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Cason focuses on mental approach

Posted May 1, 2012

SAN DIEGO – Fifth-year cornerback Antoine Cason exited the building Monday at the team’s training facility carrying several Nike boxes, having finished another organized offseason workout.

Cason, a starter opposite Quentin Jammer since 2010, made a team-best four interceptions that year as part of the NFL’s best pass defense.

Cason mad two interceptions last season, even coming off the bench for a two-week stretch, as the Chargers slipped to 13th in pass defense. But the 6-foot-1, 195-pound corner believes he’s preparing for his best NFL year yet, in part due to his overwhelmingly positive mental approach.

One of first-year defensive coordinator John Pagano’s main jobs is to shore up the pass defense, particularly on third down.

Pagano’s job, as well as those of cornerbacks like Cason, may be made easier by the presence of first-round pick Melvin Ingram, a pass-rushing linebacker from South Carolina. Other signings, like free agent Jarret Johnson, should help as well.

But the long-time Chargers assistant coach has a chance to make an imprint with his philosophy, which is one source of Cason’s positivity.

“I’m expecting it to be really good. I’m really excited about this year and I’m sure everyone else is,” Cason said. “We’ll see moving forward how it’s going to be, but one thing I know is it’s going to be very exciting.”

Cason mentioned the words “excited,” “happy,” “enjoy” and “get better” multiple times in less than two minutes in what seemed like a concerted effort to think positive.

Likely a key cog in a secondary that includes Jammer, in his 11th season, and second-year players Marcus Gilchrist and Shareece Wright, the defense will count on Cason, the ’08 first-round pick, to continue to get better.

“I’ve definitely learned from my mistakes these last four years and each offseason I feel like I’ve just been progressing,” Cason said.

“I’m excited for the challenge to keep coming out and getting better each year. This year is no different. I’m really excited to be here and I have a better mindset and everything that comes with it.”
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