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11 Questions with Nasir Adderley
The Chargers safety answers everything from the team "making special things happen" in 2021, to the defense, Derwin James, Justin Herbert, & more.
By Hayley Elwood Aug 05, 2021

We're continuing our series of checking in with Chargers players ahead of the 2021 season.

Our next conversation features safety Nasir Adderley.

2021 marks Adderley's third season in the NFL and he looks to build off of 2020, where he came into his own both on defense and special teams.

Here's more from Adderley on how he's fitting into this defense, what the return of Derwin James means, what it's like going up against Justin Herbert in practice, and more.

How's training camp going?

Nasir Adderley: Camp's going great. It's exciting for all of us as we're getting a lot of guys back. It's a new atmosphere. Everyone's optimistic because we know we've got a special group. So we're just putting the work in every day to make sure we maximize it.

Where does that optimism come from? Is it coming from the coaches or is it all of you on the team?

Adderley: I think it's just an all-around thing. The energy the coaching staff brings to us, and even us just being around for a while, we love playing for one another. We're sick of the results we've put out there the last couple years. We're looking forward to making special things happen and that's what we're holding each other accountable for every day.

This defense is new this year, but what's it been like acclimating to it?

Adderley: It's exciting. I'm gonna be playing a little bit more roles and moving around the field a little bit more. I feel like it really showcases my abilities. I'm really excited, I'm just making sure I'm locked in and doing whatever I can to help our team.

What does it mean having Derwin James back and getting the chance for you two to deploy your skills together?

Adderley: He's my guy. We've been working all offseason. Especially with everything he's been through, it's exciting to see him back out here being the same DJ that everybody knows. I'm excited for him and I can't wait for him to show everybody the old DJ.

“We just feel like those guys are going to continue to grow with their relationship. Once they reach that comfort zone within the scheme, which they’ve already shown a pretty high comfort zone in a short amount of time, I feel like those guys will be a really nice tandem back there.” – Head coach Brandon Staley

Chris Harris Jr. talked about how he's learning to play safety. There seems to be an emphasis on "position-less" players and being multiple. When you talk about yourself moving around, how does being multiple benefit not only you, but this unit?

Adderley: If everybody knows what everyone is doing, then you know where your help is. You can use that to your advantage; when you can be aggressive, when you gotta be a little more cautious with more to protect. Guys like DJ and Chris, they're moving around all the time so I'm trying to be their eyes back there and help them get in position to help everybody else know where they're supposed to be.

What's it like going up against Justin Herbert in practice?

Adderley: It doesn't get better than that. I mean he performed the way he did for a reason. He's a great leader and he's making us better every single day.

Secondary coach Derrick Ansley had you at the Senior Bowl. What's it like been reuniting with him?

Adderley: It's been great. I'm super familiar with him. I had him the whole week there and we get along really well. He's on me often making sure I'm taking care of my business, but I love that from a coach. He's a very intelligent guy, just very technical making sure our footwork is right.

A lot of work happening on special teams out here in camp. What does that say about the emphasis special teams coordinator Derius Swinton and assistant special teams coach Mayur Chaudhari are putting on that group?

Adderley: It's about being a team of "teams." I like that we're slowing things down and really making sure everybody is getting the fundamentals down and have everyone on the same page with what we're trying to accomplish. Special teams is a huge difference maker in games so it's something that we're definitely not gonna take lightly. It's helpful going full-speed getting those reps, but also helpful slowing it down because you're looking at a whole lot of things out there on the field. But slowing it down gives you a good understanding of your responsibility.

“Nas is fully loaded. He and [CB] Tevaughn Campbell, I walk around and call them Teslas. Teslas, you don’t hear them coming, they just go fast by you. For those guys, it looks easy.” - ST Coordinator Derius Swinton

Quick hits … Who's your biggest inspiration?

Adderley: I get inspired even from my teammates. Just seeing people bounce back from adversity and become better. A lot of guys on our team have dealt with adversity, DJ, Drue [Tranquill.] I love seeing people bounce back and that's something I'm looking to do, also. I haven't put on the performance I want to so far in my career and I'm looking to turn the tables.

Favorite play of 2020?

Adderley: Gotta be the pick on Monday Night Football [against the New Orleans Saints.] I should have scored! That play still keeps me up at night but I'm moving on and looking forward to making big plays this year.

What excites you about this year?

Adderley: Shoot, I'm taking it one game at a time but I'm really excited to just play with these guys. We have a lot of fun together out there. Even getting the pads on for the first time, it was a lot of fun. We make practice fun, but I know the season is gonna be everything we hope it will be.

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