Cornerback Jalen Ramsey is away from the Jacksonville Jaguars this week following a suspension he received from the team for criticizing a reporter on Twitter. That hasn’t stopped him from making headlines, however.
In an interview with GQ Magazine, the loquacious corner gave his opinion on most of the quarterbacks in the league, handing out praise to some and taking shots at others.
Ramsey doled out praise to the likes of Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Marcus Mariota, Drew Brees, Russell Wilson, Kirk Cousins, Deshaun Watson, Carson Wentz and Jags’ QB Blake Bortles. Although one thing to note that Ramsey revealed is that Bortles never goes against the Jags’ primary defense in practice because “that’ll probably hurt his confidence.” Instead, Bortles practices against the Scout Team over the course of the season.
Among the players he took shots at, Ramsey said that he doesn’t think Andrew Luck is that good, crediting his connection with T.Y. Hilton as a reason why he “stood out a little bit more.” He isn’t impressed with Eli Manning, saying that Eli’s not good but Odell (Beckham) is good, “and their connection is good.” Ramsey also called Ben Roethlisberger “decent at best” and claimed that Antonio Brown makes him look better than he really is, also noting that Big Ben “just slings it and his receivers go and get it.” He also called Bills’ first-round draft pick Josh Allen “trash” among other criticisms.
It should be noted, however, that when Andrew Luck was healthy in 2016, he went 11-16 for 172 yards and a touchdown, with a 125.0 Quarterback Rating, when targeting Ramsey in their two meetings.
Eventually, Ramsey made his way down the list and got to Atlanta’s Matt Ryan. I won’t paraphrase his comments on Ryan. Instead I’ll give you the full quote:
Jalen Ramsey is entitled to his opinion, but he has me questioning if he watched Matt Ryan at all last season, or if he’s basing his comments on the box scores, which can be deceiving.
Ryan had a terribly unlucky year, throwing 12 interceptions despite having the lowest number of turnover worthy passes in the NFL (1% of his passes) according to PFF. Ryan led the Falcons to a 10-win season and a playoff victory despite having a pass-catching core which led the league with 30 total drops. Atlanta was the only team ranked in the top five in dropped passes to make the playoffs.
It should also be noted that Ryan was a great player in the NFL before Kyle Shanahan ever got to Atlanta. He made the Pro Bowl three times before 2015 (Shanahan’s first season as the Falcons’ Offensive Coordinator), and has now thrown for at least 4000 yards in seven straight seasons. Ryan, Brees and Matthew Stafford are the only active QBs with seven or more consecutive 4000-yard seasons.
Ryan surpassed Peyton Manning last season to set the record for most passing yards in a player’s first 10 seasons in NFL history, and he’s currently on pace to one day make it to the Hall of Fame. Atlanta’s franchise QB also had his first 4000-yard season and made his first Pro Bowl appearance in 2010, a full year before Julio Jones’ arrival in Atlanta.
There seems to be a prevailing theme in Ramsey’s GQ interview of discrediting quarterbacks who throw to stellar wide receivers. Julio Jones, Antonio Brown and Odell Beckham Jr. are widely considered to be the three best WRs in the league, and Ramsey took shots at each of their respective QBs — basically calling them overrated and saying that these WRs made those QBs look better than they really are. He even used T.Y. Hilton as a basis for discrediting Andrew Luck over in Indianapolis.
Ramsey himself is a stellar player — he was a Pro Bowler and a First-Team All-Pro selection last season, leading a Jaguars defense which was ranked second in the NFL in yards allowed. Unless Atlanta and Jacksonville meet in the Super Bowl, he’ll avoid seeing Matt Ryan, Julio Jones and the rest of the Falcons this season.