Each week, blogger Matt Vensel fires a few questions at rookie cornerback and kick returner Asa Jackson. The Ravens’ fifth-round pick in April’s draft, Jackson is a Sacramento native who played his college ball at Cal Poly.
MV: You didn’t end up playing against the Houston Texans last weekend because the team only dressed four cornerbacks. Was that the closest you think you have come to being active this season?
AJ: Yeah, it was the closest it has been so far. I think all week I was expecting to play. But when [linebacker Terrell Suggs] came back and everything, it ended up not happening. That’s just the nature of the business.
MV: Right. And some people may not realize that the opponent is a factor and it all affects certain positions. With nose tackle Ma’ake Kemoeatu out, you had extra defensive linemen up. And the Texans don’t use a lot of three- or four-receiver sets, so it may have affected the number of cornerbacks that were active.
AJ: Right. There were a whole bunch of things that played into it.
MV: You’ve got the bye week now. What do you plan doing?
AJ: I’m going to go home. I’m going to go back to California, go see some of my friends, my family, and just try to relax. I haven’t gotten to see my mom or my grandparents for a long time, so it will be good to get back home and sleep in my own bed for the first time since July. And eat some good food. Then I’ll come back and be ready to go.
MV: Do you think it will set in when you get home what a whirlwind these past three months have been for you?
AJ: It will. I think so. It hasn’t even set in all the way for me that I’m here. So I’m hoping that when I go home, it will set in. And it’s going to be a great feeling when it all finally does, I’m sure.
MV: We’re at the season's unofficial halfway point. Even though you haven’t gotten in a game yet, you’re still learning a lot. Can you assess how it has gone and where you have grown?
AJ: It went well. It’s funny because [cornerback Lardarius Webb] told me, “When you get to Week 8, go back and watch yourself in Week 1 and see how much you’ve improved.” It’s a huge improvement. It’s almost night and day. So I’m going to just keep building on that and hopefully we’ll keep building on these wins. Being 5-2 is solid, but it’s going to take a lot more than that to get us where we want to go. So just like everyone else here, I’m going to be working my butt off to make that happen.
[Note: To interact with Asa, follow him @_KIDRaven_ on Twitter]