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'Coach' Jalen Ramsey shined on Los Angeles Rams' sideline while recovering from shoulder surgery

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IRVINE, Calif. -- As Matthew Stafford led the Los Angeles Rams' offense down the field, Jalen Ramsey stood on the defensive sideline, play script in hand.

Ramsey, who is recovering from offseason surgery on his left shoulder, sat out the first two weeks of practice before being cleared by team doctors on Saturday. While recuperating, the cornerback looked like another assistant coach on the sidelines with his Rams No. 5 T-shirt and bucket hat, which is exactly why head coach Sean McVay opted not to put Ramsey on the PUP list to start camp.

After he did some rehab during individual drills, you could usually find Ramsey next to defensive coordinator Raheem Morris or coaching up a teammate as soon as a play is over.

"Actually, it's terrible having him as a coach," Morris said with a smile. "He's got all the answers. He wants to make all the checks. He wants to do all this stuff.

"He's like a really good player that turns into a coach, and they become a really bad coach and they end up quitting and doing something else. ... I can't wait till he is a player again."

Morris laughed, before saying, "He is a lot of fun, though."

The truth is, for as much as Ramsey and his defensive coordinator have gone back and forth on the sideline, Morris said his star cornerback has shown during camp "how involved he is into what we do and how invested he is into his young players."

When Ramsey was asked about his role on the sideline early in training camp, he said he's glad he can help his teammates, but ultimately, he just couldn't stay away.

"It's kind of the only way I can enjoy it," Ramsey said. "Because I want to be out there. You know what I mean?"

Ramsey said he carried the play script so he could know exactly what the playcall is and therefore "the certain techniques that I feel like they should've been using or that could have helped them." This allowed him to give his teammates feedback as soon as they get off the field instead of having to wait until the position group is reviewing film in the meeting room.

"It's huge because Jalen is going to be a huge part of what we do defensively," McVay said. "He's got great ownership on what we're doing. When you're able to play multiple positions, you've got to have a big-picture understanding of what we're trying to get done defensively. Then the experience that he has, there's a lot of instances where, 'OK, how do you want to be able to play this? What are some of the combinations and route concepts that you're going to see based on what we're in coverage-wise? Where are your play opportunities within the framework of those coverages?'

"And his ability to communicate that, that energy is contagious and you can really see a lot of that swag that he has is kind of rubbing off on really our DBs as a whole, defense as a whole, especially some of those younger guys."

The Rams added four defensive backs in the draft, and two of them, cornerbacks Cobie Durant (fourth round) and Derion Kendrick (sixth round) have certainly benefited from Ramsey's expertise. Kendrick said Ramsey has been helping him with his technique and with concepts other teams might "try to confuse us with."

"There was a time when I could have buzzed out to the flat instead of just working straight back," Durant said. "But it was just that time where he [said] I could have opened up and then played with quarterback vision. So it's just little things."

Aside from helping out his teammates, defensive backs coach Jonathan Cooley said he thinks the experience will help Ramsey grow as a defensive back, too, because he's "able to see things from more of a coach's perspective."

"It helps his lens," Cooley said. "So he's loved it. He's getting a little bit bored as we keep going, but he's been doing a good job with it. It's been fun having him around in that aspect."

So does Cooley think Ramsey will be a coach one day? The assistant coach laughed.

"No," Cooley said. "No. He doesn't have enough patience. Maybe a high school coach back in Nashville."

And Morris, despite the hard time he gives his star cornerback, says he hopes even more positivity comes out of Ramsey's temporary role.

"We all know Ramsey," Morris said. "He can have some moments where emotion takes over what he wants and what he really believes, but his true essence of who he is comes out in these times in the meeting rooms and in training camp.

"You hope that builds him to become a better player when he doesn't have the best days that he wants or is not getting communicated the way he was because he relied on these types of experiences. That's only going to help him be a better player, better leader, a better everything for us."