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Jammer unfazed by move to safety with Broncos

The SportsXchange

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Cornerback Quentin Jammer went straight to work on the field Thursday after signing a one-year contract with the Denver Broncos the day before.

The surroundings were unfamiliar to Jammer after spending his first 11 seasons with the Chargers. So was his on-field work, as the long-time cornerback got his first glimpse at a new spot.

"We're going to try him a little bit at safety as well," Broncos coach John Fox said. "In this league with the multiple-wide receiver sets, he'll give us some flexibility. He's a bigger, more physical (defensive back) that we think will help us."

At 6 feet and 204 pounds, Jammer is heavier than most of the Broncos' defensive backs. Of the veterans in the secondary, only 217-pound David Bruton carries more heft.

"Well, he can play a little safety, corner -- he's a true tackler, so he can do a lot of different things," Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey said. "That's the one thing I like about him, he's always been a tough corner. Being that versatile obviously helps with the transition to safety if we need him there full time or part time."

The Broncos referred to Jammer as a "defensive back" in their press release announcing his signing on Wednesday, avoiding the specific safety or cornerback designation. That suits Jammer fine.

"I always considered myself a football player, not really put a label on myself as a corner or a safety," he said. "This is the game of football, and I feel like I can be plugged in anywhere on the defense and play -- other than the big hosses up front."

Jammer's signing also further illuminates the reasons behind their ultimately failed pursuit of Charles Woodson, who opted to return to Oakland a week earlier. In both cases, the Broncos wanted an ex-cornerback who no longer had the speed to play outside but possessed the requisite coverage skills of his old position.

Jammer is a relatively inexpensive consolation prize, and unlike Woodson, he probably doesn't project as an every-down safety. But he can fill the dime-back role held by safeties Jim Leonhard and David Bruton last year, and should offer improvement in coverage of tight ends, something that has long been a weak spot of Denver's defense.

"Whether he is playing corner, possibly playing some safety, he's a guy they can put in in the dime package and let him cover an athletic tight end like a (Aaron) Hernandez or a (Jacob) Tamme," quarterback Peyton Manning said. "So we're excited to have him."

The interest in Jammer on the market was tepid. San Diego made little attempt to re-sign him, and the only other offer he entertained was from the Washington Redskins. What tilted the balance toward Denver was the team's outlook.

"A chance to win a championship. You look at this team and what they did last year and what Peyton Manning brings to this football team. I get to play with a guy like Champ Bailey," Jammer said. "Hands down if you look across the league, what better place to go than Denver to have a chance to play for a championship?"

It means enough to him to where he'll make a position switch after 12 years at one spot.
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