After taking down the Pittsburgh Steelers, Jacksonville Jaguars All Pro cornerback Jalen Ramsey declared that the Jaguars were “going to the Super Bowl, and we are going to win that b—” at a pep rally.
This boast meant that Ramsey believed the Jaguars were going to defeat the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship Game and put Ramsey in the middle of the Patriots bulletin board for this week.
And while the Patriots “don’t talk about what happens behind the scenes,” according to Matthew Slater when asked about Ramsey’s statement, others simply brushed the comment aside.
“Nobody plays in this game to lose,” Patriots free safety Devin McCourty shrugged when asked about Ramsey’s comments. “I understand that. We’re out here, we’re preparing, we’re doing everything that we can to try to win. I’m sure he’s doing the same thing. Everybody’s approach is different, and obviously they have a very confident group.”
Both Slater and McCourty are veterans, experienced in the ways of Bill Belichick and adept at sidestepping prying questions. But one rookie made a grievous rookie mistake and gave too much ground in his response.
“If you’re going to make a statement like that, you better be able to back it up,” Patriots defensive tackle Adam Butler said Wednesday, according to ESPN. “It’s a bold statement to make. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that out. But like I said, be humble or be humbled. That’s all I can really say about that.”
Oh, no, Adam. That’s answer is far too involved! Never question whether the boastful player can back up their claims, but instead say that they’ve done a good job all year. Don’t say “be humble or be humbled” because that’s a challenge. Instead say you’re just not interested in responding.
Because now you’ve opened the floodgates after all the hard work Belichick and McCourty and everyone else on the team did at ignoring the noise, and now the Jaguars have the smallest scrap of validity in their desire to be disrespected- and Ramsey definitely heard your response:
WHO!???— Jalen Ramsey (@jalenramsey) January 18, 2018
So now the pressure’s on Butler to step it up against Blake Bortles and the Jaguars offense, and now Ramsey has a little more fuel for the fire when he’s covering Brandin Cooks. Hopefully Butler will be able to become more learned in the ways of Belichick Media Protocol and this won’t come back to bite the team.
Oh, and I say this knowing full well how innocuous Butler’s statement was. And I love when players speak their mind. But that’s how the “chip on the shoulder” game is played.