CB Quentin Jammer (Rick Stewart/Getty)
SDBoltReport.com continues analyzing the four pillars of the San Diego Chargers. The first one was a gimme -- QB Philip Rivers. However, each of the remaining three comes with some element of surprise, as none of them are skill-position players, nor have they ever been to the Pro Bowl. Without further ado, we move on to pillar No. 2.
The second pillar is CB Quentin Jammer. The seven-year veteran was dogged early in his career for having too many penalties and too few picks, but he has quietly developed into one of the most consistent shutdown corners in the NFL.
Jammer tallied just two interceptions last year, but they came against San Diego’s two fiercest AFC rivals, the New England Patriots and the Indianapolis Colts.
His small interception total does not mean he doesn’t know how to create turnovers. Jammer forced a career-high three fumbles last season and recovered two more, proving his ability to get the defense off the field.
Outside of the interception column, Jammer’s stat sheet looks downright sexy. He led all AFC cornerbacks with 88 tackles, leaving him just one tackle shy of 500 for his career. He also finished with a career-best 21 pass breakups, which was the sixth-highest total amongst AFC corners.
Off the field, Jammer has emerged as a leader in the clubhouse. He has taken several of the young defensive backs under his wing, which is vital in a secondary where seven of the top-nine players have three years experience or less; only Jammer (seven years) and Clinton Hart (six years) have more.
After the Chargers were eliminated by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the playoffs, Jammer talked about becoming even more of a vocal leader in 2009. That’s good news for the Chargers, as Jammer -- who was voted the team’s Most Inspirational Player by his peers -- is a great role model and someone others will gladly follow.
When the Chargers stumbled to a 4-8 start last season and the secondary was struggling mightily, Jammer was one of the players who held the locker room together and sparked the team’s history-making run to the playoffs.
“We had only each other and nobody really thought we could do it, including you guys in the media,” Jammer said. “We stuck together and ended up getting to the playoffs.”
The Chargers have been to the playoffs in four of the six seasons in which Jammer has been a full-time starter. If San Diego wins its league-best fourth consecutive division title in 2009, Jammer will likely be a primary reason why.
To read about San Diego's first pillar, QB Philip Rivers, click here. Check back soon for profiles of San Diego's third and fourth pillars, who have yet to be revealed.
Michael Lombardo is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America and a long-time contributor to the Scout.com network. His analysis has been published by the NFL Network, Fox Sports and MySpace Sports. He has followed the Chargers for more than 15 years and covered the team since 2003.