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Cason stays optimistic

Posted Aug 1, 2011

The cornerback jarred his finger Sunday during practice and might miss some time, but feels confident he could play if it were the regular season.

SAN DIEGO – Antoine Cason did not practice during the afternoon and had his right hand wrapped during the morning walk-through.

“It’s just one of those things that happens in football. I’m a little upset it’s a hiccup, but I’ll take care of it and get back going,” Cason said. “It won’t be too long.”

Cason said he played with a similar finger injury that occurred last season and was optimistic about being available to play corner and return punts by the time the season starts.

“What would it take to keep me off the field?” Cason said. “Having no arms or no legs.”

Cason led the Chargers with four interceptions during his first season as a starting NFL cornerback. The former first-round pick emerged as a pleasant surprise on special teams, averaging 16.5 yards on 14 attempts – second in the NFL to Chicago’s Devin Hester.

“It feels a lot different, of course, but it’s still the same mindset,” Cason said of entering training camp as a returning starter. “Go win the job, again. I feel good about this year, though. I’m excited.”

SAVE THE PREDICTIONS: Asked if he’d thought about declaring the Chargers to be Super Bowl bound, Philip Rivers said Monday he doesn’t see any advantages to that.

“I know it’s the boring answer, but the only way to get things accomplished is to win in your meetings, win in the weight room and win each play,” Rivers said. “You can’t get caught up in looking down the road.”

The quarterback also noted that missing the playoffs was humbling and, combined with the labor dispute, there was less talk surrounding the Chargers’ 2011 season than in past years.

Rivers said. “I don’t have any predictions. I think we’re hungry and humbled and determined to bounce back. “

TIGERS UNITED: Two-fifths of the starting offensive line was at times last season occupied by former Auburn players Marcus McNeill and Tyronne Green.

Now they have company. Inside linebacker Takeo Spikes, a 14-year NFL veteran, and defensive end Mike Blanc, a college free agent, also are on the roster.

Blanc was a part of the BCS National Championship team that beat Oregon in January.

“A national championship is great. When you’re in college, that’s something you want to accomplish,” Blanc said. “(But) just being out here is like a dream come true.”

Blanc, who’s worked against McNeill and Green in practice, says he’s more comfortable asking them for advice since they’re Auburn alumni.

Said Spikes: “It feels good seeing the pedigree coming out of there. We have a natural care for each other. It shows what the school represents, the older guys taking care of the younger guys.”

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