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 played the Pittsburgh Steelers for the first time last week. What did your teammates tell you about the rivalry before the game, and given what they told you about the rivalry, did it meet your expectations?
AJ: I was expecting it to be a real physical game. Obviously, anybody who is a fan of the NFL knows the kind of games that Pittsburgh and Baltimore have had since they started playing each other. So I expected that, and that’s what it was. It was real physical game. The atmosphere here playing at home every week is amazing, but especially for the Steelers. It was a great experience other than the fact that we didn’t come out on top.
MV: How do you think you did compared to your previous game?
AJ: I felt more comfortable, but there was a play that I didn’t make that I think I should have made on the long kickoff return that they had. I was upset with myself for that, but that comes with getting experience. It’s just part of it. I’m looking to bounce back, have another good week and do something major in Sunday's game.
MV: You got a little dinged up against the Steelers, I see, with your left shoulder wrapped. What has it been like this week spending quality time with the training staff for the first time in your rookie year?
AJ: It happens. It’s a part of football. I try to stay out of there as much as I can, but you’re going to get nicked up. What is it, a 16-game season? Especially being a rookie who has basically been grinding for a full year now, obviously some nicks and bruises are going to happen. But we have a great training staff here and they do a lot of stuff that not only gets you back, but they also do a good job of helping us prevent injuries.
MV: You got injected into the lineup late in the season, right in the middle of the playoff hunt. Was that a hard adjustment to make, going from being inactive to playing some meaningful football?
AJ: Everything means something. Since I was seven years old, this has been a dream of mine, to play at this level and play well at this level. Being inserted right now into this kind of role, it’s something that you dream about. I have no other choice but to go and take advantage of it.[To interact with Asa, follow him @_KIDRaven_ on Twitter]