BOSTON (CBS) — For the past several years, Stephon Gilmore has quietly been arguably the very best cornerback in the National Football League. You’d never know that, though, if you were only relying on Gilmore’s word.
Unlike the Darrelle Revises and Jalen Ramseys and Richard Shermans of the cornerbacking world (or Deion Sanders if you want to go back a generation), Gilmore has generally just let his play do the talking for him. With a First Team All-Pro spot and a Super Bowl-clinching interception under his belt, the message has been quite clear.READ MORE: Man Arrested After Armed Robbery At Haverhill Pot Shop
But this year, Gilmore is opening up a little bit more, and that was quite evident after Sunday’s 17-10 Patriots win in Philadelphia. The cornerback spent some time covering a variety of Eagles receivers, and that included their best player — tight end Zach Ertz.
Though Ertz was able to catch nine passes for 94 yards, Gilmore felt pleased with the way the Patriots handled the two-time Pro Bowler.
“He was crying,” Gilmore said of Ertz, according to NBC Sports Boston’s Phil Perry. “He do that on film a lot. If you get into him. If he don’t get the ball or he don’t get a call, he’ll cry.”
Those are words not often hard from the soft-spoken Gilmore, so he was quick to revert back to his normal ways.READ MORE: Gov. Baker Proposes Waiving Massachusetts Sales Tax For All Of August And September
“But he’s a good receiver. He’s a good tight end. He’s a great player,” Gilmore said, before remembering his main point. “He’s a great player, but when he don’t get his way, he’ll complain to the ref. But who don’t do that?”
Gilmore also was asked to compare his duty of covering Ertz to his time covering Travis Kelce in the playoffs last year. He used it as another opportunity to take a jab at Ertz.
“They are kind of the same,” Gilmore said, per Andrew Callahan of the Boston Herald. “Great players. I think Ertz pushes off a little bit more, but they are great players.”
It’s rare for Gilmore to go after anyone, even if somebody called him out first. Earlier this season, Robby Anderson said that Gilmore gets away with a lot of holding. After locking down Anderson and finishing a decisive victory by delivering a heavy hit to bring down Anderson on the final Jets play, Gilmore had very little to say about the receiver.MORE NEWS: Rep. Chris Pappas Mourns 15-Year-Old Nephew Who Drowned In Sebbins Pond In Bedford, NH
This time though, for whatever reason, Gilmore did what every great corner has to do at some point — he switched things up.