Talented young Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey has had a lot to say about the Patriots this offseason following his team's loss in New England in last January's AFC title game.
In story in GQ, Ramsey gave his personal scouting reports for a number of NFL quarterbacks. While he started by saying the Ravens passer Joe Flacco "sucks," he had a slightly more flattering description of Tom Brady.
"Tom Brady doesn't [suck]," Ramsey told GQ.
Wednesday afternoon in his weekly press conference at Gillette Stadium, Brady was asked about Ramsey's comments as he and the Patriots prepare for Sunday's trip to Jacksonville to take on the Jaguars.
"I never want to suck. I don't want to be in that category," Brady responded somewhat lightheartedly.
Brady has previously had words with Ramsey on the field and didn't shoot down the idea that could happen this weekend at TIAA Field.
"It's going to be an emotional environment," Brady said. "I think everyone, whenever you play some of the best teams, you want to see where you're measured up to, and that defense has been ranked very high all last year, and I could see why. We practiced against them. They were very good. They've got a lot of very talented players – some of the guys that are probably the best at their position. So, it's going to be a great environment for football – 4:30 game, so everyone's going to be watching. It should be a really great game for us to go out and see what we're made of."
Brady seemed OK with the so-called trash talk coming from Ramsey, who also had critical comments about New England tight end Rob Gronkowski this offseason, saying "I don't think Gronk's good."
"I think it raises everybody's game as long as it doesn't get to the point where you do something stupid," Brady concluded of trash talking. I" mean, I think emotion in football is critical, and I think you have to have the energy and emotion. Because, I mean, it's a game of poise certainly, but it's also a game of just cutting it loose, and that's got to be a lot of confidence, a lot of trust in the people that are next to you so you can go be really free of what you're doing to go play a very anticipatory sport. So, you just can't wait for things to happen. If you wait for it to happen, it's too late. You've always got to anticipate, and playing with energy and enthusiasm are all part of the game."
Beyond his response to Ramsey's youthful yapping, here are some other key takeaways from Brady's afternoon press conference.
Ramsey "a great player": Aside from his scouting skills, what does Brady think of Ramsey as a player who's earned Pro Bowl and All-Pro status already after just two seasons in the NFL?
"He's a great player. I mean, he's a great player," Brady said. "Yeah, he's very talented – big, fast, very rare talents, rare abilities, size, speed. They match him up with the top receiver from time-to-time, and he holds his own versus everybody. So, he's a great young player."
Dorsett "continues to do the right thing": Phillip Dorsett arrived via trade from the Colts after the conclusion of training camp and preseason action last fall. As such, the former first-round pick spent his first season in New England playing catchup. Now, he's coming off an opening day performance in which he caught all seven passes thrown his way, including a 4-yard touchdown.
Clearly, the still-young receiver has impressed Brady with his work and development over the last year.
"We got him basically at the end of training camp last year, so I think that's a tough position to be in and it's hard to really contribute a lot when you don't have the confidence to know what you should really do," Brady explained. "He did the best he could all year, and he was out there as often as he can. He battled through some things and made some real critical plays when we needed them, made a real critical play in the AFC Championship game on the flea flicker and then played almost the whole Super Bowl – whatever, two-and-a-half quarters. So, he's done a great job and he continues to do the right thing, be in the right place, be out there every day, be available and just gain trust from his teammates and his coaches."
"Great to get the win" on opening day: Following Sunday afternoon's 27-20 win over the Texans, Brady expressed some disappointment with New England's performance. He seemed to focus on the team's three turnovers and made it clear that he expects more. Wednesday he was asked after watching the film of the game if he came away with a slightly more positive assessment.
"I think it's great to get the win. I mean, that's what we're trying to do," Brady said. "I don't think you'd expect to be perfect out there. You just have to be better than the other team, especially early in the year, because you really don't know what you're made of, you don't know really what the other teams are made of, you haven't been able to study too much. It's a very small sample size. So, I mean, I know we're going to be correcting things all the way till the end of the season, but the more things we can do consistently well, I mean, I think the more we're going to produce. And the better we produce, the more points we score. The more points we score, the better chance we have to win. So, that's where it comes from for me."