One-on-one with Chargers CB Antoine Cason's Mike Kranzler catches up with first-round pick Antoine Cason for an exclusive Q&A session. Cason discusses taking care of unfinished business, defending some of the best receivers in the Pac-10 and disproving some pre-draft criticisms. Be sure to check out the "Insiders Only" portion of the interview, as well.

Click here for the Insiders Only portion of this interview, where Cason talks about playing for the Patriots, learning from Antonio Cromartie and balling with a member of the Detroit Pistons.

Michael Kranzler: How does it feel to return home to Southern California to play professional football?

Antoine Cason: It's an added bonus. It's pretty good to be close to home. You know, it wasn't a big concern of mine, whoever drafted me. It really didn't play a factor with me if I stayed close or not, but now that I'm home, it's a plus, definitely.

MK: Compared to many of your fellow first-rounders, you were relatively lightly recruited coming out of Los Alamitos High. What did you have to do to make yourself better, to the point that you became a first-round draft pick?

AC: Hard work, that definitely helped to get me there. Nothing was going to be easy, and nothing was going to be handed to me. That started since going into high school and coming out of high school, and it was the same training now, just to be coming out and a first-round pick, it's just hard work, and it makes me think back to all those days I had to put in extra time.

MK: Why did you choose to come back to Arizona for your senior year?

AC: Because I felt I had unfinished business, such as winning the awards, the Jim Thorpe Award, being an All-American. Also, I wanted to lead the team to a winning season, although that didn't happen. It still was worth a shot; it was something I wanted to do. So unfinished business was pretty much the main reason I wanted to come back, and of course, I wanted to finish up school.

CB Antoine Cason
Ben Margot/AP

MK: What are you going to do with your first NFL paycheck?

AC: I'm gonna go find me a place to live.

MK: Many draft pundits saw your lack of "elite speed" as a problem during the evaluation period before the draft. Obviously, you were an All-American in track at Arizona while also the 2007 Thorpe Award winner, so that's really not something they should have worried about. What do you feel is the difference between your timed speed and your game speed?

AC: I ran a 4.45, so that shouldn't be too much of a question with me, but if that's what they want to say, then that's fine. I've ran with guys on the field and I have no questions about it.

MK: You played against some serious competition in terms of receivers from the Pac-10. Who was the most difficult player you had to cover in your four years and why?

AC: You know, that question always pops up, and once again, there was Derek Hagan, Demetrius Williams, Dwayne Jarrett, DeSean Jackson, Lavelle Hawkins, all of those guys, it was every week. It was a week-to-week thing that I had to cover some top guys.

MK: You have been drafted to a team that has an extremely stacked roster with very few holes, if any. What do you see as your role on this team this upcoming season, and what do you need to do to get better?

AC: The team, yeah, it is pretty stacked, but I'm just going to go in and play. We haven't really talked much about what I'm going to do or where I'm going to play. I think it's a little early for that, for those guys to tell me where I'm going to be, but I'm just going to take it day by day, work hard, and just practice hard and get the system down. But I definitely think I fit in to that. We'll see how it goes. It's kind of tough to see now, to speculate on where I'll be.

MK: Who are you most excited about getting to cover in a game?

AC: You know, I haven't thought about it. I'm so excited about practice, it's pretty crazy, just knowing that I'm here. But no, I haven't thought about guarding anyone like that, but I'm sure that when the opportunity comes, I'll play hard.

Click here for the Insiders Only portion of this interview, where Cason talks about playing for the Patriots, learning from Antonio Cromartie and balling with a member of the Detroit Pistons.

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