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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey is not happy with a Texas A&M assistant coach for using his photo as a recruiting tool.

Aggies tight end coach Tim Brewster on Monday night tweeted what appears to be a recruiting poster featuring all of the former defensive backs who played under head coach Jimbo Fisher at Florida State and are now playing in the NFL. The poster also includes their total career earnings.

Ramsey, who played under Fisher at FSU from 2013 to ’15, is included in the poster. He responded to Brewster’s tweet by saying: “He didn’t teach me not one DB technique.”

Fisher left FSU for Texas A&M in December after eight seasons in Tallahassee. He brought Brewster, who was the Seminoles’ tight ends coach from 2013 to ’17, along with him.



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‘Technician’ Ja’Marr Chase could be playmaker Bengals, Joe Burrow need – Cincinnati Bengals Blog

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CINCINNATI — His Cincinnati Bengals teammates had already left the field following a summer workout, but rookie wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase was still on the turf at Paul Brown Stadium getting familiar with his job.

Chase plotted his place in the offensive formation as he worked on keeping his pre-snap routine and routes as uniform as possible to keep defenders guessing. Implicitly, he expressed the understanding every little detail matters when trying to create separation in the NFL.

That wasn’t an issue the last time Chase played football. He helped LSU win the national championship in 2019 and was crowned as the nation’s best wide receiver. That prolific season vaulted him to the fifth overall pick in the 2021 draft, reunited with his former quarterback, Joe Burrow.

Elite speed and strength turned Chase into a coveted NFL prospect. But an underrated aspect is his ability to think his way to success. That mental approach could be the key to Chase becoming the immediate playmaker for the Bengals.

“Everybody’s been surprised by how smart he was,” said Burrow, who played with Chase at LSU in 2018 and 2019. “I told everyone coming in, ‘He’s not going to bust, he’s going to know exactly what to do, he’s going to be a pro.’ And that’s exactly what’s happened.”

Bengals assistant wide receivers coach Brad Kragthorpe was an analyst during the duo’s first season together at LSU. Kragthorpe, a former LSU reserve quarterback, saw a glimpse of Chase that reminded him of some of his former college teammates such as Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham Jr.

Kragthorpe recalled one rep in which Chase ran after a deep ball down the left sideline. It was a high throw aimed at his back shoulder, the type of catch that required elite coordination and body control. The freshman caught the pass and the attention of the other receivers.

“He flashed ball skills that freshmen in college shouldn’t be able to make those types of plays,” Kragthorpe said. “They shouldn’t have that type of body control in the air. That stuff comes along as you develop your athletic skill set.”

It was that combination of speed and strength that allowed Chase to overpower defenses, fluster coordinators and even change the offensive scheme in high school at Archbishop Rummel in Metairie, La. Even though Chase was considered a consensus 4-star recruit, some people were skeptical of him as one of the best wide receivers in the country.

“He was tired of telling them,” said Jimmy Chase, Ja’Marr’s father and a former safety at Alcorn State. “Well, he was tired of me telling them, OK? Because Ja’Marr wouldn’t say nothing. I would say everything. But he was tired of me telling them, so he said he just wanted to show them on the field.”

Chase did that in high school as he led Rummel to the brink of a state title before a knee injury ended his season during a playoff run his senior year.

When he arrived at LSU and his game evolved and the opponents got tougher, Chase realized more was required to succeed.

One film session before the pivotal 2019 season was evident of that approach. According to Chase, he and Burrow sat down for a film session to analyze a particular defensive back.

Burrow started to point out the defender’s negative attributes and how he was getting beat.

“Once he showed me stuff like that, I started asking him questions about what I should look for when I’m watching film and he told me those things,” Chase said.

Chase and Burrow hit their stride in 2019. After lackluster numbers as a true freshman (23 catches, 313 yards, three touchdowns), Chase blossomed into one of the nation’s most productive receivers, operating in college football’s most explosive offense. Chase finished the 2019 season with a staggering stat line — 84 catches for 1,780 yards and 20 touchdowns.

Chase opted out of the 2020 season amid the COVID-19 pandemic, so his sophomore season was the final game tape the Bengals and other NFL teams used to evaluate him. And even as his 6-foot-1, 200-pound frame continued to give defenders problems, those physical traits were accentuated because of Chase’s mental prep work.

“He understands the ins and outs of playing receiver,” Bengals coach Zac Taylor said. “He’s got great route understanding and great scheme recognition. They’re not 50/50 balls when he’s in there. He does such a phenomenal job of positioning his body and going up and making plays and finishing plays off.”

Chase’s physical skills were easy to identify. But the question is the same one posed to every high-profile rookie tasked with making an immediate impact: How quickly can they learn the system and adapt to the game’s highest level?

