Healthy Durwin James Takes Leadership Defending Chargers – Los Angeles Chargers Blog

INGLEWOOD, California – It’s two hours before kick-off for an important game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. And Mr. Do Everything, Play Everywhere, Derwin James Jr. wears shorts and a T-shirt (blue for his team, the Los Angeles Chargers, of course) and no shoes. None He is barefoot, walks along the edge of the field and greets the Steelers he knows.

I later find out what he does before each game.

“So I can feel the surface, really feel it, before I put the studs on,” explains the safety of the chargers.

Okay, every player has their routine, their superstitions, their quirks. And if this is James, anything he does during the game will not attract glances or questions from his teammates or even his opponents. He has so much respect.

When asked where he likes to play, James replies, “Wherever the ball is.”

The Chargers won the game 41-37 in what players and coach Brandon Staley called a “must-win”. Not only did it take the Chargers 6-4 and get them into the playoffs when the season ended today, but it gave the team that lost three of their last four games confidence on both sides of the ball.

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But nobody enjoyed the win more than James, who stormed into the interview room with a big smile on his face – studs still on – and with an energy that belies the effort he put into the game with six tackles and one pass defended .

“The interception has to come,” said James, kicking himself after the game after a near-shot against the Steelers. He had one that season for a 15 yard return in a 28-14 win over Las Vegas on Monday Night Football in Week 4.

James sat out with injuries all of 2020 and most of 2019 (a Jones fracture in his foot cost him 11 games in 2019, a meniscus tear last season), which means he’s extra motivated now – whether he is asked to cover or help with running assistance or rushing passers-by. If necessary, he can even play a receiver.

James is as easy to get along with and talkative as anyone else on the team. And he moves like no other in the NFL. He is six feet tall, weighs 215 pounds, and when he’s healthy and reaching his full potential, as he has done all season in part due to the Chargers’ meticulous conditioning and agility training, they are often considered to be one of the best Teams of the AFC viewed.

And here’s one more thing, perhaps the toughest thing James does: he heads the defense and wears the green dot on his helmet that symbolizes his possession of a transmitter built into the helmet. He is responsible for relaying coach calls from the press box to his teammates. And when technology failed against the Minnesota Vikings in Week 10, James had to run to the sidelines to get the playcall and then back into the huddle.

James is smart enough (and fast enough) to do the job well, Staley said, although the Chargers ended up losing the game 27:20. He added that he was a consolation for the entire defense because he didn’t make any mistakes.

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“The great thing is that it’s our two times; it’s his first time as head coach and it’s my first time as a caller, a team captain,” said James. “We both learn new challenges, new things every week. I feel like we’re relying on each other and getting better and helping our team. He leads and me. We’ll do everything we can week. “

The win over Pittsburgh keeps the Chargers in the middle of the playoff chase that could lead to a division game at the Denver Broncos on Sunday (4:05 p.m. ET, CBS) and could pitch a whopper against the Kansas on December 16 at SoFi Stadium City Chiefs who are currently half a game on the Chargers at AFC West.

“So Durwin keeps everyone connected, like he did,” Staley said, “he’s a G. He connected everyone. We’d beat everyone out there. We had some new D-linemen. Everyone kept his demeanor didn’t flinch. We continued to play hard. “

James too, of course, especially with his studs.

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