LA Rams: Jalen Ramsey getting Ramsey Island ready for WRs

Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports /

What is the main reason that fans love the play of LA Rams All-Pro defensive back Jalen Ramsey? Is it that his ferocity on the football field rivals that of middle linebackers? Is it that his size and power are in lockstep with defensive safeties? Is it the fact that he brings to the Rams secondary what All-Pro defensive lineman Aaron Donald brings to the defensive line? Or perhaps it simply comes down to the fact that he runs the back half of the football field like a lone wolf.

He is the NFL shutdown corner, a player so gifted that he can defend the best receivers in the NFL, and win those one-on-one battles consistently. That ability to single-handedly neutralize some of the best targets in the NFL is like stranding them on an island, Ramsey Island.   Even ESPN’s Mike Greenberg, who is normally quite stoic and matter-of-fact praised Ramsey rather emphatically in 2020. And for good reason. Ramsey is one of the best in the NFL, and he is worth every penny.

But attaining and sustaining that elite level of play is not automatic. It’s a high cost to maintain, and it is a journey that requires Ramsey to take alone. Rather a bit of poetic justice, when you think about it, right? The player who strands receivers during the NFL season is himself a bit of a recluse when training.

It is his normal ritual and the results of that preparation are nothing short of amazing.  Here is just one example of how the LA Rams allow Ramsey to give single-man coverage to the Seattle Seahawks WR D.K. Metcalf, allowing the secondary to triple cover Tyler Lockett on a deep route.

The Rams defense benefits tremendously by the bonus of Ramsey shutting down elite receivers on play-after-play, and game-after-game. He is the equivalent of multiple defensive backs on the field, and that gives the secondary to focus elsewhere.

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Training on his own is not unheard of in the NFL. Some players who deal in power will hire specific trainers to come in a spot them in muscle-building exercises. Other players who cross-train, or want to push their envelope to enhance or improve limitations to their game will hire outside help to guide them in that direction. But Jalen Ramsey? He knows where he needs to be and what he needs to do to get there. He occupies Ramsey Island alone in the offseason and then strands wide receivers on his island on game day.