It took less than a week after he signed with the team for the Denver Broncos to confirm Quentin Jammer would make the switch from cornerback to safety. The decision and the expediency with which it was come to make sense for a lot of reasons.
You didn’t have to be a die-hard Chargers fan to notice Jammer’s lost a step. Statistically speaking the base numbers are relative to standard play at corner. Jammer tallied a pedestrian 55 tackles along with 3 interceptions, 6 passes defensed and a forced fumble. Not horrible, but far from spectacular.
Here’s the horrific part.
Of the 113 graded cornerbacks on ProFootballFocus, Jammer was ranked 107. Quarterbacks throwing in his vicinity completed nearly 57% of their passes and recorded a passer rating of 94.4. Most worrisome though is the fact that he surrendered 8 touchdowns in coverage.
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The once physically imposing corner had lost his ability to keep up with receivers on the outside. Jammer never had elite speed to begin with, having run a 4.49 40-time coming out of college, but what speed he did have has vanished with age. It’s sometimes hard to remember when you see him throwing bone-crunching hits, but Jammer is set to turn 34 in little over a week. In the NFL, that’s old.
If there was one part of Jammer’s game that didn’t vanish with age however, it was his ability to help in run defense - something he had always been particularly good at. Last season Jammer missed only five tackles and had 18 stops, which ranked 17th among all corners. This will aid him in his transition to safety as run defense is one of the more important parts of playing safety.
It’s been quite some time since he last saw action at safety, but not so far back that it will be a complete mystery. As a matter of fact, Jammer actually played a lot of safety in college. Hopefully one-too-many frat party didn’t destroy any chances of retaining any memories of playing there, because if not, this switch will be seamless.
You can follow J.D. Burke: @JDBurkeOV