INGLEWOOD, Calif. – Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey said Thursday that he likes to celebrate all of his victories in life, taking none for granted. The latest: Being named to the 2021 Pro Bowl, joining teammate Aaron Donald as Los Angeles' selections this year.
Overall, it marked the fourth- and seventh-straight Pro Bowl nods respectively for the cornerstones of L.A.'s defense. Ramsey especially had extra motivation for celebrating this year after finding out he was not among the Top 10 in fan voting at his position.
"This is no shot to nobody else, but I definitely can't name 10 corners better than me in this league, defensive backs better than me in this league," Ramsey said. "So that was shocking to me, but it's all love. But to see the opposing coaches and opposing players who I go up and line up against week in and week out, see what I'm putting on film and have that respect to vote me in for my fourth-straight Pro Bowl, it meant a lot. So it was cool."
When it comes to setting goals for himself, Ramsey said he takes pride in doing his job and his sole focus is to win, not to get a certain number of interceptions or pass breakups, for example.
In that vain, Donald has a similar mindset. Like Ramsey, the role peer recognition plays adds to the meaning of receiving it for Donald, but he also has his sights set on bigger goals, especially with a division title and playoff berth at stake on Sunday against the Seahawks.
"It's a blessing," Donald said during a video conference Thursday. "Anytime you're rewarded and you accomplish something from the body of work you've been putting in, you're going to be happy about it, but we have a lot more football left. A good accomplishment, but the ultimate goal is to be holding that trophy at the end of the year, so that's what my focus is right now."
Rams defensive coordinator Brandon Staley said the Pro Bowl honors for both players reflect the performance of the entire unit. Led by Ramsey and Donald's efforts, the Rams enter Week 16 with the NFL's No. 1 total defense.
"I'm very proud of Aaron and Jalen. I think they're certainly deserving," Staley said during a video conference Wednesday. "I think that both of those guys are Defensive Player of the Year type candidates. I think they're both having, I would say, their best seasons that they've had as professional players. I certainly think of where we're ranked as a defense is a direct reflection of those guys, the caliber seasons that they've had and just so proud of those guys. I know that this is not anything new to them, but I think what is new, is that they've spearheaded one of the top defenses in the NFL, so I was just proud of those guys."