Ramsey Rams’ role
From the moment that he arrived, Jalen Ramsey has indeed been a difference-maker for the Rams’ defense. In 2019, despite jumping in mid-season to a new defensive scheme, he played in nine games for the Rams and started in eight. He stands 6-foot-1 and weighs 208-pounds, but he hits like a linebacker and smothers receivers like velcro.
By 2020, he was playing for a new defensive coordinator in Brandon Staley. Staley allowed Ramsey to pick his coverage targets, typically the best receiver from the opposing offense, and literally just shut them down. All the while, Ramsey was unfazed at the contract negotiations that were ongoing between his agent and the Rams organization.
Inasmuch as the Rams showed tremendous confidence in trading for Jalen Ramsey, Ramsey showed just as much faith and confidence in the team to do their part in locking him in for years to come. In September 2020, the news broke. The Rams and Jalen Ramsey had agreed to a new 5-year extension.
Now fully compensated, Ramsey would go on to have his best NFL season in his career. Completely counter to all of the pre-trade rumors about Jalen Ramsey, the Rams proved that he not only deserved a high pricetag trade package, but that he fully deserved the team’s faith and confidence required to make it happen. The deceptively disguised defense was an ideal platform to fool quarterbacks and shut down the best of the NFL business receivers.
It was so successful, that the Rams 2021 defensive philosophy has been attempting to tap Ramsey’s shutdown ability even more. The Rams have been susceptible to offenses that focus on moving the ball through the middle of the Rams’ defense. In 2021, the Rams are attempting to counter that by moving Ramsey around to defend that as well.
The Rams have placed a lot of trust in Jalen Ramsey this year. But why not? The team did so before they ever traded for him. Now, two years after the fact is as good a time as any to be thankful that they did.