ALLEN PARK, Mich. — Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey's comments in GQ magazine, sparing few NFL quarterbacks of some form of criticism, were a topic of discussion for both the Detroit Lions and New York Giants following the teams' second day of joint practices at the Lions' facility.
Ramsey went after several of the league's QBs, including both starters for the teams practicing against each other. On the Lions' Matthew Stafford, Ramsey offered up tepid comments, which only could be deemed as praise when you stack them up against the other quarterbacks he mentioned.
"You not a bad quarterback if you do what your team asks of you," Ramsey said. "Matthew Stafford, I think he's straight. I don't think he the best quarterback out there. But he do what he gotta do."
Ramsey's thoughts on the Giants' Eli Manning were harsher. It wasn't an outright lambasting, but Ramsey suggested that Manning was only Manning because of the presence of wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. What adds a layer of intrigue is that the Giants and Jaguars will meet Week 1 at MetLife Stadium.
“Eli … It’s not really Eli," Ramsey said. "I think it’s Odell. I won’t say Eli’s good, I’ll say Odell’s good. And their connection is good."
Asked about Ramsey's comments, Manning offered up his typical no-comment response — but with a twist. See, Manning is about as apolitical and uncontroversial a quarterback that's out there, an ace at sidestepping the media pass rush when he's put in the spotlight. But Manning also has mastered the art of maximizing his carefully chosen words and is able to get across his message when needed without actually outright saying anything.
"No ... no," Manning said when asked if he wanted to comment on Ramsey's criticism. Then after a pregnant pause, Manning said — somewhat under his breath, followed by a smile — "Who?"
It was a funny moment and the most Eli of Eli responses.
Lions wide receiver Golden Tate had a different response to Ramsey's criticism of Stafford. But Tate also has a different perspective, and he knows Ramsey well, calling him "good people," "one of the homies" and "family." That's at least partially because Ramsey is dating Tate's sister, Breanna.
So Tate was going to make it clear that Ramsey might be wrong about Stafford but that it wasn't personal. Still, Tate made sure to get his own zinger in.
"He has his opinion," Tate said. He then asked a reporter when the Lions and Jaguars last met and what happened. Well, the Lions won the game, 26-19, and Ramsey was crying on the bench afterward.
"Oh," Tate said. Like Eli, one word said so much.
But he had more perspective on Ramsey.
"I love watching him play," Tate said. "I love watching him talk some sh--. But he's definitely good people. I am sure over the next few years we'll definitely be working out."
Tate is a free agent-to-be, and some have suggested that he could be an option for a team such as the Jaguars, if the Lions don't re-sign him. Wouldn't that be something?
Tate also praised the "Hard Knocks" comments made by Cleveland Browns wide receiver Jarvis Landry, imploring his new teammates in an impassioned speech — caught on cameras — to fight through the pain they're experiencing and do as much as they can to practice. And while Tate said he doesn't have enough time to engage in Twitter controversies and such, trying to "stay in my lane," he also praised Ramsey and Landry for speaking their minds knowing that there will be major blow back nationally.
"It takes a strong person to talk out like that because you know you're going to be criticized by everybody," Tate said. "You know that. But [Ramsey] believes in what he's saying. I believe everyone is open to their own opinion, whether I agree with it or not. That's part of being in America.
"I like reading it. I just don't like being in the middle of it."