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Notes and observations: "It's a new year"


JACKSONVILLE – Jalen Ramsey's not feeling the "statement" thing.

As for Sunday's game against the Seattle Seahawks being an opportunity for the Jaguars to gain respect – or generate hype, or anything of the kind – the Jaguars' second-year cornerback on Wednesday said that's beyond the Jaguars' control.

Could Sunday be a "Statement Game?" he was asked Wednesday.

"That depends on y'all – that depends on the media," Ramsey said as the Jaguars (8-4) prepared to play the Seahawks (8-4) at EverBank Field Sunday at 1 p.m.

"Y'all hype up who y'all want to hype up. Y'all don't hype up who y'all don't."

The Jaguars defense lead the NFL in points allowed, yards allowed, passing yards allowed and sacks. The Seahawks led the NFL in points allowed from 2012-2015 and still rank as one of the NFL's best defenses.

Seattle also has made five consecutive playoff appearances, but Ramsey made it clear Wednesday he has wearied of hearing about what Jaguars opponents – and the Jaguars, for that matter – have done in the past.

"We were sorry last year, but we're not this year," Ramsey said. "We ain't talking about last year. You all have to stop doing that. The media … y'all do that too much. Y'all been hyping people up; y'all hype teams. Stop doing that. Y'all got to stop doing that.

"It's a new year. It's a new league – everything. There are new big dogs around the NFL. Stop doing that. Stop hyping people up."

Ramsey called the "respect" conversation the same one "we've had all year."

"We beat the hell out of Pittsburgh, and they have a better record than both of us [the Jaguars and Seahawks] right now," Ramsey said. "Y'all weren't hyping us up after that, so do I think y'all are going to hype us up after this game? Nah. It is what it is with y'all."

Notes and observations from around EverBank Field Wednesday:

Ramsey on Wednesday wanted one thing made clear about this past Sunday's victory over the Colts: a 40-yard third-quarter touchdown reception by wide receiver T.Y. Hilton for the Colts' lone touchdown absolutely was his responsibility. "The defense didn't give up any big plays last game," Ramsey said. "I* gave up a big play last game. I gave up a big play or maybe we have another shutout." …

*Weak-side linebacker Telvin Smith (concussion) practiced full while remaining in the concussion protocol, with wide receiver Marqise Lee (knee), wide receiver Allen Hurns (ankle) and Ramsey (hamstring) missing practice; Lee and Ramsey played against the Colts this past Sunday while Hurns has missed the last three games. Running back Leonard Fournette (ankle) and quarterback Blake Bortles (right wrist) practiced full with the following players listed as practicing limited: cornerback Aaron Colvin (elbow), guard Chris Reed (knee), offensive tackle Josh Wells (concussion protocol), left guard Patrick Omameh (quadriceps) and defensive end Calais Campbell (wrist). …

*When Smith missed last week's victory over the Colts with a concussion sustained the previous week at Arizona, it marked the first time a Jaguars defensive starter had missed a game last season. Safety Tashaun Gipson called Smith's return to practice Wednesday "Huge," adding "Anytime you have the best the best linebacker in the National Football League in my opinion … when you get him back … he's the soul of this defense … let's be honest." ..

*As Head Coach Doug Marrone did Wednesday morning, Jaguars defensive players Wednesday afternoon praised Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson. "It's going to be our biggest challenge defensively this year, playing against a guy like that,"" Gipson said. "We're excited about it. … If you want to be the best you've got to beat the best and he's playing like the best." Gipson added of Wilson's mobility and escapability, "Forty percent of his snaps are not traditional drop backs. It's him playing backyard football. If this was Madden back in the day you'd say, 'You only get three runs; you can only scramble three times.' He has the cheat code for sure. We have to be real disciplined for sure."

*Celebrations remained a topic around the Jaguars three days after Fournette's "free-throw" celebration following a five-yard touchdown run Sunday. Wide receivers and offensive linemen lined up to "box out" during the celebration as Fournette shot the ball over the goal posts for a "free throw." Bortles said while offensive players discuss celebrations – including the "free throw" – that particular celebration hadn't been rehearsed. Bortles also said he likely will only participate in celebrations if a touchdown is scored from short range. "If we're on the goal line, then I'm all about it," Bortles said. "I struggle with the long touchdowns, because then you have to run all the way down there and all the way back. I usually just go straight to the sidelines and meet them over there." Bortles was asked if he would ever handle choreographing a celebration. "I leave that to [offensive coordinator] Nathaniel Hackett, the team dance coach," he said, laughing.

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