As Jacksonville Jaguars’ cornerback A.J. Bouye walked towards the practice field at TIAA Bank Field on Tuesday, he smiled at the media members who were taking his picture and filming his first day at team OTAs.
Once he got in the practice field, it was business as usual for the All-Pro and Pro Bowl player. This was Bouye’s first day on the field after missing the first three practice sessions because of personal matters.
Now, he’s focused on this season and what lies ahead for the Jaguars.
A.J. Bouye spoke to the media after practice, outlining how this is a new season, and another chance to chase greatness. He said he is still motivated to do better, despite having his best season in the NFL last year.
“Yes, because I still do not get a lot of respect. Nothing is wrong with that. I appreciate it because it motivates me even more,” Bouye said.
"“I just feel like it was just the beginning. It was my first time in the scheme, and now that I have learned it, I know how they’re going to attack us, and I’m always adapting to that. It’s just extra motivation.”"
Bouye led the team with six interceptions last season playing opposite Jalen Ramsey, making up arguably the best cornerback tandem in the NFL. After falling short in the AFC Title Game against the New England Patriots, Bouye is motivated to do more and help the younger players on the roster improve on and off the field.
"“I just have to get around and know them. I just have to talk to them and see how they are as a person, first off, and how their work ethic is,” Bouye explained.“You just have to stay positive with those guys and let them know that there are 31 other teams watching them. Really, you just have to enjoy the moments you have with these players. They might be the last [moments] or you might have a lot of them, but just have fun and enjoy it.”"
A.J. Bouye said he likes the vibe of this team, and now being in Jacksonville for a second season he has adjusted well.
"“It was my first time here last year, so it was kind of different. I was feeling out everybody and even with new coaches. You can tell that we are a little bit more comfortable in the scheme,” said Bouye.“Everybody is gelling together and clicking. Everyone was happy that I was back, and it felt like towards the end of the season last year. We were still on the same page – having fun and flying around.”"
Bouye is considered one of the best at his position in the NFL. While the respect card continues to motivate him, he may find it hard to duplicate last year’s numbers. The three other teams in the AFC South have all made improvements and are well aware of what he and Ramsey are capable of.
Avoiding Bouye or Ramsey, or both may be the greatest sign of respect there is in this game.
Now that the former Houston Texan is in camp, the only remaining player who has not stepped onto the practice field is Ramsey. It is not known if the third-year All-Pro will make an appearance at some point this week.