Up Close With DQ

San Diego Charger Fans have seen the name on their programs, and they have heard his number called quite a bit lately, but just who is DeQuincy Scott? Originally signed as an undrafted free agent in 2001, he was cut and then signed to the practice squad. His perseverance paid off when he made the roster in 2002 and then finished the season with eight tackles, two sacks, two passes defended and one forced fumble. Now we catch up with the man known as "DQ".

DeQuincy Scott earned 32 starting assignments over the three years playing for Southern Miss, finishing his career with 206 tackles (104 solos), 12 sacks for minus 72 yards and 26 stops for losses of 108 yards. Slowly but surely he has made the ascension from practice squad to an active role on the defense.

DQ came into this season with high expectations and so far he has not disappointed himself, the coaching staff, or the Charger fans.

"I made a commitment to be at every off season workout. I didn't want to just be out there going through the motions; I wanted to improve every time I stepped on the field or in the gym. I would also have to say that coach Nunnely has been the best D-line coach that I have ever worked with. He challenges us and pushes us to become better players."

That statement on Nunnely is impressive considering Scott played for Randy Butler at Southern Miss, a man known for churning out linemen. Following the 2000 season, three defensive linemen coached by Butler were selected for postseason honors, three were drafted in the NFL Draft and one more signed a free agent contract. Cedric Scott was selected in the fourth round by the New York Giants, Daleroy Stewart in the sixth by the Dallas Cowboys and John Nix in the seventh, also by the Cowboys. DQ, of course, ended up with San Diego.

Three were named to various All Conference USA teams -- Cedric Scott, DQ and Nix. Cedric Scott was named C-USA Co Defensive Player of the Year and an All American by The Associated Press and Football News.

Back to this season, it started with mini camp and the OTA's and continued through training camp. The team was high on Doug Sims back then and thought they needed another plugger in the middle.

Scott proved they only needed him.

"I just came in knowing that I did everything possible this off season to improve. I think it important to feel confident in one's ability. Then it's just a matter of performing when you get that chance."

The former first baseman for the University of Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles, has found he does have the size and speed to play in the NFL. Coming out of college there were questions about his size and burst. After rededicated himself this offseason it has paid off. He is in the regular rotation at defensive tackle and in October when the decision came down on who to release, Scott or Leonardo Carson, came, Marty Schottenheimer made it clear:

"Our feeling based on performance this year, we decided to keep DeQuincy."

Boy they are glad they did.

Now DQ's game has taken on a new awareness on the field and the game may have slowed down for him this year as compared to last year.

"I think it has in some regards because you tend to recognize certain formations and reads quicker.

"It's part of becoming a professional in this league and as long as you go out and prepare you are going to continue the learning process. That part never stops."

DQ is a student of the game. He realizes he cannot do it alone on the defensive line and his success is just a cog in the wheel. There are some players who watch a lot of film and try to study techniques that have made those players successful in the league and every NFL player will emulate someone else on the field and pick up the traits that made them successful. DQ is no different.

"I would have to say that I've watched John Randle play over the years. He's someone that has been great over a long period of time and has always been successful at getting pressure up the middle."

Of course we couldn't let DQ go in this segment without asking the obligatory question:

Has this team been divided with the QB situation the way it is?"

"Absolutely not. Drew and Doug are both competitors and good friends. We have faith in the both of them and we are going to get behind whoever lines up behind center."

We finish up with DQ tomorrow, covering the Vikings game and the upcoming Denver game as well as the possibility of DQ getting time at defensive end.

Kenny Williams can be reached at kennay_28@yahoo.com

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