Making an impact is something every player wants to do for their respective teams.
For Ravens defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan, 2016, his third season in the NFL, is ready to make his mark along a stout defensive line.
Jernigan, a former second round draft pick needs no motivation to get things going this season after the Ravens disappointing 5-11 record in 2015.
“Every day we walk through those doors we’re thinking about, ‘Man, we went 5-11 last year,’” recalled Jernigan following the team’s first full session of OTAs. “When I want to take a break, that’s what I think about.
“It’s not acceptable. The players don’t accept it. The coaches don’t accept it. Nobody in this organization does, so it’s definitely on our mind every day.”
The former Florida State Seminole has a big chip on his shoulder as does the rest of the young defensive line group.
After appearing in 15 games last season (6 starts), the gritty Jernigan is ready to take his next step in improving his game.
“[I] just have to become that force that I was drafted here to be,” remarked a fiery Jernigan. “I feel like last year I came up a little bit short. I feel like I had a good year, but to my standards, I don’t think it was enough.
“I’ve definitely been busting my butt every day – day in and day out. I’m doing whatever I can just to take it to the next level and get everybody around me to do the same thing.”
While most players enjoy a little R & R during the offseason, Timmy, who now wears #99, spent his training hard for offseason activities and the upcoming season.
“I’ve been doing a lot of stuff that kind of got me here,” Jernigan stated about his training program. “This offseason I started doing a little bit more power cleans, the Olympic lifts, and getting back to running stadiums and stuff like that when I go home in that 100 degree Florida weather.
“I like to get out there when it’s hotter than hot so days like this don’t really bother me.”
While Jernigan feels his game has improved and could be a Pro Bowler in 2016.
“Definitely. I won’t stop until I get [to the Pro Bowl],” said Jernigan. “Sometimes you come up short in life, and it’s only going to do two things: It’s either going to make you or it’s going to break you. It definitely opened my eyes to how hard it is to get there.”
Jernigan’s main focus, however, isn’t on achieving personal accolades.
“I’m definitely working hard towards [having a Pro Bowl year], but that’s not my main focus. 5-11 is my main focus. That’s what I’m thinking about every day. I’m not worried about the Pro Bowl.”
It remains to be seen just how all of his offseason work will translate to the field this season, but Jernigan’s focus cannot be questioned. It was a welcomed sign as the team got back to the practice field for the first time.
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