver. Why wouldn't you? And then Greg Jennings and that (Green Bay Packers) offense. They throw the ball everywhere. Then we got the Raiders, but I'm just looking at these next two games. I'm pretty sure I'll get my share of chances."

The Jets were the only team to try Jammer more than three times in a game. The Minnesota Vikings in the season opener and the Chiefs in Week 3 — when he played less than half the contest due to a hamstring injury that forced him to miss his first start since 2007 — didn't target him at all.

By comparison, on the opposite side, cornerback Antoine Cason has been targeted 39 times, including 20 targets the past three games. Cason allowed only eight catches for 55 yards in that recent span but, after conceding three short touchdowns to 6-foot-5 Jets wide receiver Plaxico Burress, will not start Monday in favor of rookie Marcus Gilchrist.

Chargers wide receiver Vincent Jackson says he's not surprised Jammer has been ignored in other teams' game plans, calling him a "big, strong cornerback" who is either breaking up passes or making a physical tackle after the catch.

But Jammer, a 10-year veteran, has never recorded more than four interceptions in a single season, the major talking point for why fans have yet to vote him to a Pro Bowl.

That's OK, Jackson says.

The oft-avoided cornerback earns his compliments elsewhere.

"That (Pro Bowl) selection process, it is what it is," Jackson said. "I think he's respected in the league. I think that's more important: that other coaches, other teams and other players respect him and know the kind of player he is. He definitely has that."

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