Jalen Ramsey’s braggadocio approach seemingly took the day off Friday when he said Los Angeles Rams teammate Aaron Donald is the best football player in the world.
The cockiness — or extreme confidence — didn’t take long to return when the follow-up question was whether Ramsey thought he was the best cornerback in the world.
“I know I am,” Ramsey blurted out.
Ramsey isn’t about to soft-pedal things just because the Rams are playing in Super Bowl LVI on Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals. More questions from the media equal more direct answers coming from his lips.
“I’ve been the best in the game for years now, consistently showing greatness week in and week out,” the 27-year-old Ramsey said earlier this week. “So, it’s another workday at the office for me on Sunday.
“I don’t really think about what anybody says about what I should do or how I should play. I have consistently been great over the years, so I have shown that I will show up when I need to show up. And that’s what I plan to do again on Sunday.”
Earlier this week, Ramsey insisted he wanted to cover Cincinnati hot-shot wideout Ja’Marr Chase, who was named the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year on Thursday night.
The six-year veteran has since softened up — yes, he still wants to cover Chase — knowing that the entirety of the defensive game plan carries more weight than his individual wishes.
“There are different areas where we might have to do something different because it might put the team in a better position to win,” Ramsey said. “So, wherever the game may take us, it will take us. And we are going to do what we’ve got to do from there. But you’re going to get to see that matchup. You’re going to have the opportunity to see it, and I’m going to be ready for it.”
Ramsey had 77 tackles and four interceptions this season while being named a Pro Bowler for the fifth time and an All-Pro for the third.
He played his first three-plus seasons with the Jacksonville Jaguars before being traded to the Rams during the 2019 season.
He was dealt by the Jaguars after some heavy tension with the organization. Ramsey got into a heated sideline argument with then-coach Doug Marrone during a game. It led to a meeting that included executive vice president of football operations Tom Coughlin and general manager Dave Caldwell, two men Ramsey did not see eye to eye with.
After Ramsey left the meeting that became highly confrontational, he was still in the hallway of the team complex when he called his agent to ask him to request a trade.
Just as he did in December when the Rams played Jacksonville, Ramsey maintains he has no hard feelings and is appreciative of getting to play for the Jaguars.
“My time in Jacksonville, what it was is a part of my dream,” Ramsey said. “I had to embrace it to get to where I’m at now. So I’m grateful for that time.”
While Ramsey had repeated issues during his 51 regular-season games with the Jaguars, he has been a better fit with the Rams through 40 games, despite an in-game incident with safety Taylor Rapp in a Week 17 game against the Baltimore Ravens. Ramsey hit Rapp in the facemask with an open-hand punch in the huddle.
“We had a personal disagreement about something specific during the game,” Ramsey said several days later. “We got into it and it was what it was. I guess that’s kind of all I will say about it is, it was what it was. We were able to move on, support each other through the game, communicate better throughout the rest of the game.”
All is well with the Rams after three straight postseason wins. But Ramsey knows the biggest part of the job remains: winning the Super Bowl.
“That would mean a lot. That’s the highest achievement you can have in this game,” Ramsey said. “That’s something when I started playing football at 4 or 5 years old, I always dreamed of. It will mean a lot.”
–Field Level Media