Jalen Ramsey wants to shadow DK Metcalf: ‘It should be big on big’

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Cameron DaSilva
·5 min read
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Jalen Ramsey has been in the NFL for five years, has played 78 career games (including the postseason) and matched up with countless Pro Bowl receivers. But on Saturday afternoon in Seattle, it will be the first time he’s faced a wideout three times in the same season.

“I don’t think so,” Ramsey said Thursday of whether he’s ever faced the same receiver three times in a year. This will be a first for me.”

That receiver, of course, is DK Metcalf, who Ramsey helped shut down in the Rams’ previous two games against the Seahawks. No team did a better job against Metcalf than Los Angeles, which held him to eight catches for 87 yards and no touchdowns, with the majority of those catches coming when Ramsey wasn’t in coverage.

The Seahawks made a concerted effort to move Metcalf around in their last game against the Rams, whether it was pre-snap motions, lining him up in the slot or simply putting him on the side where Ramsey wasn’t.

It was the result of Metcalf catching only two passes for 28 yards in Week 10 against the Rams, forcing Seattle to change up its game plan – which Ramsey didn’t particularly care for. With a player of Metcalf’s caliber on the other side, Ramsey feels they should match up the majority of the time.

“I was frustrated, for sure,” Ramsey told reporters. “In times like this and matchups like this, I feel personally it should be big on big. If you believe you have a top guy and I’m looked at as a top guy, we should be matched up against each other a fair amount of times, as you see happens with other teams. The Cardinals game, for instance, it was me and D-Hop matched up against each other a lot of the time. The first Seahawks game, it was that way – me and DK matched up across from each other a lot of the time. That’s what I would like to see, selfishly. I feel like that’s what the game should be, that’s what the fans would like to see.”

John Johnson said this week that the Seahawks were “hiding” Metcalf from Ramsey in Week 16, doing what they could to get him matched up against other corners or putting him in spots to find holes in the Rams’ zone coverage.

And for the most part, it worked; Ramsey only shadowed Metcalf on 66% of his routes compared to 71% in Week 10.

Ramsey wouldn’t say “hiding” is the right word, but Seattle’s game plan was clearly to move him around the formation and take advantage of matchups that the Rams presented.

“Their game plan was to do something differently, which was to clear the sea, but they were successful in doing that so it’s kind of like, who cares what they want or what the fans want? We’re out here to get wins and that’s what matters at the end of the day,” he said. “So I don’t know if I would say the right terminology is ‘hiding’ him. I don’t think that’s it, I don’t think DK Metcalf has to hide from anybody. But they felt it was in the best interest of their offense and their team to move him around in different areas so he could take advantage of opportunities potentially that he had and that helped their offense and helped their team get a win. You could say they were effective in doing that.”

While the Seahawks won the game 20-9, they weren’t exactly dominant on offense. They mustered 334 total yards and scored two touchdowns. Metcalf wasn’t a huge factor, either, catching six passes for only 59 yards.

The Rams don’t know exactly how Seattle will use Metcalf this time around, but Ramsey knows he and the rest of the defense have to be ready in case the Seahawks move their top wideout around again like they did in Week 16.

“Now we have to find a way to combat that,” Ramsey added. “That’s another challenge for us, that they do have a guy who’s able to move around and play on the outside or in the slot and different positions on offense and is being used to the best of his ability and best of his talent.”

Of course, if Ramsey isn’t covering Metcalf, that means he’s matching up with someone else – likely Tyler Lockett or David Moore. Whoever he has to cover, he’s ready to help the Rams win, no matter what the situation is.

“It’s the playoffs. I’m going to do whatever it takes, whatever the coaches think is the best for me to do this week for us to get a win and that is guarding whoever, doing whatever I have to do on Saturday to help this team get a win, no matter what it may be,” said Ramsey.