Oftentimes when it comes to trying to combat an elite defender in the NFL, the quarterback and offensive coordinator must to a great job identifying where that defender is lining up on every single play.
That will be the case for offensive coordinator Marcus Brady and quarterback Carson Wentz on Sunday when the Indianapolis Colts host the Los Angeles Rams at Lucas Oil Stadium at 1 p.m.
They won't be worrying about future Hall of Fame defensive tackle Aaron Donald every single snap either. No, that distinction will fall to All-Pro cornerback Jalen Ramsey, who is lining up closer to the line of scrimmage this year under first-year defensive coordinator Raheem Morris, a welcomed change for the All-Pro after playing under now Los Angeles Chargers' head coach Brandon Staley the last few years.
Ramsey is looking to make more plays in 2021 and is moving around more often under Morris. So far in Week 1, Ramsey was all over the place for the Rams, recording nine stops, nearly 20% of his season total in 2020 in 15 games.
While he can become a force coming downhill against the run and even blitzing off the edge, he's still one of the best coverage guys in the league and could pose real problems for the Colts' offense.
According to Brady, Wentz has to trust his eyes and trust in what he's seeing in pre-snap alignments on Sunday following extensive film work.
“Really just understanding where he is, what his responsibility is within that coverage," Brady said to reports regarding how to deal Ramsey on Tuesday. "Obviously, it’s a different spot bringing him inside. They’re moving him around a lot. He is playing a lot in the slot, but then there are times on different personnel where he’s outside playing on wideouts. We’re still diving down into the film. We’ll get him ready and be able to trust his eyes and what he sees out there.”
Wentz struggled to truly trust what he was seeing in 2020 in his final season with the Philadelphia Eagles, but so far has had a slight rebirth in Indianapolis under head coach Frank Reich. That said, he struggled to truly trust his eyes and his arm on Sunday against the Seahawks, failing to pull the trigger on some throws that could have gone for big yardage.
Week 2 will be a big test for that trust factor with Wentz, who has been around the block a time or two as a starting quarterback in the NFL, and really shouldn't be surprised with anything defenses through at him at this point in his career.
Ramsey is no doubt a game changer and a matchup nightmare for offenses. Identifying where he is pre-snap and understanding what he's trying to do to the Colts' offense will go a long way towards success on Sunday.
Have thoughts on Jalen Ramsey and the impact the Rams' star defensive back could have on the Colts' offense on Sunday? Drop a line in the comments section below letting us know how you feel!