There aren’t many bright spots around the Jacksonville Jaguars right now. With their defeat to the Oakland Raiders on Sunday, the Jaguars fell to 2-4 on the season, and now have a quick turn-around to go up to Nashville and play the Tennessee Titans on Thursday night.
Questions arise every day on a range of topics, such as whether or not Blake Bortles is the guy, if Dave Caldwell should be fired along with Gus Bradley, why Allen Robinson is struggling so much and if there are any salvageable pieces left on this team. One of the few bright spots has been the play of rookie corner Jalen Ramsey, but unfortunately his high-level play isn’t why he’s being discussed right now.
We’ve seen Jalen Ramsey ball out his first few games in the NFL. Last week, we saw him struggle for a half against Alshon Jeffrey, only to come out the second half and completely shut him down. Yesterday, we saw him completely lock up Amari Cooper and make him a total non-factor. Most of the attention towards Ramsey right now isn’t on his great play, however, but on his ejection from the contest on Sunday. Ramsey engaged in a late 4th quarter scuffle with Raiders wide-receiver Johnny Holton, and both players were tossed from the game, even though there didn’t really seem to be anything ejection-worthy going on.
Most of the fan reaction towards this event has been positive and supportive of Jalen; a lot of people are tired of losing and complacency, and Jalen and Malik Jackson’s ejections yesterday showed some much desired passion and fire. But while the majority of fans have been positive towards the events, some key members of the team were not so thrilled. Both Gus Bradley and veteran linebacker Paul Posluszny chided Ramsey and Jackson for their ejections to the media yesterday.
"I don't think [ejections] are a case of being aggressive. I think it's a case of not being smart."— Big Cat Country (@BigCatCountry) October 24, 2016
-- #Jaguars HC Gus Bradley
Posluszny told Phillip Heilman of the Florida Times Union the following:
“I’ve never seen anything like that before,” Poz told Heilman. “That’s unacceptable on a lot of different levels. Fans don’t want to see that, you guys don’t want to see that and we don’t want to be a part of it. Just from a higher standard of playing in the NFL, we can’t have that.”
You can read the full quote from Paul Posluszny and analysis here.
I understand that the leaders of the team are always going to preach being smart and knowing how to toe the line. However, I don’t know that saying it to the media is the best idea, especially for Posluszny. I understand that Poz is the defensive captain, and a ‘locker room leader’, but calling out other players in the media in such an aggressive tone seems to be a bad idea to me. This seems like the exact type of event that could cause the locker room to divide, or split even more if the divide has already started.
I actually think Ramsey and Jackson should be applauded for what they did, as well as Jared Odrick a few weeks ago against the Chargers. It’s good to see how much these guys care about winning, and it shows they aren’t going to accept losing. This is something that Zach Goodall and I talked about on last night’s Keep Choppin Wood podcast, which you can listen to here.
Quite honestly, Jalen Ramsey is one of, if not the best, players on this football team. He possess talents and traits that this team may have never seen at the corner position. He brings a much needed attitude and demeanor to this defense and entire team. Yesterday’s ejection was borderline to begin with, and did not cost the team, as the game was well out of reach at that point anyways. As long as his attitude and swagger aren't really costing the Jags, his personality should be embraced, not reprimanded.
At least he shows that he cares, and will not tolerate losing. It’s about time someone around here did.