To Bengals assistant Troy Walters, that was the most impressive aspect of Chase’s offseason in Cincinnati.

“He has picked it up fast — easily,” Walters said. “When he’s out there, you don’t even think that he’s a rookie. You kind of take it for granted that he’s going to know what to do.”

One rep during offseason workouts illustrated that perfectly. In walkthroughs, Chase was facing coverage that required him to change his route. Initially, the play called for Chase to run a post. But with the defender in press coverage, he changed it to a go route.

“He understood why and explained that,” Walters said. “Just little things like that give you confidence that he’s going to be able to not only master his position, which is the X (outside receiver), but he’s going to be able to learn to play other places as well.”

That mentality is a natural approach from how he has developed from his high school days to LSU and now to Cincinnati. His father used to needle Chase about little things he missed on various plays at LSU or how he needed to prepare for tough matchups.

Chase reassured his father with a simple phrase: “Just watch the show.”

Jimmy’s role has been relegated to being a spectator.

“He’s a technician now,” Jimmy Chase said. “He’s a professional.”

In addition to his attention to detail, Chase’s humility was referenced by multiple current and former coaches. When Chase met with Walters for the first time, he said he wanted to run a 4.5-second, 40-yard dash at LSU’s pro day, a slow time for wide receivers. Chase ran a blistering 4.38.

Right before the draft, one of his former Rummel coaches asked him to come back for an alumni event. Chase signed everything in sight for a full hour — hats, pictures, high school programs and LSU memorabilia.

“Then they made an announcement that he would not sign anymore,” said Jay Roth, Rummel’s former head coach. “And when it was over, when they came up to him, he did whatever people asked him to do.”

When the Bengals open the season on Sept. 12 against the Minnesota Vikings, Chase will have the opportunity to show why the Bengals drafted him to be an immediate playmaker. He has prepared for this dating back to the moment he opted out of the 2020 LSU season.

And in joining a team with a legacy of great wide receivers, his expectations for himself are as high as they are externally.

“I’m going to break every record they have,” Chase said on draft night. “That’s my goal, and I’m telling you right now. I don’t know how I’m going to do it, but it’s going to get done.”

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Tom Brady, champion Bucs get glitzy Super Bowl LV rings honoring historic hometown win

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TAMPA, Fla. – The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are sporting brand new Super Bowl LV rings to pay tribute to the NFL’s first league championship won in a team’s own stadium in front of hometown fans.

The rings, unveiled Thursday night in a private ceremony for players, coaches, front office members, team employees and their families, feature a removable top of the ring which allow you to see an entire replica of Raymond James Stadium, with everything from the 50-yard line to seats.

The 319 diamonds, which include 15 karats of white diamonds and 14 karats of yellow diamonds, reflect the Super Bowl’s 31-9 final score. The twist-off removable top is a first of any Super Bowl ring. On the bottom of the removable top, laser-etched in gold, is the word “HISTORIC,” to commemorate the accomplishment. The top also features two Lombardi trophies as a nod to the Bucs’ 2002 Super Bowl win — the first in franchise history.

Around the top of the stadium on each of the four sides are four game scores from the Bucs’ four postseason wins over the Washington Football Team, New Orleans Saints, Green Bay Packers and Kansas City Chiefs. Inside the band are the words “Trust, Loyalty, Respect,” their team motto.

“We wanted it to represent the camaraderie and sacrifice that our players and coaches experienced along the way,” co-owner Darcie Glazer-Kassewitz said. “This ring tells the story of that journey, it reflects the heart and soul of a team like none other before it. We know it will be an emotional touchstone for everyone involved for many, many years to come.”

The Bucs’ official Twitter feed showed quarterback Tom Brady and running back Leonard Fournette, among several other players, proudly showing off their Super Bowl rings.

The Bucs’ previous Super Bowl rings were manufactured by Tiffany’s. But most NFL teams have used Jostens, which designed all six of Tom Brady’s Super Bowl rings with the New England Patriots and the rings worn by the Kansas City Chiefs after winning Super Bowl LIV following the 2019 season. But the Glazer family, who own the Buccaneers, wanted something different.

“They said, ‘Listen, we are not doing what is expected of us. We are going rogue with you guys. We want to do something different. We don’t want to follow the herd,'” said Jason Arashben, founder of Jason of Beverly Hills, who has produced championship rings for the Los Angeles Lakers and Golden State Warriors, but had never produced Super Bowl rings.

“This is the most hands-on ownership group we’ve had,” said Arasheben, who has also created custom pieces for celebrities like Drake, Jennifer Lopez, Dwyane Wade, Rihanna and Matthew McConaughey. “They really, really wanted to design a ring that the team and the city would love. They put their blood, sweat and tears – and most importantly, their time into it, to make sure it was exactly the way they envisioned in the end.”

