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: You made your NFL debut against the San Diego Chargers on Sunday. How did you find out that you were going to play last weekend and what was your reaction. What did you do when you got the news?
AJ: I kind of had an idea because I came in on Monday and I saw that I was starting on some special teams. That was a good start. Through the week they were telling me to keep playing well on defense, know all of your nickel responsibilities and stuff, because you are probably going to be up this week. And Sunday morning they told me and I was ready to go from there.
MV: Did you have family at the game? I know that’s Southern California, but did anyone make the trip?
AJ: Yeah, that’s Southern California, but I still had a lot of people come down to the game. It was probably, shoot, 20 or so people there, so that was good. It just all worked out great being back in California around my family and being able to get in the game a little bit. It was great.
MV: Was it a hassle dealing with all those tickets? I think some people might not realize you have to pay for them.
AJ: Obviously, paying for them hurt my check this week a little bit, but other than that it was great, just knowing that my family was there to support me and that they would be proud of me no matter what I did.
MV: How do you think you played and what feedback have you gotten from the coaches?
AJ: I think I did alright. Obviously, there are always places to build. I think I could have done a little bit of a better job on some of my reps on punt return, just being more stout and stuff like that. But that will happen in your first NFL games, I guess, just trying to feel out the speed of the game, the physicality of the game and everything. But for the most part, I have gotten good feedback from the coaches. My grades were all good for my special teams stuff so that tells me that I did fine. I’m looking forward to doing the same kind of things this week.
MV: Was there a moment when you were out there and the magnitude of the moment kind of hit you?
AJ: When I made a tackle on kickoff, that was a real big moment for me. That’s something that I’ve been waiting for, for a long, long time. Yeah, that was my little moment. I’m just thankful for the position that I’m in.
MV: Now that you have gotten a taste of the action, what’s your mindset now?
AJ: I want more. It made me hungrier. We’ll see what happens this week. Hopefully I can do some good things in practice and show them that I should be up again. And just get ready to play another tough, physical game.
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