Let me preface this blog by stating the obvious; Jalen Ramsey is a very talented football player. This isn’t really up for debate. He was a consensus All-American, BCS Champion at Florida State. He was a First Team All-Pro CB on the 2nd best defense in the NFL last year. His size and speed are perfectly suited for the new pass happy NFL and he will likely be a perennial pro bowler for years to come.
That being said, Ramsey is quickly becoming more and more of a meat stick. There is a fine line between being a confident player and being a clown and Ramsey is starting to become a habitual line stepper (h/t Charlie Murphy). There is nothing wrong with confidence or even cockiness. Athletes like Steve Smith and Kobe Bryant are the reason you watch pro sports. They talked enough shit to make Serena Williams blush but deep down you always thought “they do have a good point.” Cockiness might be my favorite attribute in an athlete but there is an over-saturation point where you start thinking “what the hell are they talking about?” Richard Sherman got to this point with his rant about Michael Crabtree. Terrell Owens doing pushups in his driveway was more clown than confidence. LaVar Ball said he could beat Michael Jordan one-on-one. I think the line of demarcation is when they start saying things that you know they don’t even believe. They are just being cocky for the sake of the headlines.
Isn’t Jalen Ramsey starting to sound a little too much like Kanye West for your comfort? At first his confidence was refreshing but now it feels like he is starting to play the character of an internet troll. Let’s take a look at some of his recent comments for reference:
On Danny Amendola:
“He just got a brand-new contract and he is terrible. 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.”
Say what you want about Amendola, but at the very least he is a serviceable WR, not to mention his two best statistical years were in St. Louis (2010 & 2012) where he had Sam Bradford throwing him the ball. But the best part of this quote is that Amendola pretty much ended the Jaguars season last year. How do you trash someone that thoroughly dominated your DB group in the last football game you played? He had 2 TDs in the 4th quarter to end your season in heart breaking fashion. Does he not remember this play?
On playing hockey:
“He’s never tried skating, but if he trained for six months, he says, he could probably crack the NHL.”
Being from New England I am a casual hockey fan, but hardcore hockey fans are a breed like no other. The only thing they hate more than flamboyant athletes is cocky athletes so I don’t even want to know their reaction to this quote. I am actually scared to google it; I’m guessing it’s horrifying. All I will say is that, traditionally, people of Nordic descent seem to be a little more predisposed to the sport.
On his Mount Rushmore of NFL players:
“My Mount Rushmore is me with four different expressions.”
This one is actually pretty funny. Whoever asked him this question was setting him up with a layup.
On Steve Smith:
“You tell me who got in who head. He an old man, acting like that.”
I alluded to it earlier but Steve Smith strikes me as someone who actually believes the insane things he says. So when you talk shit to Steve Smith and he says he is going to slash your tires and kidnap your pet, you should probably valet the Range Rover and hire a dog-sitter.
On Rob Gronkowski:
“I don’t think Gronk’s good. Let me say — I don’t think Gronk is as great as people think he is. Any time Gronk has been matched up with a corner, he’s had a very bad game — and that corner has had a very good game.”
That is kind of the point of Gronkowski isn’t it? The fact that he is a matchup nightmare? Sure, if your team’s best CB on him he could have less of an impact. But then you are sacrificing your best corner to cover a TE. Also, receiving is only half the job of a TE. Sometimes ya gotta throw people out the club too:
On playing the Patriots in the AFC Championship
“We goin’ to the Super Bowl. AND we gon’ win that bitch”
The classic win guarantee followed by a loss. I’m sure there is more of these to come.
On whether he would hit his grandma:
“Nah, I definitely would, she know that. My grandma know that. I love you, but you know that.”
Despite all of the above, I will admit that Jalen Ramsey is good for the sport because he brings the entertainment. Whether you love him or hate him, he gives you a reason to watch. Kanye West still makes good music even though he is out of his mind and the same holds true for Ramsey. And to be fair, not everything he says is all that crazy:
“And just being honest about it, [Joe] Flacco sucks. I played him two years in a row. He sucks.”
Jump Ball Joe definitely does suck.