By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — A lot is being made this week about Jalen Ramsey’s trash talk, particularly his assertion that all-world tight end Rob Gronkowski is not “as great as people think he is.” Bill Belichick, Tom Brady and Gronkowski himself have all been asked about Ramsey’s football analysis, and it figures to get mentioned quite a bit on the broadcast when the Patriots and Jaguars meet on Sunday afternoon.
But Ramsey spoke to reporters on Thursday and sought to clarify his message a bit.
“He’s good. He’s good now. We ain’t gonna get it twisted,” Ramsey told reporters.
A reporter told Ramsey that Gronkowski is considered to perhaps be the best tight end of all time.
“He’s good, but like, you saying this to me, is this supposed to bring fear to me or something?” Ramsey asked. “I don’t fear no man. Period. So he’s gonna have to come out there and line up on me. Or however it goes. He’s gotta play us this year.”
That reporter informed Ramsey that Jaguars defensive coordinator Todd Walsh said that anyone who believes Gronkowski is overrated would qualify as being crazy.
“Might be crazy,” Ramsey said. “I don’t care.”
Later, when talking about having exchanged jerseys with Odell Beckham Jr. after last weekend’s game, Ramsey went a bit deeper into his approach to the game and the respect level he maintains for opponents.
“When you play the game of football, I feel like to respect the game, you have to play it fierce. You gotta play it — I don’t believe in having friends on the field,” Ramsey said. “Like, I mean, if my brother, my dad, my mom, grandma was out there, it’s like, it’s on. After the game we can be cool, it doesn’t matter. That’s how I feel like you gotta respect the game of football. Football’s not a game meant to be played being nice to each other and all that like kumbaya. But after the game’s over with, that’s cool.”
Ramsey was given a chance to clarify that he wouldn’t actually hit his grandmother.
“No, I definitely would. She know that. My grandma knows that. I love you, but you know that,” Ramsey said. “Would she hit me back? Grandma might not get up from one of my licks.”
Clearly, the press conference was taken slightly off the rails. But before the end of his chat with reporters, Ramsey was asked if he expects to line up against Gronkowski on Sunday.
“I’m not sure,” Ramsey said. “I’m gonna go out there and do whatever Coach asks me to do, to be honest. If it happens, it happens. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t. I’m very confident in all of my teammates on the defensive side of the ball. Whoever goes against him, I’m very confident that they’ll hold it down, and I’ll do my job and I’ll hold it down where I’m at.”
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