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A.J. Bouye: 'I'm definitely excited'


JACKSONVILLE – This is still new for A.J. Bouye. Really new.

But Bouye knows this much already about his new team, new surroundings, new town: There's a lot of potential and a lot of opportunity.

His task now? To do the work necessary to turn those things into results.

"I'm definitely excited," said Bouye, who arrived in Jacksonville Thursday to prepare for the official beginning of the team's offseason program on April 17. "I've been grinding hard and I know a lot of players have, too, because we know what we can do here. …

"The people here, the players here … I've watched the way they play. These guys are hungry, and when you're around a lot of guys who are hungry, it's going to make you compete."

Bouye, a cornerback who signed with the Jaguars early last month as an unrestricted free agent from the Houston Texans, joined senior writer John Oehser on O-Zone Live on Facebook Thursday. Among the topics covered: his chance to play opposite Jalen Ramsey, as well as just how much potential there is around the Jaguars moving forward.

That's something Bouye said he saw up close in recent seasons.

"Playing against the Jaguars two times a year since I've been in [the NFL], we've always seen how athletic this team is and what they're capable of," Bouye said early Thursday afternoon.

Bouye (6-feet-0, 192 pounds), who originally signed with the Texans as an undrafted free agent from the University of Central Florida following the 2013 NFL Draft, started 19 games for the Texans in four seasons. He became a full-time starter last season, starting 11 games and registering 16 passes defensed and a sack.

He entered the offseason as one of the NFL's top available unrestricted free agents, and his signing along with the presence of Ramsey at one corner and Aaron Colvin at nickel potentially gives the Jaguars one of the NFL's best young trios at the position.

"To have us three out there, it's going to be fun," Bouye said, adding of he and Ramsey. "It's very exciting. We're both going to be competing, because we're both going to want to play better than each other. At the end of the day, we're all competing to get better. There's no telling what's going to happen."

Ramsey as a rookie last season often shadowed the opponents' No. 1 receiver much of the game. Bouye was asked about which player would do the shadowing next season.

"Hopefully, we'll just go left and right, because at the end of the day, he'll want to follow and I'll want to follow," Bouye said. "Whatever the coaches ask, I'll understand that because we're just trying to win and make plays."

Also Thursday:

*Bouye, as he did during his introductory press conference at EverBank last month, said he looks forward to playing against his former team – the Texans – twice a season. "I'm excited to go against them twice a year. I know those guys, so competing against those guys twice a year is going to be fun. … Everybody's always going to have their opinions about me. I really don't care about it. I always try to play with a chip on my shoulder, and I'm looking forward to it – going against those guys. I want to make plays on them. I'm thinking they're going to try to make plays on me. I'm excited for every game, to tell you the truth, but I came from there."

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