GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Antoine Cason spent the first five years of his NFL career with the San Diego Chargers.
Selected in the first round (27th overall) by the team in the 2008 NFL Draft out of the University of Arizona, he accumulated 308 total tackles, 12 interceptions and four forced fumbles in his time there, numbers that were solid, but not enough to get the team to commit to bringing him back when his contract expired.
So, Cason signed a one-year contract with the Arizona Cardinals, who will be facing the Chargers Saturday in a preseason matchup.
Not even a full calendar removed from when he was last a member of the Chargers, he'll now be facing off against them.
"It's crazy; it's definitely interesting in playing the team that I came from, but for me this is once again a stepping stone in my progress to be the best player I can be," Cason said Thursday. "I'm going to take it like that.
"My mindset is not to worry about getting caught up in the emotions of, ‘Oh, it's the San Diego Chargers.' You know what? Screw that, I have to go out there and make plays just like any other week."
That said, Cason admitted there may be a little extra motivation given that he is playing against a franchise that let him leave, but he has more important things to worry about now that he's in Arizona.
Though not exactly fighting for a spot on the roster, Cason's role on the team is not yet defined as he continues to battle for a spot in a very deep secondary.
Of that, Cason, who says he's feeling good and excited about his progression as a player this camp, is focused only on what he can control: his effort and performance on the football field.
"Take care of what I can handle and take care of what I can take care of, that's all I can do," he said. "Put myself in good position to have a role."