Insider Exclusive: Q&A with Antoine Cason

SDBoltReport.com's Mike Kranzler continues his exclusive interview with first-round pick Antoine Cason, who is expected to replace Drayton Florence as the nickel back. The former Wildcat opens up about playing for the Patriots, learning from Antonio Cromartie and balling with a member of the Detroit Pistons.

Michael Kranzler: Were you a Chargers fan growing up?

Antoine Cason: No, I wasn't a Chargers fan growing up. I had other teams that I liked just because of, you know, my first Pop Warner team was the Patriots so I followed them. My dad [Wendell Cason] played for Atlanta, and I liked the Cowboys just because of some of the players they had on the team. I never really was a Chargers fan, but that's all changed now.

MK: Talk about that game this past season against No. 2 Oregon where you had an interception return and punt return for touchdowns. How important was that game for your team?

AC: For the team, it was great to play on Thursday in that game on ESPN national TV. It was Senior Night, and for all the seniors, it meant a lot to them and their families to win that game. You know, it was a fun game for me, but to watch my teammates enjoy it, to watch my teammates and the Arizona fans enjoy that victory, it was awesome.

MK: Tell me about your Cason Cares campaign.

AC: Me and my friend, Matt Brooks, created "Cason Cares" wristbands and sold them for $3 apiece. All the money went to the American Cancer Society. We started it because we had family members, of course, my grandfather died in February of '07. He died of Leukemia, so it's a form of cancer, but it's just something to give back to him, and it was an experience to do something not for me, and it was pretty cool.


CB Antoine Cason
Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty

MK: Can Chargers fans still buy these wristbands?

AC: You know, I haven't done anything just yet because in the long process we have to go through pre-Combine and pre-draft, it would have been too much for me to try to keep that going at that time. I'm sure that once all of this slows down we'll start back again. Matt's working on that right now, so we'll see where we're at.

MK: I read somewhere that you played Pee-Wee football with Arron Afflalo [of the Detroit Pistons]. How was he as a football player?

AC: You know what, I did. How old were we? I think we were 9, and he played quarterback, and he could throw the ball! It was pretty cool to play with him and then grow up and see that he was playing basketball, but he always played basketball since we were that young. After football season, he decided not to play football anymore because he wanted to play basketball and of course it worked out for him. It was pretty cool to play with him and to see him when I look back at that team picture. It's pretty crazy.

MK: You have already begun to get noticed on the practice field by your teammates and the media. Have any of the veterans started to really take you under their wing or mentor you?

AC: Well I've been getting a lot of them who have said "good job" or that I had a good camp, but of course I talked to Antonio Cromartie a lot on a daily basis about defenses and how to practice and things like that. I watch Quentin Jammer and how he works, and they're all pretty cool. I'm just excited to come to a team like they have. It's just pretty great, it's just a good team.

MK: Is there anything that you want to say to all the Chargers fans out there or that you would want them to know about you?

AC: That's a tough question [laughing]. I want them to know that I'm coming here to work hard, to play and fit in with this team. I want to be a part of this team and try to win a Super Bowl. That's the goal, to win a Super Bowl with this team and just play as hard as I can. Go Chargers!

Click here for the rest of this interview, where Cason talks about taking care of unfinished business, defending some of the best receivers in the Pac-10 and disproving some pre-draft criticisms.


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