Not just a lockdown cornerback — Los Angeles Rams’ Jalen Ramsey a physical, versatile defensive weapon

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7:00 AM ET

  • Lindsey ThiryESPN


    • Protected Rams for two several years for Los Angeles Occasions
    • Earlier protected the Falcons
    • Has coated the NBA and college or university football and basketball

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — Jalen Ramsey sprinted on to the field to celebrate a deep landing move as though the Los Angeles Rams finally ended the longest close zone drought.

“It was neat for him to be out there celebrating with me,” quarterback Matthew Stafford reported just after passing for his 1st touchdown in L.A. in a Week 1 victory in excess of the Chicago Bears. “I was having entertaining, he appeared like he was owning a good time, much too.”

He’ll also light-weight up social media if inaccuracies are tweeted his way.

“Often I truly feel like you have acquired to established the history straight,” Ramsey claimed.

And this period, Ramsey is not only coming for the NFL’s very best receivers, but is right after every very last player on the opposing group. Potentially look at this a warning.

“Ain’t no player like him in the Nationwide Soccer League,” 3-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year Aaron Donald mentioned. “He can do it all.”

In his sixth NFL period, Ramsey’s self confidence continues to be firmly intact and probably has been taken to a new stage with a transition from cornerback to all-close to defensive back again. Bored and discontented for so a lot of seasons standing on an island, seeing opposing quarterbacks perform hold absent as he locked down their top targets, this year Ramsey desires to shut down the whole offense.

In his one of a kind Ramsey model.

This Stafford man can SLING IT ?

His initially touchdown as a Ram to @VanJefferson12!

— Los Angeles Rams (@RamsNFL) September 13, 2021

“He plays corner, plays protection, performs nickel, plays in essence an outdoors linebacker place at instances,” Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians explained. “I am happy he is carrying No. 5. We can come across him now.”

On Thursday, Russell Wilson will be the quarterback scanning across the line of scrimmage seeking to find Ramsey when the Rams (3-1) participate in the Seattle Seahawks (2-2) in an NFC West matchup at Lumen Field (8:20 p.m. ET, Fox/NFL Network).

“He can really definitely address men, he can make performs on the ball, he is a physical tackler, he is truly intelligent way too you can tell on movie. But they’ve blended him all-around,” Wilson said. “They’ve set him outside, definitely, which is his standard detail. But also they have him inside taking part in some slot and he’ll tension off the edge some much too.”

“Wherever he traces up and whoever he is covering,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll mentioned, “you’re in for hassle.”

An admirer of Pro Football Hall of Famer Charles Woodson, Ramsey’s recreation offers numerous similarities to the former Oakland Raider and Eco-friendly Bay Packer.

2 Similar

“The physical mother nature, the off-the-charts soccer recognition and intelligence,” claimed secondary mentor Ejiro Evero, a former teammate of Woodson’s in Oakland. “I imagine which is a single matter that Jalen won’t get sufficient credit for is he is 1 of the smartest football gamers I have at any time been all-around.”

But Ramsey, who turns 27 this thirty day period, wishes to make his personal identify in his individual way.

“I wouldn’t say I model my game immediately after any person just because I like to be special in my possess techniques, make a identify for myself,” Ramsey said. “But [Woodson] is, in my impression, the greatest defensive back again to ever play the activity.”

A longtime lockdown cornerback, past season defensive coordinator Brandon Staley — now the head mentor of the Los Angeles Chargers — altered Ramsey’s function so he could make a better influence, seemingly hard to fathom when he by now took absent 50 % the subject. But the go was a achievements, as he performed section-time lockdown corner on the outdoors and portion-time disruptor on the inside of.

This time, to start with-yr defensive coordinator Raheem Morris, a 19-12 months NFL coaching veteran, and Ramsey — a four-time Pro Bowler and two-time All-Professional choice — have taken the shift a stage additional.

The 6-foot-1, 208-pound Ramsey has lined up in the slot on 149 snaps and has played 98 snaps on the outside. As the nearest defender, he’s allowed 17 catches on 29 targets.

“Past yr was sprinkled in right here and there, but this 12 months it’s form of no boundaries to wherever I may perhaps be all through the sport. I have no restrictions to a specific sport prepare,” Ramsey said. “I don’t know exactly where I’m going to be participating in each 7 days.”

