ST. JOSEPH, Mo. — Kansas City’s initial preseason game contained plenty of firsts for rookie linebacker Ramik Wilson.
For starters, it was his first time in a Chiefs uniform, subsequently resulting in his first tackle and first interception in the pros.
But his interception wasn’t only his first one as a professional.
That was his first one ever.
The former Georgia Bulldog didn’t record one wearing red and black, even though he lit up the defensive charts in every other category. He didn’t have one in high school as a Jefferson Dragon, either, despite doing everything else from starting at both linebacker and tight end to returning punts.
And once Wilson clutched the ball in his hands for the first time, he only had one thing on his mind.
“Get to the end zone,” he said, recalling the play. “Just run.”
The play was a standard hook route for Cardinals wide receiver Jaron Brown on first-and-5. The pass from quarterback Logan Thomas was on the money, but somehow, the ball bounced out of Brown’s grasp and flew right into Wilson’s hands.
Wilson’s eyes were on the goal line. He was only 34 yards out.
That “just run” mantra ran through his head as he neared the pylons, but he wasn’t going to get there. Thomas chased him out of bounds at the 4-yard line.
Wilson said he got into his zone and watched Thomas throw the ball in his general direction. He chalked it up as good coverage from Chiefs cornerback Aaron Hester.
Aside from the interception, Wilson added six tackles and defended two passes during the game, leading the Chiefs in both statistic categories.
Wilson’s game caught coach Andy Reid’s attention.
“(Justin) March and (Ramik) Wilson, the two young linebackers, I thought they did a nice job,” Reid said.
The 6-2, Tampa, Fla. native feels that he’s making progress as a player.
“I think I’m doing a lot of things right,” Wilson said. “I have a long way to go. I’m blessed to have Josh Mauga and Derrick Johnson help coach me up.”
Wilson is currently listed as second-team on the depth chart behind Mauga at left inside linebacker.
But he has the opportunity to move up and gain considerable amount of playing time when considering Mauga is currently not practicing with a heel injury.
Wilson has one preseason game under his belt, and he’s ready for the next one Friday night against the Seattle Seahawks.
“Going against the offense is real good and all, but it’s time to get another opponent and hit somebody else,” Wilson said. “We have a great team we’re about to play. It’s time to put on a show.”