As it turns out, there actually were some NFL players about whom Jalen Ramsey hadn’t recently talked trash. The aggressively blunt Jaguars cornerback took some steps to address that in an ESPN article published Thursday, offering disparaging comments about the likes of Rob Gronkowski, A.J. Green, Danny Amendola and even his former head coach at Florida State, Jimbo Fisher.
The remarks were made to ESPN’s Mina Kimes in a feature that was developed over the course of the summer, so Ramsey’s verbal jabs could well have been thrown before the haymakers he landed earlier this month in an interview with GQ. That flurry mostly involved big-name NFL quarterbacks, including Eli Manning, Ben Roethlisberger, Joe Flacco and Matt Ryan, but in speaking with Kimes, Ramsey was more focused on the shortcomings of some notable pass-catchers.
“I don’t think Gronk’s good,” he said of the Patriots star some consider on course to become the NFL’s all-time greatest tight end. Kimes wrote that as she reacted with disbelief, Ramsey offered this clarification: “Let me say — I don’t think Gronk is as great as people think he is.”
Ramsey’s reasoning, which he said was bolstered by statistics compiled for him by the Jags’ analytics staff, was that when Gronkowski has been covered by cornerbacks, “he’s had a very bad game — and that corner has had a very good game.” Ramsey had occasion to cover Gronkowski at times during January’s AFC championship game, and he was happy to point out that the hulking Pro Bowler did “literally nothing,” apart from “like, one catch.”
In fairness, Gronkowski was knocked out of that contest before halftime with a concussion, after a helmet-to-helmet hit by Jacksonville safety Barry Church, and in fairness to Ramsey, he doesn’t always have mean things to say about opponents. He described Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown to ESPN as “easily the best receiver in the NFL,” and he appeared to be impressed with Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins.
On the other hand, his way of praising Hopkins was to claim that the Houston player has been able to succeed while playing with “freaking 100 quarterbacks — all trash.” In a similar vein, Ramsey’s complimentary words for Patriots quarterback Tom Brady came wrapped in stinging barbs toward Amendola, a former New England wide receiver who signed a $12 million deal with the Dolphins in March that included $8.25 million in bonuses and guarantees.
Feigning confusion between Amendola and Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman, Ramsey said of the former, “He just got a brand-new contract and he is terrible,” adding, “People think he’s so great. No, he’s not. Tom [Brady] made him look good. Tom could take me as a receiver and I’d be a first-team all-pro.”
NFL fans were already aware that Ramsey had offered some choice words directly to Green, as the Bengals wide receiver fought with the cornerback during a game in November, resulting in both players’ ejections. “I called him soft, called him a punk,” Ramsey told ESPN.
“Talked to him. Said whatever I wanted to say. Did whatever I wanted to do,” he continued, adding with contempt, “Receivers are, like, naturally soft. So sensitive.”
It’s worth mentioning that Ramsey can, for the most part, back up all his considerable talk. The fifth overall pick in the 2016 draft — he made it clear that he’ll never forgive Cowboys owner Jerry Jones for picking Ezekiel Elliott instead of him at No. 4 — Ramsey made the NFL’s all-rookie team and then was named first-team all-pro for his lockdown efforts in 2017.
Jaguars Coach Doug Marrone claimed that some of Ramsey’s stinging commentary comes from the player’s extensive preparation. “Before every game, I’ll say: ‘Tell me about the receiver you’re going up against,'” Marrone said to ESPN. “He’s as thorough as anyone I’ve ever been around.”
Ramsey was slightly less adulatory toward Fisher, now the head coach at Texas A&M. After describing Fisher as “okay,” then being told by Kimes that she had never met the coach, Ramsey replied, “You’re not missing out.”
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