As has widely been reported, Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey recently offered his opinion on several NFL quarterbacks during an interview with Clay Skipper from GQ Magazine. There were some seemingly accurate statements he made by many accounts. But these were also tempered by a few strong and highly questionable thoughts he offered, such as stating that that “[Joe] Flacco sucks. I played him two years in a row. He sucks.” Is Flacco a Hall of Famer? Probably not. But he is a former Super Bowl MVP and certainly is not a bad quarterback. Nonetheless, for this article, we’ll focus on Big Ben. Without further ado, here’s what Ramsey had to say about the longtime Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback during the interview.
“Big Ben [Roethlisberger], I think he’s decent at best… It’s not Big Ben, it’s [Antonio Brown]. Big Ben slings the ball a lot of the time. He just slings it, and his receivers go get it. He has a strong arm, but he ain’t all that. I played him twice last year, and he really disappointed me. He’ll be in the Hall of Fame and all that.”
There is no doubt that Antonio Brown is a great benefit to Roethlisberger. To be frank, he’s the best wide receiver in football. Further, there is something to be said for someone who is willing to go on record with their opinion, and everyone has a right to offer theirs. That said, Ramsey’s opinion on Roethlisberger doesn’t really stand up to the facts. For example:
It’s not Big Ben, it’s Antonio Brown- In order to comment and provide perspective on Ramsey’s thoughts here, one has to look at the quarterback’s past. Brown entered the league in 2010, and really took fire as an elite receiver in 2013. In 2009, Roethlisberger threw for the second most yards of his career with 4,328. Further, his two Super Bowl victories came prior to Brown even entering the pros. In other words, Roethlisberger was clearly on his way to a Hall of Fame career prior to Brown even really contributing.
So the past does not indicate Roethlisberger’s success can directly be connected to Brown.
He just slings it- First, just a point of emphasis. There is no question that Big Ben sometimes slings the ball to Brown. As a quarterback when you know you’ve got someone who can go up and get the ball, why wouldn’t you do that? A good quarterback knows when to take chances and when not to. That’s what Roethlisberger is.
But let’s take this thing further. We’re talking about a man who has passed for 51,065 yards and 329 touchdowns during his NFL career. He has thrown for the eighth most yards in the history of the game and is only about 400 yards away from passing John Elway. Saying he just slings it seems a bit off, wouldn’t you say? Given the numbers, and the fact that he literally made one of the best throws in Super Bowl history, connecting with Santonio Holmes through the thinnest of openings for a touchdown to defeat the Arizona Cardinals, is it even possible to say something like that seriously?
And finally, Ramsey and the gang definitely gave Roethlisberger trouble during the regular season. If that was the only body of work he could reference-a five interception outing- Ramsey’s opinion would be more understandable. But during their January 14th playoff game, Roethlisberger literally torched the Jaguars defense for 469 yards and five touchdowns (one interception), resulting in a 110.5 passer rating. The Jaguars won because of offense in that game, not their vaunted defense.
And it shouldn’t be lost on anyone that despite a tough start, Roethlisberger did throw for over 4,000 yards last season.
Ramsey was amazing last year and could be the best corner in the league right now. Perhaps the whole thing was designed to draw the ire of certain quarterbacks so that they’ll throw at him. Maybe it’s just an attention grabber. Or perhaps Ramsey really believes what he’s saying. Regardless, the bottom line is that Roethlisberger has been way more than decent throughout his NFL career and still is.
Had to be said.