THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – Jordan Fuller may have endured a tough, injury-shortened 2022 season, but the way he carried himself then and throughout this spring and summer clearly resonated with his teammates.
It was a big deal for Fuller, then, when those same teammates voted him a team captain for a second time heading into the 2023 season.
"It means everything," Fuller told theRams.com. "No matter what I'm going through, I just try to be as positive of a person as I can be to be around, for myself as well. Always just keep a positive attitude, always just keep fighting and working hard and caring for my teammates, however I can. I'm just blessed to be in this position, super blessed. And it's really humbling that they would vote me a captain again, too. I really don't take that lightly at all. So yeah, I'm really grateful for that."
Last season, a hamstring injury would limit Fuller to just three games – this coming after an ankle injury in the 2021 regular season finale sidelined him for their Super Bowl LVI-winning playoff run. In that vein, he's grateful to be healthy heading into this season. Being around his teammates is what he said he missed the most, because while a player still is a part of the team when they are on injured reserve, there's still a slight feeling of being separate from the rest of the group because of those circumstances.
"Just being involved in every single thing, it's a great feeling," Fuller said.
Fuller's leadership style isn't a performance. He genuinely tries to be himself, and no one else, and teammates notice. That was evident that 2021 season, when he was voted a team captain for the first time in just his second NFL season and also served as Los Angeles' on-field defensive signal-caller.
"I'm just myself, and I kind of have a standard in mind," Fuller said. "I try to exemplify that myself first, because you can't tell anybody anything if you're not living that life for yourself. So I try to exemplify that first myself every single day I wake up."
That was evident to fellow Rams defensive back John Johnson III when the two teamed up as L.A.'s starting safeties during Fuller's 2020 rookie season.
"His rookie year, he was a leader on this team," Johnson said. "So when I left, I think he had the green dot one year if I'm not mistaken, so he just took it head-on. He's blossoming. He's a true leader back there in the secondary, making all the calls, getting people lined up, doing the right thing every single day. You can count on him 100 percent, so it's awesome to see. I'm following his lead, and when it's time for me to lead, he's following mine, so it's all good."
Rams head coach Sean McVay said he loved the way Fuller approached this offseason. He said Fuller is healthy, moving around well, and he wasn't surprised to see him getting that recognition from his teammates because of how he treats them and the way they respond to him.
"Jordan's consistency, his commitment to his teammates, his commitment to trying to be the best that he can possibly be, his ability to be able to handle a lot of good, but also some of the challenging times with just a steady, even keeled demeanor, anybody that's been around him, you can't help but root for him," McVay said.