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Defense Playing with "Confidence and Swagger"

The same holds true at all 32 training camps each and every year; there are days when the offense wins and days when the defense comes out ahead.

On Tuesday, it was the defense's turn at Chargers Park.

While both sides of the ball had success at times, the defense forced numerous turnovers throughout the day.  Their attitude was best summed up by fourth-year safety Jahleel Addae.

"It's all about confidence and swagger," he said.  "It's contagious. They come in bunches.  We watch one guy get it and you want to get one.  We're like a bunch of vultures going after a dead carcass."

That is exactly what it looked like on the field Tuesday morning.  First, Manti Te'o had blanket coverage on Hunter Henry in the back of the end zone, forcing the ball to pop up into the waiting hands of Dwight Lowery.  Next up was Addae, who picked off a deflected pass of his own.  A few minutes later, Nick Dzubnar picked off a ball off a quick slant in the end zone on fourth down.  Then, Jason Verrett played the ball perfectly and came through with a long pick-six before Darrell Stuckey fittingly ended the day with an interception of his own.

As expected, Head Coach Mike McCoy was pleased as the defense has capitalized on a focal point of this offseason.  He explained how confidence and swagger is a big reason for their success.

"That was a big point of emphasis this offseason," Head Coach Mike McCoy said.  "There is nothing like playing with confidence.  You play with that swagger and arrogance in your attitude; I think that is the way our entire secondary has played. I think it was Dwight who (said) they feed off each other's energy.  I think when you have the pass rush that we are starting to generate, you'll see more and more turnovers."

Confidence and swagger improves every player, but it may be most important for defensive backs as they are often alone on an island.  Jason Verrett knows that better than anyone, as the cornerback led the Bolts in interceptions a year ago while being named to his first Pro Bowl.

"That is how the chemistry on this team is going," he said.  "It is making everybody hungry.  It's so important for us on the back end especially.  It's about that swag.  You have to have it to do what we do. With the versatility we have back there, everyone wants to be that number one guy.  Everyone feels that they are. We just want to make plays, and that helps upgrade everybody."

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