New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning is used to being called out, criticized, underestimated, and underappreciated. The latest to offer a blistering take on No. 10 is Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey.
Ramsey offered his take on some of the NFL’s quarterbacks in an interview published by GQ magazine Wednesday.
He predicted the Houston Texans’ Deshaun Watson and Philadelphia Eagles’ Carson Wentz will one day win NFL Most Valuable Player awards. He was considerably less complimentary of the Buffalo Bills’ Josh Allen (“He’s trash), the Indianapolis Colts’ Andrew Luck (“Don’t think he’s good”), and the Atlanta Falcons’ Matt Ryan (“Overrated”).
And, then, there’s Ramsey’s take on Manning.
“Eli (Manning)…it’s not really Eli. I think it’s (wide receiver) Odell (Beckham Jr.). I won’t say Eli’s good, I’ll say Odell’s good. And their connection is good,” Ramsey said.
The Giants scored the second-fewest points in the league (15.4) last season without Beckham for 12 games. It isn’t as if they were lighting the scoreboard up with Beckham during their 2016 playoff season (19.4 points per game, 26th overall).
The Giants haven’t scored 30 or more points in 33 consecutive regular season and postseason games. Beckham was on the field for 21 of those games.
Over the last three seasons, Manning completed 63.3 percent of his passes for 66 touchdowns and 29 interceptions with Beckham on the field. His passer rating is 91.5 in those games. Without Beckham, Manning completed 60.4 percent of his passes. He threw 14 touchdowns and 14 interceptions with a passer rating of 75.0.
There is no doubt Beckham is one of the most electrifying receivers in the National Football league. He reached the 200-reception and 4,000-receiving yard milestones fastest than any player in NFL history. The Giants offense is better with Beckham than without him. However, Ramsey’s suggestion that Beckham basically made Eli Manning is disingenuous at best, foolhardy at worst.
Manning completed 4,111 passes for 47,258 yards and 301 touchdowns in his career to receivers not named Odell Beckham Jr. Without Beckham’s contributions, Manning would still be 10th all-time in completions and passing yards and 11th all-time in touchdowns.
Manning is currently sixth all-time in completions and passing yards and eighth all-time in touchdowns.
The Giants’ offensive problems are bigger than Manning and Beckham. A suspect offensive line and a lack of anything closely resembling a competent running game hurt the Giants in 2017. Injuries at the skill positions and questionable play calling/coaching also contributed to the lack of offensive output.
Manning was asked if he had any comments about Ramsey’s interview after Thursday’s practice.
“No,” Manning responded quickly before sarcastically adding, “Who?”
Ramsey’s comments didn’t sit well with some Giants players.
“Eli got here because he’s a hard worker,” cornerback Eli Apple said. “He’s a great quarterback. He’s someone that’s very accurate. He watches a lot of film. He definitely has the talent, even now, he’s still very cerebral with the game. He’s very smart. He’s still, I think, a great quarterback.”
“Everybody has their own opinion about certain situations,” cornerback Janoris Jenkins said. “If he feels like that, that’s how he feels. At the end of the day, I see Eli as being elite still. I see Odell as being elite still. When that time comes, they’re going to battle it out. I don’t see it. At the end of the day, it will show. I think Eli and Odell will come out with a good connection and we’re going to get rolling.”
“A man’s entitled to his own opinion,” nose tackle Damon Harrison said. “I doubt that Eli or Odell will say anything, but if they do, they’ll give their opinion. But, as for me, I watch those two work every day, so I know what they’re capable of.”
Beckham, who got props from Ramsey at Manning’s expense, was asked about the GQ article as he left Thursday’s media session. His response was simply, “He said what?”
Ramsey, regarded by some as the NFL’s best corner coming into 2018, is currently serving a one-week suspension for a profanity-laced tirade directed at media members following a post-practice altercation. He could be psyching himself up for the regular season opener. The Giants open at home against the Jaguars on Sept. 9.
– Curtis Rawls is a Managing Editor for Full Press Coverage and covers the NFL, the New York Giants, and the NBA. Please like and follow on Facebook, Twitter, and Twitter. Curtis can be followed on Twitter @CuRawls203.