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Notes and observations: On Ramsey, Westbrook

Posted Aug 21, 2017

Senior writer John Oehser offers his notes and observations from Monday around the Jaguars, focusing on cornerback Jalen Ramsey and wide receiver Dede Westbrook …


JACKSONVILLE – Jalen Ramsey’s confidence is high.

That’s not surprising, because the Jaguars’ second-year cornerback never lacks for confidence – and he absolutely remains confident in his status for the 2017 regular-season opener.

“I’m about 90 percent right now; I’ve got to work my way back to that 100 percent,” Ramsey said Monday afternoon after the Jaguars practiced for a little more than two hours at the Daily’s Place Flex Field adjacent to EverBank Field.

“As long as I’m ready for Week 1, that’s all that matters, right?”

Ramsey, who has yet to play a preseason game after opening 2017 Training Camp on the physically unable to perform list after offseason core-muscle surgery, was asked if he felt that would be the case.

“No, I will be – I know I will be,” Ramsey said.

Ramsey, the No. 5 overall selection in the 2016 NFL Draft, made several All-Rookie teams last season. He and unrestricted free agent cornerback A.J. Bouye are expected to form one of the NFL’s better cornerback groups along with four-year veteran nickel corner Aaron Colvin.

But neither Colvin, Ramsey nor Bouye has played in a game this preseason. Colvin came off the PUP list from a foot injury Saturday. Bouye also has missed the first two preseason games and Head Coach Doug Marrone said Monday he will not play in Preseason Week 3 against Carolina.

“As long as we’re ready by Week 1, that’s all that matters,” Ramsey said. “I know we’ll all be ready for Week 1.”

Notes and observations from Monday around the Jaguars:

*Jaguars rookie receiver Dede Westbrook flashed in a big way Thursday against Tampa Bay, catching six fourth-quarter passes for 131 yards in the fourth quarter. Westbrook and Head Coach Doug Marrone on Monday each discussed Westbrook’s ongoing challenge – a need to improve against press coverage. Asked on Monday to compare himself now to where he was in this area when training camp began, Westbrook laughed: “A lot better. At the beginning of training camp, it was bad for me.” Westbrook, the Biletnikoff Award winner at Oklahoma last season, said he faced comparatively little press in college. “Coming from OU, I was respected throughout the conference,” he said. “People knew I had speed. They didn’t come up and press me much. Here, no one cares about that. I don’t either. It’s a new start, so that’s one of the things I have to get better at.” Any doubt in his mind he’ll get it? “No,” he said. “Never.” …

*Marrone on Monday said while hasn’t seen “pure, breakaway speed” from Westbrook, he has shown speed to run by people. Marrone also praised Westbrook’s ability and willingness to make plays across the middle of the field. “That’s a big thing when you look at players that are fast and built like he is,” Marrone said. “Sometimes those players shy away from that. I haven’t really seen that.” Marrone added that Westbrook’s issue against press is hardly unusual for a young receiver, saying “He said people have been saying that to him for a while – that in this league, in order to be successful, you have to able to get off press coverage,” Marrone said. “That’s something that a lot of these young receivers, when they come in, have to work extremely hard on. College is spreads and guys are all over the place and the ball is spread out. In the NFL now, they’ll walk right up there and they are going to test you, because if you show you can’t get off press, then you are going to get press all day and the quarterback’s not even going to start (looking your way).” …

*Marrone during his media availability Monday discussed the team’s linebacker corps, saying he is comfortable overall with the group, particularly with starters Myles Jack (strong side), Paul Posluszny (middle) and Telvin Smith (weak side). He said an area he will watch Thursday against Carolina is backup weak-side linebacker behind Smith. …

*Marrone also discussed punt returner Monday, saying the team has “some good options there.” Westbrook has worked there during preseason, as have Rashad Greene Sr., Shane Wynn and rookie Keelan Cole. We really do. “At the end of the day, it will probably come down to who is going to make the team, first,” Marrone said. “Then I think what it’s going to come down to is, ‘How are we going to dress on game day?’ … I think we have some guys that can contribute on the offensive side of the ball that potentially could be dressing that are very good returners.’’ …

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