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Evaluating the Cornerbacks with DB Coach Ron Milus

Over the coming weeks, we'll be checking in with the Chargers' position coaches and coordinators to get the inside scoop. We continue with DB Coach Ron Milus.

Chargers.com:We talked about the safeties earlier.  Let's focus now on the cornerbacks. What's the biggest adjustment you feel our corners need to make learning this new scheme?

Milus: That's a great question. I think they won't be doing as much back pedaling based on how the system is built.  There is more pressure.  That will be a change for them in the single-high (system). But our goals are still the same.  We did a great job turning the ball over last year.  Turnovers change football games, and that will be our focal point once again.

Chargers.com:Our team had a lot of interceptions last year, and obviously, Casey Hayward was a big part of that leading the NFL with seven picks.  He certainly earned the Pro Bowl and All-Pro honors that came with his huge year.  How has he dealt with that level of success? 

Milus: Oh, he's pretty much the same guy.  He's got one of those lighthearted personalities.  Nothing fazes him.  Casey is the same guy as when he walked in a year ago.  He had a special year last year, and we are looking for another (big) year from him this year.

Chargers.com:How special of a player is Jason Verrett, and what does he bring that this team really missed?

Milus: The biggest thing about Jason is he is *very *competitive.  In years past, he was very comfortable going against some of the better receivers in the National Football League.  That's the biggest thing he brings.  He can really match up against the best.  And his teammates (love him).  He has the personality, and he's a hard worker.  He brings that to the table and guys really feed off his energy.

Chargers.com:This year marks Craig Mager's third in the NFL. Some players take a big jump heading into that third season.  He was a raw prospect when we took him in the third round in 2015.  What does he need to do to bring his game to the next level?

Milus: We want him to just be a consistent performer for us.  We're obviously going to ask more out of him this year with Brandon Flowers not being here.  He's the next man up.  He is going to have more responsibility on first, second and third down.  And he can play some nickel for us.  This is an important year for Craig.

Chargers.com:Trevor Williams turned into a nice find for the team last year as an undrafted free agent.  He really showed no fear out on the field when he was thrust into action. What is it about Trevor that made him come out there so confident, even when his first real test came against Julio Jones?

Milus: He is a very confident player.  It was very important for him to have success last year.  Remember, he played against some really top-level wide receivers at Penn State.  Coming from the Big Ten, the game wasn't too big for him a year ago.  The big thing for him is to continue to grow as he masters the NFL lifestyle.  He's done a really good job for us.  He looks like someone who is going to fight it out for a bigger role on this team.

Chargers.com:Trovon Reed is another young player with swagger.  He is pretty raw at corner after playing mostly wide receiver in college, but he had a pair of picks last year after he was promoted off the practice squad.  How is his adjustment going as he learns the position?

Milus: It is awesome to work with him.  He is one of those kids who came into the building a year ago and all he wanted was an opportunity.  He took advantage of his opportunity.  One thing he told me when he was (first) out there at practice was, 'Hey coach, these practices are my game day.'  He went about practicing like that, and when he did get his opportunity, he was ready to shine.

Chargers.com:Randall Evans is another player who spent time with the team toward the end of last year.  How has he performed this offseason?

Milus: Randall is surprising.  He came in late last year on our practice squad, but this offseason, he surprises you.  You watch our highlight tape back, and he shows up on it quite a bit making plays.  It will be interesting to see where he goes at this point.  He has a lot of competition, but he's performed admirably so far.

Chargers.com:Our fifth round pick Desmond King has been working at safety and nickel corner.  How different are those responsibilities, and how do you divvy up his reps between the two?

Milus: They are different, and I'm sure there's a bit of a learning curve for him.  He's learning a different position than what he played at Iowa.  We're transitioning him to free safety as well as nickel, so there is a learning curve.  But the one thing I like about Desmond is he is very, very smart.  He gets it.  I think his game will really turn on when the lights come on.  That's when we'll see Desmond grow.

Chargers.com:We have a number of undrafted free agents at the position.  Head Coach Anthony Lynn mentioned Mike Davis as someone who has made an impression early on. He's had a chance to run with the ones.  How impressed are you these first two months seeing the young kid out of BYU?

Milus: I'm very impressed.  I didn't know a whole lot about him.  We brought him in for a pre-draft visit, and I didn't know how he'd be able to adjust to the speed at this level. So far, so good.  Now it's only OTAs, but he's got size and good speed.  He's showed he can make a play or two.  This will be an exciting time come training camp to see where he stacks up with everyone else in the National Football League.  The competition in training camp is going to be stiff.  Whoever makes our team at some point will be called upon to play quality snaps come the season.  They will have an opportunity to play. 

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