Chargers Park Becomes Hot Spot for Corners

The Bolts are interested in a cornerback prospect with Paul Oliver size; the two could be competing for a starting role in the same secondary next season. The Bolts will bring in a first-round cornerback prospect for a private visit and are tempted by the notion of dropping this pass-thieving artist between Antonio Cromartie and Quentin Jammer.

Virginia Tech cornerback Brandon Flowers (5'10" 190 pounds) doesn't boast the ideal size to match up against the bigger receivers in the NFL, but his private visit with the Chargers indicates San Diego is willing to look beyond his measurements. What he lacks in height, he makes up for with the physicality of his game.

"I'm not like a 6'1" or 6'2" corner, so I have to definitely bring a power punch to the attack or teams might think I'm undersized and am going to get pushed around out there," Flowers said.

He is a man of his word. At Virginia Tech, he had to play in the box and fill in running lanes, which showed scouts he could tackle and be fierce at the point of attack. The versatility of his soon-to-be alma mater helped, too.

"We ran a man-zone scheme, so we mixed it up with coach Bud Foster," Flowers said. "Some weeks we'd play a lot of man and some weeks we played a lot of zone, so I think I can play any scheme, man or zone."

While San Diego is more steady with its coverage, Flowers is going to have to roll with the punches, as Drayton Florence's replacement is far from settled. If Flowers makes it to San Diego, he faces Paul Oliver as his biggest competition at camp.

Last season's battle for the starting role was intense, as well. Florence won the coveted position atop the depth chart over Antonio Cromartie, but lost bragging rights in week 10. This year's camp is bound to be even more intense with a fresh cornerback coming in and Paul Oliver left with a lot to prove.

Florence thinks the competition will bring out the best in both corners.

"That's one good thing about San Diego, A.J. Smith did a good job of getting guys in to compete for starting positions," Florence said. "That just makes the team better."

Flowers will get his chance to prove he belongs in Blue & Gold when he visits the Chargers on April 9. The visit is more than superficial; Flowers' agent confirmed to's Jon Scott that the Chargers are showing "lots of interest."

Flowers Family Affairs

Flowers' father is one of the top voices in his life and has been behind the wheel for much of Flowers' career.

"My dad still disciplines me when I need discipline," Flowers said. "I'm always going to listen to my dad. He bought my truck at Virginia Tech. If my grades would slip or he didn't think I was where I need to be or working hard on the field, he'd take my truck away."

Once Flowers gets that first- or second-round rookie contract, it's likely his transportation will be upgraded, but his dad might still be holding the keys.

"My father told me wherever I get drafted, he's definitely going to go wherever I am, whatever city I'm in," Flowers said. "If I'm in California, he's coming to California. He's definitely going to go wherever I go."

Amberly Richardson is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America and a correspondent for She has contributed to the official Web sites of Shawne Merriman, Lorenzo Neal, Shaun Phillips and others for Sixthman Communications.

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