As two unbeaten teams get set to face off in an early-season divisional showdown, Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey and Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins highlight the contest.
In previous Rams vs. Cardinals matchups, Ramsey has shadowed Hopkins for the greater part of the four quarters.
But this year, the Rams have been using Ramsey in a multitude of ways instead of just having him play outside cornerback. He's seen significant time at slot cornerback, allowing Ramsey to make his presence known in run support.
So how does the Ramsey and Hopkins matchup configure this time around?
“Jalen is so unique in himself that his ability to move around and do stuff and affect the game based on situations," defensive coordinator Raheem Morris said Thursday. "We’ve been able to move him around a little bit. I know in the past Jalen’s kind of shadowed D-Hop a lot and done it more. I’m sure he’ll have his moments on him. He had his moments last week on Mike (Evans), he had his moments last week on different types of receivers."
The Cardinals added reinforcements to their pass-catching core this offseason, bringing aboard A.J. Green and Rondale Moore in addition to the abundance of options they already had in place, featuring Hopkins, Christan Kirk and Andy Isabella.
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With the variety of high-level pass-catchers that Arizona will run out there, Morris sounds encouraged to keep Ramsey in the star position as seen through the first three weeks of the season.
"He’s been really active this year," Morris said of Ramsey. "So, it’s hard to say you’re going to isolate him with the amount of guys that they have. It’s about your other guys stepping up and playing football as well. We just talked about the pickup basketball game. Sometimes with pick up basketball games, there’s a lot of fast breaks and you get caught on different people. And when you get caught on different people, you got to man up and you got to depend on your brother to man up. It may be that type of game a little bit down the stretch.”
By moving Ramsey all around the field to use him in more ways than one, cornerback's Darious Williams and David Long Jr. will need to continue their adequate start to the season to minimize the Arizona passing offense.
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Nick Cothrel is the Publisher of Ram Digest. Follow Nick on Twitter @NickCothrel.