Jacksonville a homecoming for Derek Cox

SAN DIEGO – The surroundings remain the same, but many of the faces have changed since San Diego Chargers cornerback Derek Cox left Jacksonville in free agency during the offseason.

The 27-year-old cornerback returns to the team that selected him in the third round of the 2009 draft out of William & Mary when San Diego travels to Jacksonville to take on the Jaguars this weekend.

Cox said he’s treating Sunday like a business trip.

“It’s just another game, and that’s how you have to approach it,” Cox said. “I have a ton of great relationships in the community with people there, and at the facility with the Jaguars, along with players on the team. So it’s exciting to go back and see everybody. I imagine it will be kind of surreal just stepping back into that environment, knowing that, ‘Man, I lived here for four years, and now I’m visiting.’ It will be cool.”

Cox said he hasn’t talked this week with any of his former teammates still on the roster.

“I haven’t had to deal with any trash talk,” he said. “No back and forth, but I imagine it will go on, on the field. They’re probably saving it for game day.”

Cox signed a four-year, $20 million deal with San Diego in March, including $10.25 million in guaranteed money. His former team showed some light interest, but ultimately he chose the new surroundings of San Diego.

“It was a situation where I had a better opportunity somewhere else,” he said. “I was excited about that, had the chance so I took it. And definitely it was nothing against the Jaguars at all. I enjoyed my time there, but it was just a new season of life for me.”

Cox has played in every game this season, but just corralled his first interception of the season last week at the end of the Indianapolis game. Along with the lone interception, Cox has 25 tackles and five passes defended this season.

He understands that he can play better.

“I look at myself in a positive light, but an honest light,” he said. “I always want to improve. My best days of football always are ahead of me, and I’m striving to get there and continue to do well.”