Jalen Ramsey

USA Today

Takes For Days

If Jalen Ramsey is saying it, you sure as hell better listen.

August 27, 2018 - 11:35 am

The Jags beat the Falcons on Saturday night. Normally, I would not be talking about some worthless preseason game. Except this wasn’t some worthless preseason football game – because Jalen Ramsey was playing in it. And he was facing Matt Ryan.

Preseason games never have backstories, but that one did. And it was good. You’ll recall that in his now-legendary GQ interview, Ramsey had some thoughts about Ryan. But first, he had a question for the interviewer: “What's the Atlanta quarterback's name?” 

There might not be a more disrespectful, yet awesome, moment in all of NFL history than that question. 

When told that the Atlanta’s quarterback name is Matt Ryan, Ramsey continued: “I think Matt Ryan's overrated. You can't tell me you win MVP two years ago, and then last year, you a complete bust, and you still got Julio Jones? There's no way that should ever happen. I don't care.” 

And then explained his theory that former offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan was the real MVP in Atlanta. 

And you know how it goes. A guy lets his guard down in an interview, gets a little loose, makes some waves, and generates a bunch of buzz for critical comments. Then he walks them back and says that he thought it was off the record, or the comments were taken out of context. It always happens. Unless it involves Jalen Ramsey, because here was Ramsey after the game: “I don’t live my life with regrets. Things happen, and I said what I said. God knows I love everything about the game of football. I love the competitiveness, I love the trash talking and I love the challenges. I love literally everything about the game. I have no regrets. I wasn’t in control of them releasing the timing of that, but I will follow up with the best because it’s all on me.”

He loves the competitiveness, the trash talking and the challenges? He loves literally everything about the game? I love his competitiveness, his trash talking, and his challenges. I love literally everything about his game. And if you’re looking for me to crack him, you’ve come to the wrong place. And the wrong show. Because I love the guy. And I love the guy not just for saying things like that, but for backing them up.  Because he and the other ten guys on the Jags defense did. Because you know Matty Ice was looking to come into Saturday night and prove a point. Ehhh, let’s not get into that just yet.

Because not only did Matt Ryan not prove a point, he barely scored any points. Jacksonville limited Atlanta to six points for the game. And even worse, the Jags defense sacked Ryan three times and held him to 57 passing yards. Total. For the game. 

Jacksonville: 17, Atlanta: 6, Jalen Ramsey infinity, Everyone else: zero. Scoreboard, look up at it. 

And speaking of looks, Matt Ryan did not look like an NFL MVP against Jacksonville and Ramsey does look like an MVP for what he said, how he and his guys backed it up, and for not taking it back. 

I know its preseason and it’s really hard to get worked up about preseason, but let’s be honest, when Jalen Ramsey’s involved, it’s not hard at all. Oh, And Ramsey was asked if his opinion on Ryan had changed: “The defense did a great job out there tonight and we have some things to correct, but we did a great job.”

Translation: who? He might as well have just repeated “what’s the Atlanta quarterback’s name again??”

But just because he refused to smash Ryan even further than he already has, doesn’t mean that Ramsey is out of the quote business. Far from it. There’s no off-switch on this quote machine and you saw it in action when he was asked about the nasty injury suffered by Jacksonville wideout Marqise Lee: 

“It sucks. We are going to have to pray for him. You can’t be mad at 27 [Damontae Kazee]. You have to be mad at the NFL; not mad at them but that is how the rule is. People are scared to tackle normal because I guess they don’t want to do helmet-to-helmet and get flagged. That was not even flagged and [you could] potentially get thrown out of the game. Game-changing stuff could happen.” 

As always, saying something sucks is not a take. But when Jalen Ramsey says it, it is a take. A strong take and especially when he’s laying out the rules about tackling. I’m going to go ahead and predict this will not be the last time you hear guys blaming the tackling rules for injuries. And it’s not just defensive players complaining. Its’ the offense too. Remember Rob Gronkowski was already on record as saying he’d rather risk a possible concussion from a hat to hat hit, then have a guy go low and shred his knee.  And you know he’s not the only one who feels that way. And others will start saying it as well. And if Jalen Ramsey is saying it, you sure as hell better listen. If Jalen Ramsey, is saying anything at all, you better be listening. Because this guy starts to bump his gums, I for one, drop everything and wait for him to start dropping serious knowledge. This guy has takes for days and I want to hear every last one of them.