Jalen Ramsey finally opened up about his fist fight with A.J. Green on Sunday that ended in both players being ejected.
After the game Green explained his side of the story. Ramsey, however, delayed his response until Wednesday.
A.J. Green spoke after the game. Jalen Ramsey did not. Green said he will obviously accept whatever punishment league doles out.— Paul Dehner Jr. (@pauldehnerjr) November 5, 2017
Ramsey claimed he got inside Green’s head
According to Green, Ramsey’s shove in the back that sent him falling was the reason for the brawl, not the trash talk. Ramsey did not see it the same way.
“He just fell because he’s weak,’’ Ramsey told the media on Wednesday, via John Reid of Jacksonville.com. “It wasn’t a late push, the whistle hadn’t blown yet. I wasn’t going to get flagged for that push. No flags came out until he grabbed me.”
Later, he added, "I pushed him every single play."
Ramsey claims that he got inside Green’s head, and Green couldn’t handle it.
"I told him almost every play that he was weak, that he was soft. [That’s] straight facts. He just couldn’t handle the truth. Those were facts."
Ramey has a reputation as a trash-talker, which is well deserved. The cornerback is very confident is his ability to use his mouth as an advantage against the receivers he covers.
"I lock receivers down physically and then mentally. I get in their mind and get under their skin. I talk my talk whatever I’m going to say."
Ramsey even used Green’s play that game as fuel.
"I told him that it was easy, which it was. He had one catch for six yards."
According to Ramsey, he gave Green all that he could handle.
"If I was a receiver and had to line up across from myself I would try to figure out the easiest route to get off the field, too."
Ramsey even dispelled the rumor that he made a threat against Green’s family.
"It’s rumors out there that I said some deep personal stuff, but that’s not true. I get out there and do my thing and talk…. but I don’t talk about nobody’s wife; nobody’s kids or family. I don’t do that."
You can watch part of the interview here:
Green said he was defending himself
Just like every incident, the story changes with each perspective. Needless to say, the two accounts don’t hold up against one another.
Without going too in-depth, Green claimed he was defending himself against a cheap shot. This part of the story has already been covered pretty well (which you can see here), so there is no need to go over it again. If you don’t want to read it, this quote from Green sums it up pretty well:
"But when you start trying to take cheap shots when I’m not looking and stuff like that, then that’s when I’ve got to defend myself, and I’m not going to back down from anybody."
In Green’s opinion, Ramsey did not get inside his head, and his performance had nothing to do with it. He just wanted to let Ramsey know what he thought about his flagrant push.
So what actually happened?
When two athletes talk about something of this nature, we really shouldn’t expect them to give us full disclosure. Of course, they will try to paint themselves in the best light possible, even if it is at the other’s expense.
As one of the up and coming cornerbacks in the league, Ramsey would love to put this feather in his cap. Not only did he keep the six-time Pro Bowler to six yards, but he drove him off the field.
Similarly, the Bengals’ veteran receiver is trying to stave off embarrassment. Getting shut down by a second-year cornerback is pretty bad. Letting him live rent-free in your head is even worse.
While it is likely that neither story is one hundred percent true, the reality is probably a mixture of the two.
For starters, we actually have footage of some of the chit-chat that took place.
Jalen Ramsey said he called AJ Green "Soft."— Jeremy Rauch (@FOX19Jeremy) November 8, 2017
Green had 2 targets. This is one. Ramsey talked trash. Green told Ramsey he was "Weak as F***" after getting burned. #Bengals pic.twitter.com/hvyTJHcJOd
Had Andy Dalton been more accurate on this throw, Ramsey would have less material to hurl at Green. As it stands, the two continued to jaw back and forth.
That is the interesting thing about it. As Ramsey put it, "I talked to a few of his teammates afterward, a couple of guys I know and they told me once A.J. started talking back, you knew you had him because he never talks."
There is no doubt that Green was affected by Ramsey. Green is known for his silence, so his words speak loudly.
Not to mention, Green is currently trudging through the worst slump of his career.
AJ Green's last three games:— Goodberry (@JoeGoodberry) November 8, 2017
His worst three game stretch of his career
On Sunday, Green was limited to two targets, one reception, and six yards. In the video above, he actually had managed to beat Ramsey downfield, but the throw was off target. Any player would be frustrated by that type (or lack) of production.
Throughout the game, Green is hearing "you are weak. You are soft." He’s also probably thinking, "I can’t let him be right."
All of a sudden, Green is shoved from behind. He probably thought something like, "I’ll show this punk how soft I really am."
So Green threw Ramsey to the ground and punched him in the head four times.
Is Green actually weak and soft? No, don’t be ridiculous. No one in the National Football League is weak and soft. The 53rd player on the roster isn’t, and neither is a six-time Pro Bowler. You don’t get to the NFL without being strong.
And weak players don’t do this:
"Soft and weak" sit down you coward @JoeGoodberry @Josh_Kirkendall @pauldehnerjr pic.twitter.com/M9wi4npcu2— Sam Ellis (@smellis17) November 8, 2017
Did Green suffer from a momentary lapse in judgment? Absolutely. That was the moment that Ramsey knew he had him.
This will be interesting to see in the future. Will other corners try the same tactics against Green? Will Green use this experience as a wakeup call?
One thing is for certain. The next time the Bengals play the Jaguars, all eyes will be on Green and Ramsey.