Each week, blogger Matt Vensel fires a few questions at rookie cornerback and kick returner Asa Jackson. The Ravens’ fifth-round pick in April’s draft, Jackson is a Sacramento native who played his college ball at Cal Poly.
MV: We have a lot to talk about today.
AJ: Yes, we do.
MV: What was your first reaction Sunday when you saw your teammate, Lardarius Webb, go down with a knee injury?
AJ: I’ve seen that injury happen a bunch and I kind of had an idea of what happened. It’s hard. It’s real hard when you see a friend and a teammate of yours get hurt -- and a great player like that gets hurt. You never want to see a teammate get hurt. But when he came off the field and he knew he was hurt, he didn’t look to be too down about it and he’s been like that when I’ve seen him since he got hurt. He’s in good spirits.
MV: Was the second thing that popped into your mind that it was next man up and you’d be bumped up the depth chart?
AJ: I don’t know anything about what my role is going to be yet, what I’m going to do and what I’m not going to do. But obviously, this is why they put me in the position that I’ve been in the whole time, in case something like this happened. It’s my time to step up. This week, I’m going to show them, give them some confidence in me, so hopefully on Sunday I’ll be able to do something good in the game.
MV: How do you wrestle with those emotions? You see a teammate get hurt, but it creates an opportunity for you. That’s kind of how the NFL works.
AJ: That’s how it is. Just like you said, that’s how it works. I’m a pretty loyal guy and seeing one of my friends and teammates go down, that’s always tough. You never want to see anything like that. The thought that I’m going to get an opportunity was kind of secondary for me. I really wanted to make sure that Webby was alright. Once I saw that, I started thinking well, shoot, it’s my time to go and get ready.
MV: On Monday, when John Harbaugh was talking about everything, he mentioned you and Chykie Brown as players who could see more time. He mentioned specifically you replacing Webb in the slot in the nickel. How comfortable do you feel working in the slot or is it something that you will need to get acclimated with?
AJ: I’ve been doing a lot of slot stuff since I came here. I think that was kind of the plan they had for me going in, that I could be a guy who could back up Webby in the slot. I’ve been working on a lot of that stuff and trying to study up on it, read up on everything that has been kind of new in the past couple of weeks because I haven’t been doing it much [in practice]. You know, it’s all the same stuff we’ve been working on since April. I’m just trying to tap back into it and get my bearings down this week and get ready for the weekend.
MV: You played mostly on the outside at Cal Poly, right?
AJ: Yeah. I didn’t play any nickel at Cal Poly. So when I came in here, there was a little bit of an adjustment. I’m used to it now and I’ve kind of got my eyes switched from playing outside to inside. So I’ll be ready to go.
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