He recorded eight tackles, including four solo, and forced Titans tight end Phillip Supernaw out of bounds deep in Jaguars territory on a breakaway catch down the right sideline.
But Ramsey also was flagged for an unnecessary roughness penalty, which helped the Titans extend an early drive that resulted in a field goal, and also was run over by Titans rookie running back Derrick Henry near the Jaguars goal line.
One number he could not address, however, was exactly how many fans he had sitting in the stands at Nissan Stadium who had come to see his return to the Midstate.
Ramsey, who is from Smyrna, was one of the most dynamic high school players in the area during his time at Brentwood Academy.
He had looked forward to coming home to play in front of his family, friends and former classmates after spending the past three years as a starter at Florida State.
“There were a lot of emotions for me coming back to play in this game,” said Ramsey, who celebrated his 22nd birthday earlier this week. “My entire family, and I mean my entire family, extended family included, was able to come here tonight. I had a lot of friends here. I couldn’t tell you how many total were here. That’s how many it was — too many for me to count. It was all the right feelings for me coming back. The game just didn’t go the way we wanted it to.”
Ramsey was pleased that those close to him got to see just how integral he already has become so early in his career in the Jaguars defense. He is Jacksonville’s fourth-leading tackler with 30 total stops on the season, has one tackle for loss, a quarterback hurry and one pass deflection.
“The season hasn’t gone the way we want it to,” Ramsey said. “But for me personally, I’m doing my job. I wish I could say I was making more of an impact, but at the end of the day, I’m just doing what’s asked of me.”
As for Thursday’s game, Ramsey said he did not feel he was truly tested by the Titans offense, which was able to run the ball without much trouble and therefore did not have to throw that often. Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota was 18-of-22 for 270 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions. DeMarco Murray and Henry, meanwhile, helped the Titans rush for a total of 214 yards.
“It would be nice if I could make more meaningful plays, but I’m just playing within system,” Ramsey said. “I’m not trying to force anything; I’m not trying to force those plays. I didn’t really have any opportunities in the pass game tonight, to be honest. They completed one pass, a little under route on me. Other than that it was pretty much run support, and that was kind of up and down, honestly, with figuring out the right gaps to fill and this and that.”
TITANS 36, JAGUARS 24
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Jacksonville coach Gus Bradley was asked about Ramsey’s unnecessary roughness penalty, which occurred on the Titans second possession when Ramsey hit Supernaw after Supernaw failed to make a catch and was well out of bounds. It moved the Titans to their 47.
“Well, we got (Ramsey) out of the game (after the penalty),” Bradley said. “Penalties you can control … these are decisions you have to make, and they affect the team.”
Ramsey naturally isn’t pleased with Jacksonville’s 2-5 record. Losing is unfamiliar to him considering the success he enjoyed at Brentwood Academy and then at Florida State. Brentwood Academy went 28-9 during his time there and Florida State was 37-4.
“I’m happy with where I am now considering in preseason camp I was coming back from a (meniscus tear in his right knee),” Ramsey said. “I definitely am over that now, and I’m healthy, which I guess is a plus in all of this. The knee injury only set me back for training camp and the preseason camp that I missed. But other than that it didn’t really set me back too much. I stayed in the playbook, rehabbed and got back quicker than I originally had thought that I would.”
Reach Mike Organ at 615-259-8021 and on Twitter @MikeOrganWriter.
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