Chargers DT: DeQuincy Scott Exclusive

DeQuincy Scott has become a key member of the defense. In limited playing time this season with the San Diego Chargers, DQ has continually earned praise and his reps on the field have increased. It is now common to see him busting through the opposing teams' offensive line and chasing lonely quarterbacks around. A true test awaits DQ this week as he will not only chase the QB, but he will also have to deal with Clinton Portis and a hostile crowd.

Not very big for a defensive tackle by NFL standards at 6'1" 280, DeQuincy Scott more than makes up for it with his quickness off the snap and his relentless pursuit of the opposing team's quarterback. Although DQ plays as a situational pass rush specialist, he leads the team in sack with 5.5.

"I don't get to vote for the game ball, but if I did, I would vote for DeQuincy Scott," Marty Schottenheimer said referring to Sunday's Viking game. "He was outstanding, absolutely outstanding. He will continue to get more opportunities. DQ did a really, really good job. He was very, very effective. We have a number of rushes that let him go in or out based on the way the guy sets on him and we cover behind him."

The Chargers faced a very mobile QB last week in Daunte Culpepper. DQ seemed to be swarming around the ball and anywhere Culpepper was, DQ was not far behind. If one didn't know better, you would have thought that DQ was the spy the Chargers set upon Culpepper. Scott, however, deflects his role.

He will be the first person to tell you that he couldn't do it with out big Jamal Williams, Marcellus Wiley, Jason Fisk, Ray Lee Johnson, and the rest of D-line. It is his signature to be humble and appreciate what those around him have done to elevate his game.

"Again, that all comes back to everyone on the defensive side of the ball doing their part. Our plan was to eliminate the big play and get pressure on every pass situation. We felt like we did that and I was fortunate enough to come up with a sack."

Was the game against the Vikings a breakout game for this team as a whole?

"Not all games are going to end up like that and we understand that. But, at the same time, every man on this team knows what we are capable of doing once we're on field. It all just came together against the Vikings and hopefully we can build off the momentum. There still a long road ahead and we have to take one game at a time just like coach says."

Schottenheimer has been a big fan of DQ's play lately and perhaps all season. It has become a common occurrence to hear the coach mention Scott in his post game press conferences for his hustle and all around solid play.

We had to ask, how does it feel to be recognized?

"It feels good to know that he is pleased with it, it really does. But I have to give credit to the good Lord for giving the ability to perform on the field. Coach has been more pleased with our play as a group though and hopefully that's what will make a difference between winning and losing. I can't get caught up in the moment and be complacent. There will always be room for improvement in my play and I am just going to go out and try to get better each day."

Now DQ will see his role expand even more. Up until this point he would play primarily on third downs, subbing for Jason Fisk. With such limited playing time, he had to feel the pressure to perform, right?

"No, not really because I am going to play the same way whether I'm playing 5 plays or 25 plays. I understand that this is a team game and that I am blessed just to be a part of that."

The team heads to Denver this week and Jake Plummer returns to action. Besides Plummer, the ever-present Clinton Portis will be carrying the rock and it will likely be often. The run defense must be a concern this week. The team is well aware of the talents he possesses.

"With Plummer coming back this week, we expect to see a heaving dose of the run and then some play action off of that. The key to defending the run against Denver is not allowing Portis get out in open space. If we can keep a man on him and eliminate the cut back lanes then we should have some success at slowing him down. It's going to be a big challenge because he has posted 100 yards on us in the last 3 games that we have played them."

Then there is the Denver O-line which must be factored into any equation. They are not the maulers that are in Kansas City, but they are nimble. DQ couldn't agree more:

"Oh man, they are probably one of the quickest O-lines that we face. They aren't very big, but they get to their blocks and put a hat on you and that's what makes them so effective. We just have to match their intensity and make sure that we are in our gaps."

With all the injury talk in San Diego, there is a distinct possibility that DQ will line up at end. In the middle, at end, it is all the same.

"Tackle the guy with the ball," Donnie Edwards would say.

"I'll play anywhere that this team needs me. I try to make sure that I know what each player on the D-line is responsible for. So, if coach wants me at DE, then I'll make sure that I am locked and loaded."

DQ better be ready. The toughest challenges lie ahead. In Denver, during November with a playoff atmosphere in the air and forget that the Chargers record does not reflect it; Denver is still in the playoff mix. Something tells us DeQuincy Scott, DQ, is up for the challenge.

What do we tell the fans in San Diego?

"Just to hang in there with us. We are out here trying to do everything we can to bring a winning team to this city. I love playing here and I am very thankful for this organization giving me the opportunity to play this game."

The fans love that you play here too. In a town lacking excitement from the 2-7 team, chants of "DQ!" are already heard from the rafters at Qualcomm and the cheering will only get louder.

Kenny Williams can be reached at kennay_28@yahoo.com

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