Players like Lavonte David had input in designing it and even got a sneak peek, while coach Bruce Arians, who has won two Super Bowl rings as an assistant with the Pittsburgh Steelers and chose not to see the final design, had just a simple request: “I wanted to be able to wear it,” Arians said.

“We have multiple messages in there. Everything from the final score of the Super Bowl to the fact that it was the first Super Bowl championship in a home stadium, the fact that they had eight consecutive wins leading up to the Super Bowl, the fact that they held their opponent to only 9 points – which is one of the fewest ever,” Arasheben said.

“We paid homage to each individual playoff win, each individual opponent. I think that’s what makes this special,” Arasheben said. “I don’t recall a ring in Super Bowl history that has this many storylines to it. That is why this ring took so long to conceive, because they weren’t happy just making a diamond ring. They wanted a diamond ring that was going to tell a whole story and in multiple ways – to the design to the stone count – they wanted to do a ring that was something special.”

The design alone took 2 ½ months to finalize and included sometimes three phone calls a day with Bucs’ ownership. The rings are yellow and white gold and are made up of over 140 grams of gold and 15 karats of ethically-sourced diamonds, something that was very important to the Glazer family. Each individual ring is comprised of 11 different pieces that needed to be manufactured and then assembled, which took 40-50 hours of labor from seven different specialists. Each ring is personalized with the players’ name, along with their number, set in diamonds.

Was there additional pressure coming up with a design for Brady, knowing he’s already got six other rings? Arasheben said he had a similar experience creating the Lakers’ ring for LeBron James.

“This one, I felt the same pressure, if not more. Tom Brady has six previous Super Bowl rings. I was like, ‘You know what? This one has to supersede the expectations, to exceed every other one he’s had in the past. And I feel more than confident that we succeeded in doing that.”



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‘Fresher’ Ben Roethlisberger says arm feels ‘really good’ at Pittsburgh Steelers’ first day of training camp

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PITTSBURGH — Entering his 18th season, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger feels “fresher” than he did this time a year ago. Roethlisberger had a normal offseason for the first time since his season-ending elbow surgery in 2019, and he felt the effects of it Thursday at the Steelers’ first training camp practice.

“This time last year, I had thrown thousands of footballs trying to get ready for this,” Roethlisberger said. “This year, this was the first time I’ve thrown a ball since minicamp, other than throwing to my son in the backyard. It just feels more normal of an offseason, if you will.

“My arm feels really, really good.”

Roethlisberger, 39, admitted during OTAs earlier this offseason that his arm bothered him at times last year. This year, though, he enters training camp another season removed from the surgery having taken fewer reps — something that’s important as the team embarks on a preseason with an additional week of training camp followed by a 17-game regular season.

Roethlisberger, though, is focused on more than just his elbow. He also used the offseason to hone in on his body’s specific needs as an aging quarterback.

“I think as you get older, we all have to find ways to exercise more, eat better, do all the things. I’ve been doing that for a few years now,” he said, also refuting the report that he was on a diet stricter than Tom Brady‘s famous regimen.

“You work on your diet. You work on your exercise. You work on yourself to get ready to play this game at this age and for this many years. You find ways to do it.”

For Roethlisberger, the offseason training extended beyond the physical components. In the offseason, the Steelers promoted quarterbacks coach Matt Canada to offensive coordinator, and in doing that, ushered in an overhauled offensive scheme filled with misdirection, jet sweeps and new verbiage. To help navigate all the newness, Roethlisberger enlisted the help of his daughter, who made flashcards and quizzed him on Canada’s terms.

“We’ve done that together,” Roethlisberger said. “There have been some quizzes at home. It’s become as much of a mental offseason as it has physical in terms of learning new things. If you talk about the percentage of new, the run game formations, everything, it’s a high percentage of new. It’s a challenge.”

But even if the terms were different, many of the plays still looked the same — including a bubble screen pass to Diontae Johnson that the wide receiver turned into a long touchdown.

“The play looked familiar, but not one thing was called the same,” Roethlisberger said. “The blocking was different. Plays may look the same but they’re going to be called differently. But hopefully, we’ll see those results a lot.”

To execute plays like that in Canada’s scheme, Roethlisberger admitted to referencing the cheat sheet on his arm, a crutch that will likely disappear as he gets more and more comfortable in the offense.

“If you notice, I’m looking at the wristband quite a bit,” Roethlisberger said. “We all are. All of the quarterbacks are trying to look at it and figure it out.

“New isn’t always bad, new is new.”

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