Timmy Jernigan Has Matured, Ready To Realize Potential


Ravens defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan has long had the talent.

He's an incredibly strong, explosive defensive tackle that can dominate the offensive lineman opposite him on any given play.

What's been holding Jernigan back the past couple years has been consistency, he admits. Jernigan didn't bring it play-in and play-out.

That's where Jernigan has taken steps forward, and what received positive reviews from Head Coach John Harbaugh and new Defensive Line Coach Joe Cullen.

"I think he's much more mature," Harbaugh said after Wednesday's practice.

"Everybody grows up, and he's really done a great job. His work ethic is excellent, A-plus. His practice effort and attitude is A-plus. He has really done everything he needs to do, and I can't wait to see him play in games."

After showing flashes in his 2014 rookie season, Jernigan posted very similar stats as a sophomore. He logged four sacks each year and made 14 more tackles last season. He started six games last year and three as a rookie.

That's solid production, but not up to the potential the Ravens saw in Jernigan when they drafted him in the second round out of Florida State.

Jernigan said he wants to prove that he's the player the Ravens drafted him to be. He said he's not going to set any "crazy expectations," and he just wants to play ball.

"I know that if I come out and give it everything I've got every single day, then the rest will take care of itself," Jernigan said. "I have no doubt in my mind.

"[It's] just making sure I'm the same player every play, no matter whether it is the first quarter or the fourth quarter. No matter the situation in the game, I want to remain who I am – dominant."

Cullen has ridden Jernigan hard this entire offseason to get the best out of him. As Jernigan said, Cullen "will coach until you can't be coached anymore," and the coach's hoarse voice is proof.

"He is really pushing every snap," Cullen said. "I told those guys, 'Your best friend in this profession is the guy that is going to bring out your best, and it is not always fun.'"

Jernigan had a pair of veteran leaders* *to emulate in his first two seasons. He watched Haloti Ngata as a rookie, then Chris Canty last season. Now Jernigan is one of the veterans with younger defensive tackles Carl Davis and rookie Willie Henry looking up to him and Brandon Williams.

Entering his third season, Jernigan has figured out the Ravens' hard-working, hustling mindset.

"It is the way things are done here; you adapt to it," Jernigan said. "Over time, when you see certain guys do certain things a certain way all the time, it has no choice but to really grow on you. It is one of those things – just growing up and maturing."

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content