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Q&A: Marcus Gilchrist

Posted Oct 5, 2011

Rookie cornerback Marcus Gilchrist talks about his transition from college to the NFL, who he thinks is the best defensive back of all time, and what it will take for his rookie campaign to be a success.

SAN DIEGO – Rookie cornerback Marcus Gilchrist made his first NFL start Sunday against the Miami Dolphins in place of Quentin Jammer (hamstring).

It doesn’t appear it will be his last. Gilchrist intercepted a pass in the first quarter, tipped away another ball headed for Brandon Marshall’s hands in the end zone and finished with seven tackles.

The son of a retired United States Marine, Gilchrist was one of the strongest defensive backs at the 2011 NFL Combine, putting up 26 bench-press reps at 225 pounds. The second-round pick plays a significant role on special teams and in the Chargers’ dime package.

Matt Berg; Yucaipa, Calif.

What are some things you have learned from veteran cornerbacks Quentin Jammer and Antoine Cason?

Mostly off-the-field stuff: how to take care of your body, the importance of getting in the film room and which components of the game to study.

Stanle Agbulos; Riverside, Calif.

The NFL is filled with stud wide receivers like Larry Fitzgerald, Vincent Jackson and Calvin Johnson, who you may have to cover in Week 16. What is the biggest difference covering NFL wide receivers compared to college wideouts?

NFL wide receivers are smarter. They know how to use their hands more off the line, they know how to use certain stems in their routes. They just have another level and turn it up a notch in terms of physicality and speed.

Ryan Bugler; Jacksonville, N.C.

After making an interception, what are the things that go through your head? Do you think to fall down and keep possession of the ball, or are you touchdown hungry and trying to go for that pick six?

You’re trying to get to the end zone. That’s the first thing; you’re trying to make plays. It just doesn’t stop with the interception.

Carter Wells; La Mesa, Calif.

You grew up and have spent the majority of your life on the East coast. In your short time here, what is your favorite thing about the city of San Diego?

The weather, hands down. It’s not as humid. You can see the heat in the air where I’m from.

Damian Zietek; Mississauga, Canada

How did you feel in your first NFL start and what can you improve on the most?

I’m just trying to grow every day. Whether it is my technique as an individual or learning more about the defense and where people are around me.

Scott Miller; Boise, Idaho

On your Clemson college biography it says you were first on the team in the power index with a 7.42 figure, meaning you were Clemson’s strongest player pound-for-pound. How did you become so strong and do you have any advice?

My dad at an early age always had me doing pushups, sit-ups and things of that nature. He kind of instilled it in me and as I grew up I started doing them more and more on my own.  

Eddie Olea; Temecula, Calif.

In your opinion, who is the best defensive back to have played the game? 

That’s a tough question. The first pick for most people would probably be Deion (Sanders). I have a lot of respect for Darrell Green. Him being able to play as long as he did and take care of his body; but also the things that he did off the field to go along with how great of a player he was is tremendous.

Larry Lupian; Bonita, Calif.

Your play on the field up to now has shown your physical strength and mental toughness. How much of that was developed and influenced having a United States Marine as your father?

That’s exactly it; the toughness aspect of it, especially mentally. My dad always instilled it in me to be confident and tough in everything that I do. Try to be the hardest-working guy on whatever team you’re on. His competitiveness definitely rubbed off on me.

Lukas Georgeff; Indianola, Iowa

What will it take for you to look back on your rookie campaign and label it a success?

A Super Bowl. I’m just trying to contribute any way I can. Whether it takes me being on the kickoff return team trying to block guys; whatever it takes to get to the Super Bowl. As long as we get that Super Bowl, then I’d say my rookie year was a good one.

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