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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Q&A; with former Arizona cornerback Antoine Cason

Jake Lacey/Arizona Daily Wildcat

Football Practice
Jake Lacey
Jake Lacey/Arizona Daily Wildcat Football Practice

NFL training camps are only a few weeks away and this training camp will be special for one former Wildcat. San Diego Chargers cornerback Antoine Cason will head into the season as a starter. Cason, who was drafted No. 27 overall in the 2008 NFL draft out of Arizona, has earned a starting role after two seasons of fighting for playing time. Arizona Summer Wildcat sports editor Vincent Balistreri caught up with Cason to talk about the upcoming NFL season, the Los Angeles Lakers and his team losing running back LaDainian Tomlinson.

How has your summer been?

It’s been really good, just keeping in tune and in shape. Trying not to do too much and not “”not doing”” anything. I been hanging out with family and gotten to relax a little bit.

Did you stay in San Diego or go back home to Long Beach?

My summer has been in San Diego, but I live in Long Beach and it’s not too far away. I been going home quite a bit to visit family and I got to witness history this summer with the Lakers, I got to go to a lot of those games.

How was the experience of going to the games at Staples Center? Did you go playoff games too?

Yeah, I went to all the playoff series, it was a crazy experience. To top it off, I went to game seven Lakers and Celtics. It was something that I will never forget.

I assume you had good seats.

I was midcourt seventh row, so it was pretty fun.

Being from Long Beach, you had to have been a Laker fan growing up?

My whole family likes watching the Lakers.

So do the Lakers have a shot at the Heat now that they have a new “”Big 3″”?

Do you think the Heat have a shot at the Lakers is what everyone should be saying. It looks good on paper but we’ll see. Those guys in Miami are definitely good ball players, but we’ll see if they have a chance against the Lakers.

Going into your third season in the NFL, what do you expect from yourself?

I expect to reach all my goals; I’m going in as a starter so I’ve reached one of my goals. As far as the season I want to play solid football and do the things I know I can do and the things I’ve trained to do. So I should have a successful season.

One of the things I always remembered during your time at Arizona was your rivalry with Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson when he played at California, which started in high school in Long Beach. Do you guys still talk trash to each other in the NFL?

We only played once in the last two years, we played Philly last year. It’s a mutual respect, but when we get out on the field he’s trying to whoop me and I’m trying to whoop him. On the field we’re rivals, but off the field we don’t take it personal.

When the Chargers traded Antonio Cromartie, did that tell you would get more time on the field?

It has nothing to do with me, and I had nothing to do with that. I will tell you I did have something to do with decisions that I needed to play in my third year. I set a goal that I will be a starter by my third year, and here it is. It wasn’t like they traded him away and I’m just the replacement, backup type guy. I’m here because I can play football, and I’m confident I can be a good cornerback in this league and be successful.

So how will the team look with LaDainian Tomlinson gone to the Jets?

He was definitely someone I looked up to. It’s a story I always tell people: When I was in high school, I would go to Chargers training camp because they were in the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. I’m 15, 16 years old seeing LT, Quentin Jammer, Drew Brees, and now I’m in the locker room with some of these guys. Of course I look up to LT, but things happen. We all move on and understand that these things will happen. I just go out there and play football.

All right, good luck with your season.

All right, thank you.

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