JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Jalen Ramsey got his hands dirty Tuesday for the first time since the birth of his daughter. Ramsey reported to Jacksonville Jaguars training camp and jumped right into the mix with the first-team defense, taking part in drills, talking trash and breaking up passes.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Jalen Ramsey got his hands dirty Tuesday for the first time since the birth of his daughter.
Ramsey reported to Jacksonville Jaguars training camp and jumped right into the mix with the first-team defense, taking part in drills, talking trash and breaking up passes.
Sweat, grass, dirt. It might have been the messiest Ramsey's hands have been since he skipped the start of camp to remain in Tennessee with his girlfriend, Bre, and newborn daughter, Breelyn. That's because the All-Pro cornerback, whose hands might be as valuable as anyone's on that side of the ball, made a deal with Bre that he wouldn't have to change diapers.
"We've been best friends since high school so we've always kind of talked about how the process would go a little bit," Ramsey said. "Of course, everything's different when it actually happens, but for the most part, we have really good agreement that I won't necessarily have to change diapers."
So what is Ramsey's part of the trade-off?
"She changes the diapers; I feed her," he said.
Ramsey became a first-time father last Wednesday, the day the Jaguars reported for camp. He missed four practices to spend extra time with his family. Coach Doug Marrone excused his absences.
"It is good when everybody is together, everyone is back in and everyone is in a good place mentally," Marrone said. "Just having that balance in your life, making sure everyone is good at home, making sure everyone is OK, making sure everything is set. Then you can get here and then you can focus and put your mind on what you need to do. It is always good when you can get everyone back in here, and I am glad everything worked out well."
Marrone had planned to work Ramsey in slowly, but the ultra-competitive, lock-down cornerback refused to stay on the sideline during his first day back. The Jaguars had to like what they saw, even though they've seen similar from him for two years now.
Ramsey played in every game in two seasons and emerged as one of the league's top defenders.
He expects to be even better in Year 3.
"We're going to see when the season starts, right?" he said. "We're going to see. And y'all will see. Y'all will see. I never give myself like goals. I guess you could say like, 'Oh, I'm going to have this many interceptions; I'm going to have this many" pass breakups.
"But what I can tell you, though, that I will do is I'll make sure I prepare myself and I'm ready to go out there and give it my all so I'm not letting anybody down, my teammates, coaches, my family, y'all, fans. I can tell you that much."
He gets one of his toughest tests in the team's season opener at the New York Giants and against three-time Pro Bowl receiver Odell Beckham Jr.
"Let's get this out the way right now: He's a good receiver. We all know that," said Ramsey, the fifth overall pick in the 2016 NFL draft. "But y'all know me at the same time. Yeah, he's good. But I'm good, too. If y'all want to say he's the best at his position; I'm the best at my position, so we're going to go at it. We're going to give the people a show the first game of the season.
"He's going to have some wins; I'm going to have some wins. I just plan on having more wins."
Ramsey is the outspoken face of Jacksonville's vaunted defense, a unit that was among the best in the league in 2017. The Jaguars return 10 starters on that side of the ball, including all four in the secondary, and expect to be even more dynamic in their second season together.
"At the end of the day, win games," he said. "If we can win games on the defensive side of the ball. We can always ask for more: More turnovers, more touchdowns, more opportunities giving the ball back to the offense. Just more of everything."
"It feels good" to be back, Ramsey said. "Miss my little girl already, but it feels good. It was cool. It was good. Long few days, but everything that I could have dreamed of."