In August 2018, Jalen Ramsey jumped into the headlines not for his on-field performances during the Jacksonville Jaguars’ preseason or training camp but rather for voicing his opinions. The All-Pro cornerback evaluated opposing quarterbacks, and also did not hold back when speaking about the team that had defeated his squad in the AFC Championship Game just seven months earlier: the New England Patriots.
Ramsey pointed out that it was “clear as day” that the officials wanted New England to win the game and advance to the Super Bowl, called wide receiver Danny Amendola a “terrible” player, and also said that tight end Rob Gronkowski was not “as great as people think he is.” Naturally, his trash talking was a point of discussion three weeks later when the Patriots traveled to Jacksonville to take on Ramsey’s Jaguars.
Leading up to the highly anticipated rematch of the 2017 AFC title game, New England cornerback Stephon Gilmore was asked about Ramsey’s trash talk. And despite being one of the more soft spoken players in the Patriots’ locker room, Gilmore took a slight step across the line. “It’s his personality,” he said. “That’s not my style. But I find a lot of guys that talk are mostly zone guys, so they have a lot of energy to do that.”
For the outspoken Ramsey, that was all that he needed. “I mean we know that’s the furthest [thing] from the truth,” the 24-year old said in a press conference leading into the game against the Patriots when asked about his prowess when it comes to playin both man-to-man and zone coverage. “I’m gonna continue to do what the team asks me to do, either man or zone. I mean, maybe [Gilmore] should try it. I was All-Pro.”
Ramsey emerged as the early winner from the trash talk battle: the Jaguars defeated the Patriots 31-20 in week two and got at least some revenge for the 24-20 playoff loss the previous season. However, fast forward four months and the world looks entirely different. While Ramsey and the Jaguars are out of the playoffs and there are trade rumors surrounding the cornerback, Gilmore and his team are still in the race for the Super Bowl.
Above all that, the Patriots’ defender has established himself as arguably the best cornerback in the NFL: he has been voted to the Pro Bowl and the All-Pro team — the latter something Ramsey boasted about in early September — and is also the highest-rated player at his position by advanced analytics website Pro Football Focus. Ramsey, meanwhile, comes in at number 30 among all cornerbacks this year.
It certainly looks as if Gilmore has gotten the last laugh in his comparatively low-level trash talk battle against Ramsey.