Chargers’ Brandon Staley turned Derwin James into Jalen Ramsey

Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey and Chargers security Derwin James hardly ever miss alternatives to make performs on the sector.

However the perfect pals will miss the possibility to play in opposition to one another within the NFL for the primary time.

James on Friday was dominated out for Sunday’s sport in opposition to the Rams at SoFi Stadium as a result of he stays in concussion protocol due to an damage suffered in Monday’s victory over the Indianapolis Colts.

Meaning the 2 stars won’t be able to show their distinctive abilities in the identical sport.

“Something that me and him dreamed of,” Ramsey mentioned Friday earlier than James’ standing was introduced.

Ramsey, 28, and James, 26, performed collectively and shaped a bond at Florida State in 2015.

In 2016, the Jacksonville Jaguars chosen the 6-foot-1, 208-pound Ramsey fifth within the NFL draft. Three-and-a-half years later, the Rams traded two first-round draft picks to the Jaguars for Ramsey, and in September 2020 signed him to a five-year, $100-million contract that features $71.2 million in ensures.

Final season, Ramsey helped lead the Rams to the Tremendous Bowl title and was voted All-Professional for the third time.

The Chargers drafted the 6-2, 215-pound James with the seventeenth choose in 2018. He made All-Professional as a rookie however was sidelined due to accidents for many of the subsequent two seasons.

In August, James signed a four-year extension that added as a lot as $76.5 million to the yr he had remaining on his rookie contract. James has helped lead the Chargers to the playoffs for the primary time in 4 seasons.

Brandon Staley coached Ramsey because the Rams defensive coordinator in 2020. Ramsey was a longtime shutdown cornerback, however Staley expanded his function and deployed him in protection and as a move rusher from all angles.

The Chargers employed Staley in 2021, giving him the possibility to work with James.

Chargers security Derwin James Jr. (3) tackles Kansas Metropolis Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) in November. James can’t play this week in opposition to the Rams due to a concussion.

(Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Occasions)

“In a lot of instances,” Rams coach Sean McVay mentioned, “the way that Brandon envisioned Jalen when he first got here, being able to play outside, being able to play inside — that was kind of the similar thing that he ended up doing as soon as he got there with Derwin.”

Staley considers himself “fortunate” to have coached each.

“They’re two of the only players like themselves,” Staley mentioned. “Like there aren’t any other comps to them in the NFL.

“There are no safeties like Derwin and there are no corners like Jalen. … They’re just truly the rare defensive backs who can play anywhere.”

Ramsey’s and James’ intelligence additionally units them aside, Staley mentioned.

“The rare athletes and then the rare football minds, the intellect that they have,” Staley mentioned. “And then you’re talking about two of the fiercest competitors in the league. You know when they step on the field everybody feels Derwin James, everybody feels Jalen Ramsey. … The leadership they both have, the toughness. They really inspire your message. They give life to your message to the rest of the guys.”

James was not made out there to reporters this week as a result of he’s in concussion protocol.

Though Ramsey is disenchanted that the Rams missed the playoffs, he’s glad that James might be enjoying within the postseason.

And he mentioned he would like that James put his personal well-being first.

“He’s got some bigger things down the line, so I want him to take care of himself for sure,” Ramsey mentioned. He jokingly added: “And then, obviously, I’m still a competitor. If he ain’t playing, then I think that’s in our advantage too, so we’ll see.”

Ramsey and James may need performed in opposition to one another in 2019, however about two months earlier than enjoying the Chargers, the Jaguars traded Ramsey to the Rams.

Now, one other potential matchup is not going to come to fruition.

“Maybe … it just ain’t meant to be that me and Derwin play against each other,” Ramsey mentioned.

Ramsey has mentioned that he wish to play on the identical workforce with James.

He revisited that state of affairs Friday.

“Maybe one day we’ll play with each other,” he mentioned, “but maybe it’s not meant for us to play against each other.”