‘Coach’ Jalen Ramsey shined on the Los Angeles Rams sideline while recovering from shoulder surgery

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Jeff Okudah Named Week 1 Starter at...
Jeff Okudah Named Week 1 Starter at Cornerback

IRVINE, Calif. — As Matthew Stafford led the Los Angeles Rams’ offense down the field, Jalen Ramsey stood on the defensive sideline with script in hand.

Ramsey, who is recovering from offseason surgery on his left shoulder, sat out the first two weeks of practice before being cleared by team doctors on Saturday. While recovering, the cornerback looked like another assistant coach on the sidelines in his Rams’ No. 5 T-shirt and bucket hat, which is precisely why head coach Sean McVay opted not to put Ramsey on the PUP list to start camp.

After he did some rehab during individual drills, you could usually find Ramsey next to defensive coordinator Raheem Morris or coaching a teammate as soon as a game ends.

“Actually, having him as a coach is terrible,” Morris said with a smile. “He’s got all the answers. He’s going to do all those checks. He’s going to do all this.

“He’s like a really good player who becomes a coach and they become a really bad coach and they end up quitting and doing something else… I can’t wait until he’s a player again.”

Morris laughed before saying, “He’s a lot of fun though.”

The truth is, as much as Ramsey and his defensive coordinator have gone back and forth on the sidelines, Morris said his star cornerback has shown during camp “how involved he is in what we’re doing and how invested he is in his guys players.”

When Ramsey was asked about his role on the sideline early in training camp, he said he’s glad he can help his teammates, but ultimately he just couldn’t stay away.

“That’s kind of the only way I can enjoy it,” Ramsey said. “Because I want to be out there. You know what I mean?”

Ramsey said he carried the play script so he could know exactly what the call is and therefore “the certain techniques that I feel like they should have used or that could have helped them.” This allowed him to give his teammates feedback as soon as they come off the field instead of having to wait until the position group reviews film in the meeting room.

“It’s huge because Jalen is going to be a big part of what we do defensively,” McVay said. “He has great ownership of what we do. When you’re able to play multiple positions, you have to have an overall understanding of what we’re trying to do defensively. So the experience that he has, there are a lot of instances , where “OK, how do you want to be able to play this? are your gaming options within the scope of these coverages?”

“And his ability to communicate that, that energy is contagious and you can really see a lot of that swag that he has rubs off on our DBs as a whole, the defense as a whole, especially some of the younger guys. “

The Rams added four defensive backs in the draft, and two of them, cornerbacks Cobie Durant (fourth round) and Derion Kendrick (sixth round) have certainly benefited from Ramsey’s expertise. Kendrick said Ramsey has helped him with his technique and with concepts that other teams might “try to confuse us with.”

“There was a time when I could have zoomed out to the apartment instead of just working straight back,” Durant said. “But it was just the time when he [said] I could have opened up and watched the play with quarterback vision. So it’s just little things.’

In addition to helping his teammates, defensive backs coach Jonathan Cooley said he believes the experience will also help Ramsey grow as a defensive back because he “is able to see things from more of a coach’s perspective .”

“It helps his lens,” Cooley said. “So he’s loved it. He gets a little bored as we go along, but he’s done a good job with it. It’s been fun to have him around in that aspect.”

So does Cooley think Ramsey will coach one day? The assistant coach laughed.

“No,” Cooley said. “No. He doesn’t have enough patience. Maybe a high school coach back in Nashville.”

And Morris, despite the tough time he is giving his star cornerback, says he hopes even more positivity will come out of Ramsey’s interim role.

“We all know Ramsey,” Morris said. “He may have some moments where emotion takes over what he wants and what he really believes, but his true essence of who he is comes out in those times in the meeting rooms and in training camp.

“You hope it builds him to be a better player when he’s not having the best days that he wants or not being communicated the way he was because he relied on those kinds of experiences. It’s only going to help him to become a better player, better manager, better everything for us.”

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