Someone should just hand Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey a list of every NFL player, and have him give his opinion on them all.
He probably would. Ramsey got everyone’s attention as he name-checked quarterbacks from around the NFL, insulting several of them, and he had more to say in an ESPN The Magazine interview with Mina Kimes.
We get the background of why Ramsey is so brash and confident, and then he managed to take aim at some of the NFL’s bigger stars: New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, Cincinnati Bengals receiver A.J. Green and Miami Dolphins receiver Danny Amendola (though he might have Amendola confused with Julian Edelman). He even ripped former Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher.
“I don’t really care what people think about me, to be honest,” Ramsey said to Kimes. “At. All.”
Jalen Ramsey rips Gronk, Amendola as overrated
The beauty of Ramsey is he isn’t scared to express his opinion in a league that actively tries to muzzle its players. Ramsey makes things interesting. Thankfully.
That said, we don’t have to agree with all of his opinions. Like, his belief that Gronkowski really isn’t that good.
“I don’t think Gronk’s good,” Ramsey said to ESPN. “Let me say — I don’t think Gronk is as great as people think he is.”
Ramsey explained that when a cornerback covers Gronkowski, his numbers dip. And he points out Gronkowski didn’t have a big AFC championship game against the Jaguars, though he suffered a concussion before halftime.
“Literally nothing. He may have had, like, one catch,” Ramsey said about Gronk’s AFC title game.
Ramsey’s theory is that quarterbacks have a big effect on receivers. He then mentions Amendola (after asking “Or is it Edelman?”), who signed with the Dolphins this offseason.
“He just got a brand-new contract and he is terrible,” Ramsey told ESPN. “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.”
Ramsey sounds off on others
Any interview Ramsey sits down for from here on out — unless the Jaguars quiet him down, which is pretty much every NFL team’s goal with every player — the highlight will be which players or coaches he unloads on.
Like Green, who he got in a fight with last season: “I called him soft, called him a punk. Talked to him. Said whatever I wanted to say. Did whatever I wanted to do. Receivers are, like, naturally soft. So sensitive.”
Or Fisher, his college coach: “He didn’t teach me not one DB technique … ” When Kimes said she’s never met Fisher, Ramsey replied, “You’re not missing out.”
Ramsey did praise Houston Texans receiver DeAndre Hopkins, but ripped his quarterbacks: “He’s had freaking 100 quarterbacks — all trash. I could be his quarterback. I could literally be his quarterback.”
He even got Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones. Ramsey told ESPN that he thought the Cowboys coaches wanted to draft him No. 4 overall in 2016, but Jones made the call to take Ezekiel Elliott: “I will never play for them, unless the Joneses leave.”
Ramsey becoming a star
The ESPN article presents an excellent look at the person behind the trash talk and stellar cornerback play. Ramsey is about to become a big star in the NFL, even though he plays in a small market, because he is interesting and an elite player for a team that should be a contender again.
It’s good for the game. The NFL needs personalities. We’re deep into an era in which paranoid coaches want to control the message so desperately, they suck the personality out of their players over the perception that some competitive advantage exists when players are as dull as possible. Almost everyone has ignored that they’re in the entertainment business and football should actually be fun.
Hopefully Ramsey never changes.
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