He’ll just take on offensive linemen, will lock down on the exterior, affect, influence and disrupt on the inside. Ramsey can drop into protection, he can blitz and you will find no question at some place this year he is bound to document his 1st NFL sack.

“This dude completely embraces it and enjoys it and needs it,” Morris said. “He is equipped to go in and combine it up with the big boys, is ready to go out and enjoy with the competent fellas and match ability with those people fellas.”

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In the Week 1 rout of the Bears, Ramsey asserted himself with three tackles for a reduction in a one collection, which includes a perform in which he powered by means of a block to push receiver Darnell Mooney deep into the turf for a two-lawn setback.

“There is certainly a variation concerning tackling and hitting, and I like to strike,” explained Ramsey, who was taught the fundamentals of tackling from his dad and youth football coaches. “It is just from time to time a will and a want to.”

The following 7 days, Ramsey was deep in coverage when he stared down Indianapolis Colts backup quarterback Jacob Eason, then jumped a route to intercept a go and successfully conclude any possibility of a sport-successful Colts travel in a 27-24 Rams win.

“They can in no way variety of determine out when I was shifting, when I was going to be inside of, outdoors, wherever I was at during the match,” Ramsey reported, chuckling. “And truthfully, I’m suitable there with them simply because I you should not know possibly.”

After a statement victory in excess of quarterback Tom Brady and the defending Super Bowl winner Buccaneers in 7 days 3, Brady fulfilled Ramsey at midfield. The two shared a mutual admiration, and the 7-time Super Bowl champion smiled as he instructed Ramsey how close he came to using him down.

“You played terrific,” Brady explained to Ramsey, who experienced 8 tackles and pressured Brady twice. “You were being — inches.”

“I was, proper?” Ramsey responded. “Keep it just a little bit more time up coming time!”

.@JalenRamsey: “I enjoy enjoying from you, man.”@TomBrady: “Exact same right here.”

Jalen: “You happen to be the GOAT for genuine.”

Supreme rivals. (by using @NFLFilms)

— NFL (@NFL) September 28, 2021

And in Week 4, even with a Rams letdown in all three phases in a blowout reduction to the Arizona Cardinals, Ramsey remained a trouble for receiver DeAndre Hopkins, who caught four passes for 67 yards on seven targets — while with Ramsey as the nearest defender on 3 of individuals targets, Hopkins caught only 1 pass.

“He is almost certainly been the defensive MVP therefore considerably when you seem at the impression he is had on game titles,” Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury said in advance of the gain that moved his group into 1st place in the NFC West. “He’s as adaptable of a player as there is and it can be been seriously remarkable to watch the physicality that he is actively playing with this period.”

“He likes to be challenged, he likes to transfer close to and likes to do unique points,” Morris stated. “He is undoubtedly a problem for me when it comes to obtaining various approaches to keep him enthusiastic and maintain him that lively.”

Ramsey has 24 tackles this period, tied with teammate Darious Williams for 2nd among NFL cornerbacks. Williams’ presence permits Ramsey to roam as significantly as he does.

“I just notify D-Will, ‘Let’s switch or let’s move’ or whichever the circumstance may possibly be,” Ramsey reported. “Him remaining ready to do that permits me to like participate in much more freely and be ready to do it a lot more.”

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For Ramsey, this role is section of who he has always been. He just hasn’t earlier been in a posture to demonstrate it. At Florida Point out, the Seminoles wanted him to enjoy cornerback. Then he saw more of the exact when the Jacksonville Jaguars selected him with the fifth all round decide in 2016. In his to start with year with the Rams following he was traded halfway via 2019, he locked down the outside. Then, Staley and Morris empowered him to do more.

“I do not watch myself as just a corner, which is just what I have been participating in out of requirement of whichever staff I have been a portion of and how I’ve been considered in the league,” Ramsey mentioned. “I sense like I’m just a defensive again, so I could enjoy anywhere on the subject and it is just aspect of my game.”

“If you just viewed him the complete video game,” McVay explained, “you’d say that man is a unique, unique talent that plays with fantastic electrical power and enthusiasm each and every single snap.

“He is type of one of a person.”

ESPN’s Brady Henderson contributed to this report.