Jacksonville Jaguars All-Pro cornerback Jalen Ramsey met with the media on Thursday, deflecting the media attention to himself and New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckhman, Jr.
Jalen Ramsey has spoken. The Jacksonville Jaguars controversial cornerback met with the media on Tuesday, telling those in attendance the matchup on Sunday between his team and the New York Giants is more about two teams kicking off the 2018 regular season than it is a marquee matchup with wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr.
The highly anticipated confrontation is just one of the many subplots this game presents. The Jaguars and Giants both shared Tom Coughlin as head coach and Pat Flaherty and Perry Fewell has served as assistant coaches on both staffs.
Thursday, however, was about Ramsey and his preparation for Sept. 9.
"“A lot of people are going to try to make it about me and him specifically, but that’s not what it’s about,” Ramsey said."
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Ramsey singled out the Giants Pro-Bowl pas catcher in July in another meeting with the media, stating he knew Beckham would be just as prepared for the game as the former first-round draft pick out of Florida State. Now, Ramsey wants the attention placed on the game between two teams, not two individuals.
"“I am looking forward to it. I am looking forward to beginning the season with the whole team. A lot of people try to make it me and him specifically,” Ramsey explained. “That is not what it is about. Football is a team game. It is going to be 11 guys out there for us, 11 guys out there for them. We are going to have to come together and do what we have to do to try to get a win. I will try to do my part.”"
The Jaguars shocked the football world by going 10-6 and winning the AFC South Title. By contrast, the Giants were a surprise team themselves, winning three games and firing head coach Ben McAdoo, who replaced Coughlin in the Big Apple.
Despite the plot twists, the teams on the field Sunday afternoon in New Jersey know this is about getting off to a fast start in a short NFL season.
Ramsey still feels the same about the Jaguars as he did last season.
"“Same confidence is there. My confidence in the defense and the whole team really last year was at an all-time high and it still is,” he said."
Beckham is not the only wide receiver the Jaguars must be aware of. Sterling Shepard is an underrated pass catcher who stands to gain a few more passes thrown his way if the Jaguars turn all their attention to stopping Beckham.
Ramsey will play the same brand of football that helped the Jaguars have one of the best secondaries in the NFL last year.
Ramsey acknowledges Beckham is one of the best at his position in the league and is just the first in many tests for him this season. He doesn’t just talk about playing well, he plays at a high level each game. Sunday should prove to be more of the same.
"“He has an all-around game in my opinion. [He is] viewed as one of the top in the game by everyone I believe,” Ramsey said. ” He backs it up when he goes out there and plays. He is a premier player for their team, so of course, that is a fun matchup. That is a fun challenge that I like.”"