Former Ravens’ OLB Jamie Sharper eager to return to Baltimore as Georgetown’s assistant in Saturday’s match at Morgan State – The Mercury News

When former Ravens outside linebacker Jamie Sharper returns to Baltimore as the defensive line coach for the Georgetown football team, he does not expect a warm reception from fans.

“I did not go to Morgan State,” he said ahead of Saturday’s game against Morgan State at Hughes Stadium at noon. “So they do not care at all. I just want to be on the sidelines. ”

Still, Sharper, 46, is looking forward to visiting the city where he landed as a rookie selected in the second round of the 1997 NFL draft from the University of Virginia. Since leaving after the 2001 season, he played for the Houston Texans and Seattle Seahawks and has played a few appearances at Ravens matches at M&T Bank Stadium as a guest and fan.

“The greatest thing is just being able to return to the area and relive some of the feelings of being around football in that area,” he said. “Maryland was really special to me. So now going up there and fighting Morgan State, a proud university, and going up against those guys is great for Georgetown University and our team.”

Sharper has become a trusted member of Coach Rob Sgarlata’s staff. As experienced as Sharper is, his thirst for knowledge has impressed Sgarlata.

“It’s great to witness someone who wants to keep learning,” he said. “He’s a guy who played in the NFL, and he comes in and asks, ‘How do you learn this? How does it work?’ So it has been really refreshing and also great for our kids to see. ”

Saturday’s match will give Sharper a chance to catch up with Derrick Alexander, Bears pass game coordinator and wide receiver coach, who was a wideout with the Ravens until 1997, which was Sharper’s rookie season. Sharper said Alexander and the late Michael Jackson were shepherds in the 1997 class.

“One of my dear friends, Michael Jackson, was a mentor when I first came to Baltimore, and Derrick Alexander was his deputy,” Sharper said. “Michael Jackson had various businesses going on and a lot of charity events going on, and Derrick Alexander was right there with him.”

In five years with the Ravens, Sharper accumulated 328 tackles, 14 sacks, two interceptions and a fumble return for a touchdown. In addition to contributing to the organization’s run for its first Super Bowl title in Super Bowl XXXV, Sharper recalled losing games to Kordell Stewart and the hated Pittsburgh Steelers and being part of a 1997 draft class that included outside linebackers Peter Boulware (first round), Tyrus McCloud (fourth) and Cornell Brown (sixth) and inside linebacker Tyrell Peters (free agent).

“It felt like a college atmosphere with all of us young linebackers coming in to play with Ray [Lewis]said Sharper.

After his final season with the Seahawks in 2005, Sharper worked as a scouting intern for the Texans in the 2013 preseason and then as a linebacker coach at St. Louis. Augustine High School in New Orleans. He came to Georgetown in August 2018 as an outsider linebacker coach before switching to the defensive line this season.

Hoyas (2-7), who did not play last season or trained in the spring due to coronavirus restrictions, has limped defensively this fall and has averaged 187.9 rushing yards and 20 touchdown runs to opponents. Sharper said he misses the ability to show his current crop of players what to do instead of telling them.

“I think it’s more analytical,” he said of being a coach instead of a player. “You use your brain to try to see if you can make the game plan and the players fit together. You have an idea of ​​what you think you can do against a team and you want to make it a “The point where your defense and your players understand that is the biggest thing that shows whether you can get it done that Saturday or Sunday.”

Despite his championship pedigree, Sharper rarely talks about his Super Bowl victory with his players. Sgarlata recalled that Sharper was compiling films of several NFL retirees he had arranged to talk to the players last winter, and there was only one highlight in Sharper firing then-New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.

“You have to pull it out of him,” Sgarlata said. “Sometimes I say ‘Hey, coach, you played in the NFL,’ and he says, ‘Oh yeah, I did,’ and that was it. So it’s interesting. It’s not typical.”

Defensive coordinator Kevin Doherty said Sharper’s background gives him instant credibility with the players.

“I think they have a very high degree of respect for him and what he has been able to accomplish in his life,” he said. “He probably gets more attention than most of the guys who speak from a coach’s point of view.”

Sharper downplayed the importance of his background as he tried to reach out to current and future players.

“The biggest thing is what you can do to help them learn,” he said. “Players understand if they can get something from you to help them, and they will matriculate for you if you have the knowledge and desire to make them better.”

Sharper said he has tried to share what he learned from those who trained him. He said former Raven defensive coordinator Marvin Lewis was adamant that his players were using their hands.

“We knew how to get out of blocks using our hands,” he said. “Playing with your hands was the biggest thing I remember playing defense in Baltimore.”

Sharper said he would like to do what he can to help Hoyas close the season on a positive note. Sgarlata said the team has a similar incentive to win the match for Sharper on his return to Baltimore.

“I know it’s important to him,” Sgarlata said. “He’s talked about how close the defensive space was and what we’re trying to create in our own culture here, and it’s been fun to hear him tell those stories. I know he has a lot of family and friends in Maryland. , Virginia and DC, so it will mean a lot to him to get him back to Baltimore, especially to get up to Morgan State.

GEORGETOWN @ MORGAN STATE

Saturday, noon

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