Exclusive Interview! Cornerback Quinton Jones

It is difficult to understand why some undrafted free agents sign with the Chargers. San Diego features a line-up that is both talented and deep, so stealing a roster spot is more challenging than playing Connect Four in night-vision goggles. But in the case of Quinton Jones, a potential dime back with impressive return skills, a return to Southern California is just what the doctor ordered.

Quinton Jones (5-foot-9, 182 pounds) knows what to do with the ball in his hands. In 2005, he finished second in the nation in punt returns with an average of 20.86 yards per return. In 2006, he twice earned WAC Player of the Week honors, first on special teams and later on defense, when his 61-yard pick-six sealed a win over Wyoming.

Once Jones hit the undrafted market, three teams began vying for his services: the Chargers, the New York Jets and the New York Giants. Jones, from Cerritos, Calif., decided a return trip to So Cal was in his best interests.

"Location was the primary factor for me," Jones said. "Also, the Chargers have a good team here. This group might go to the Super Bowl and I definitely want to be a part of that."

It also helps that the Chargers are in dire need of a player of Jones' ilk. As a punt returner, Eric Parker is as dull as dishwater; and Steve Gregory's job as dime back is more insecure than a fat girl in a bikini contest.

Jones can help in both those areas, and is confident that the coaching staff will have him ready to go by opening day.

"I feel like cornerback is the most technical position in football," Jones said. "Perfecting your backpedaling, zone turning and all of those techniques is so important. I've already developed tremendously thanks to Coach (Bill) Bradley and Coach (Kevin) Ross, because those two have such a wealth of knowledge."

Unfortunately, not even Vince Lombardi could help Jones -- or any undrafted rookie for that matter -- leapfrog Quentin Jammer, Drayton Florence or Antonio Cromartie. Cognizant of that fact, Jones has focused on other ways of helping his team win.

"I want to make an impact. Going undrafted, it left me with such a hunger. No matter what I do, I want to be the best. If I play mostly on special teams, then I want to lead the league in special teams tackles," Jones said.

Jones is an intelligent, well-spoken player who will do whatever it takes to help his team win games. He's driven like Mrs. Daisy and does not plan on his ride ending anytime soon.

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