Derwin James’ eyes locked onto Philip Rivers as the veteran quarterback homed in on his target.
During a two-minute drill against the first-team offense at Los Angeles Chargers minicamp earlier this month, James read Rivers and stepped in front of a pass intended for Keenan Allen for an interception in the end zone.
“My eyes were on the quarterback, and I just saw where he was looking,” James said. “I dropped into my zone, and I was where I was supposed to be and made the play.”authentic nfl jerseys cheap
Those kind of instincts are a prime example of what Chargers defensive coaches expected when the team selected the Florida State product No. 17 overall in this year’s draft.
Chargers defensive backs coach Ron Milus said everyone in the building was excited when it appeared that a top-10 prospect like James would still be available when the team was on the clock.
“Obviously he has the physical traits — his size and speed,” Milus said of James. “But I think the biggest thing that really sold me is that this is a man’s man. He’s a professional and you can sense that when you talk to him.”
Chargers defensive coordinator Gus Bradley also remarked that while James is not one of the leaders of the defense as a rookie, he does have charismatic qualities that come through on the field.
“You’re starting to see him more and more [assert himself],” Bradley said. “… [Now] you’ll hear him talk like ‘Hey, it’s third down and this is what we need to do.’ So you’re starting to see him and hear him a little more as time goes on. I think as he gets a better feel for things those qualities will show even more.”
While James performed with confidence and flashed playmaking ability during offseason work, Chargers defensive co-captain Melvin Ingram said the Florida State product has a long way to go before he develops into one of the top performers on defense.cheap nfl jerseys from china
“No, I wouldn’t say as a leader,” Ingram said. “He’s out there doing what he’s supposed to do and making plays, but you don’t come in and do a three-day minicamp and some OTAs and become a leader. That’s not how it works. You’ve got to put your time in the right way.”
James is an alpha dog and has probably been the best player on his team since high school, but there’s always an adjustment when it comes to playing in the NFL.