The Los Angeles Rams were once the darlings of the NFL after a 7-1 start to the season, but three straight losses to fellow Super Bowl contenders bumped them down a tier in the minds of many. Since then, L.A. has rattled off five straight wins to lock up a playoff berth and move one win away from the No. 2 seed in the NFC.
During the Rams current win streak its been the defense that’s started to find its top form, led by perennial DPOY frontrunner Aaron Donald up front and two-time All-Pro corner Jalen Ramsey in the backend. Ramsey is in the midst of what he calls the best season of his career, posting 73 tackles (eight for loss), 15 passes defended, three interceptions, and a forced fumble in his 15 appearances so far.
As L.A. gets set for their regular season finale with the 49ers ahead of the playoffs, we got a chance to sit down over Zoom with Ramsey on behalf of his partnership with Snickers to talk about this season, his growth as a player, how he’s pushed by the other great players in the Rams defensive room, his favorite young DBs to watch around the league, and what the Rams need to do better to make a deep postseason run.
To start, what have been your thoughts on this season as you guys get ready for your last game of the regular season?
I think it’s went well. This is probably the best season that I’ve had in my professional career. I love this team. We’ve been through some ups and downs, good, bad, ugly, all of it. And we still have an opportunity to come out on top of the division, clinch a #2 seed, and go into the playoffs rolling. So, super happy with how the season’s been going. Obviously, we’re always trying to look for perfection and to be elite. So there are times where we wish we could have done things differently, but overall we’re very pleased with how things are going. And we just hope to finish on a high note to end this regular season.
Yeah, I mean, you’re on five game win streak coming in here. You had some hiccups in the middle of the year, but are finishing the season strong. What’s been working this last month?
You know, the heart of this team. The heart, the passion, the unity at the end of the day. I think all those things have really been key to us in this five game win streak. We went through COVID. We went through missing some players in different games, in a few games. So at the end of the day, knowing that we can go through all of that and still come together and find a way to get wins, it says a lot about who we are as a team, and what matters to us, and our heart and our passion for the game and each other. We’ve overcome a lot of adversity, so it’s been great to see us prevail.
You mentioned that you’re always striving for perfection. What are the things that you think you guys can continue to improve on and just do better as you head into the playoffs and the competition ramps up?
Yeah, I think we can just play even better complementary football as far as offense, defense, and special teams all feeding off of each other’s energy and playing well for each other. Defense, we can improve on getting some turnovers. Maybe getting a bunch of them, hopefully at least. We haven’t had any in the past few weeks. We’ve hopefully been saving them for this last game in the playoffs. And then our offense, they’re getting them [turnovers] out of the way right now, so they won’t have any in this last game and in the playoffs [laughs]. And then special teams, they’ll continue to shine for us and come up big for us.
For you personally, you’re a veteran now in this league and when you look back on the player you were when you came in to player you are now, what would you say is the biggest area of growth for you on the field?
You know, I try to find a few things each year to improve on and add to my toolbox and say that I was able to add that to my game or improve that about my game. I try to do that every year. And honestly, I’ve been blessed because I’ve been able to be around some honestly great coaches. I’ve been able to be around some great teammates who have helped me achieve all of these goals. Because honestly, I genuinely do aim for perfection in the hopes that, I know I’ll never get perfection, but on the way there I hope I’ll reach elite status. And I feel like that’s something that I’ve been able to do. I’ve been able to have teammates who are super unselfish, and it allows me to be unselfish and play various roles. I can show my skill set in a bunch of different areas. And then, at the end of the day, having fun. You have so much fun doing what you love. You get to shine a light that is different and that is bright. So that’s one thing I feel like is happening out here in LA with the Rams.
You’ve got future Hall of Fame teammates, guys like Von Miller coming in this year and then you’ve played with Aaron Donald now for a few years. What does it do to play with guys who are that elite their positions to help push you, even if they’re not in the DB room, you see those guys you see the work they’re putting in and how’s that that push you to continue to feed off of that?
Man, they are some of my biggest motivators and influencers without ever saying a word. The times we do have to speak, and we have words, I take it all to heart. But even more than those times are the times where I’m just looking at how they’re going about their business. How they’re going about handling their business. And I just try to learn from it, and I try to grow from it. Those are the times where I really cherish just seeing them in the facility, whether it’s in the film room, whether it’s in the weight room, or whether it’s on the practice field, seeing how they go about their business. And everybody does it differently. Everybody has their own way of winning. It’s definitely something inspiring to see and try to take a little piece from each of them to implement into my life and my professional career.
You’re working with Snickers on this rookie mistake campaign and I got to see the video you did. How fun was that the shoot and kind of how did this partnership come together with you and Snickers?
Yeah, this was a super fun partnership for me to have with Snickers. Like you said it’s the Snickers Rookie Mistake of the Year. And what they’re doing, it’s a campaign they launched that will reward one fan with two tickets to Super Bowl 56 just for sharing examples of their rookie mistakes. So I got to show some of my acting skills. I got to record a video that’s posted on my Instagram that y’all can check out. And it was a mistake where two fans there forgot their luggage on a cruise they were going to, so they had to get all new clothes at the gift shop. And the video was fun. It was funny to us. It’s a voiceover that I’m acting out a little bit, and they definitely needed a Snickers because they were tripping a little bit. But entries to this close this Sunday, the last regular season game. So I hope all the fans get to share their rookie mistakes and submit it to SnickersRookieMistakes.com. And we’ll see which lucky fan gets to win two Super Bowl tickets to Super Bowl 56.
If you were to submit something from your rookie year, what would you look back on and say was your biggest rookie mistake that you think you made?
Ooh, you know, I was actually thinking about this for a while, and I don’t know if I have one rookie mistake, or a few rookie mistakes, or even some rookie mistakes that I made when I wasn’t a rookie. But I guess one common thing that pops up around the NFL a lot is when you go on road trips sometimes you pack your bags, and you try to make sure you have the right luggage and stuff for yourself. So you’re so focused getting your own stuff together, but usually the rookies have to bring food to the plane. So whatever it may be, it might be some chicken, biscuits, french fries, whatever. And I remember I brought some food on the plane for all the veteran defensive backs before, and I forgot ketchup, barbecue sauce, honey, like I forgot everything. So that’s more of a common rookie mistake that a lot of rookies make on the first few times of bringing food to the airplane on the road trips, is we forget all the condiments.
There’s a lot of young DB talent in the league. Do you have some favorite young guys that have come in the last few years that you like to watch and think are going to be the next wave of stars at that position?
Yep, yep. I do. I’m a big fan of A.J. Terrell. I think A.J. Terrell is a baller. I think he doesn’t get enough credit for how he’s been playing, especially this year. Obviously, Trevon Diggs. I mean, he’s an interception machine. He finds a way to make those big plays for his team. Those are the two that stick out to me right away. And then other guys obviously have continued to be consistent in balling, and guys who I’ve been in the league with for various years: Marshon Lattimore, and Darius Slay, and Kenny Moore, and I can go on and on.