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|All-Pro cornerback Jalen Ramsey did pretty much the same thing that upset his Jacksonville Jaguars teammates last week. He started looking ahead.
Ramsey told thousands of fans awaiting the team’s return from Pittsburgh late Sunday that the Jaguars ”are going to the Super Bowl and we are going to win that (expletive).”
Jacksonville (12-6) http://www.officialredwings.com/authentic-adidas-dylan-larkin-jersey , of course, has the AFC championship game at New England remaining before even getting to the Super Bowl. The small-market franchise is winless in seven games in Foxborough, Massachusetts, and 1-10 all-time against the Patriots (14-3).
Ramsey’s comments surely will find their way north.
”You come back and you’ve got all the fans here and things of that nature,” Jaguars coach Doug Marrone said.
”Obviously that’s something that everybody, they want to do when you get close. Whether you have to say it or not? The one thing I do know is the road to it always leads through New England.
”Our focus isn’t on anything else but the New England Patriots. It will be a great challenge for us obviously.”
The Jags took exception to the Steelers talking about facing the Patriots instead of them, and used it as motivation in a 45-42 victory Sunday.
Nonetheless, they stood behind their outspoken and ultra-talented defender.
”To me, it’s just a man that has confidence in his team,” defensive tackle Abry Jones said. ”What’s he going to say? He knows what we’re going up there to do. It’s not like he ain’t saying nothing that’s not true.”
Fellow defensive tackle Malik Jackson said the difference between Ramsey’s remarks and comments from Steelers coach Mike Tomlin, running back Le’Veon Bell and safety Mike Mitchell is the timing.
”We’re so close that I think it’s OK to say, `Hey Danny Shelton Color Rush Jersey , we’re going to do this,”’ Jackson said. ”It’s one of those things that I think he believes in himself after the game he just had, locking down one of the best receivers in the game.
”He’s pretty hyped and he wants to let everybody know he’s hyped, so I think he’s just happy and he understands that we have a giant in front of us and we’ve just got to pay all the attention to this team.
”We don’t even know who’s going to play in the Super Bowl because we’re not looking ahead to that.”
Ramsey was unavailable during the team’s open locker room session Monday.
”He’s going to talk, but we’re going to show up,” defensive end Yannick Ngakoue said. ”I just don’t like when people talk all week. You talk reckless and you lose.”
The Jaguars voiced their displeasure with being overlooked by the Steelers last week and were really vocal after the victory at Heinz Field. Players yelled, ”Where’s Mike Mitchell at now” as they came off the field.
”I feel like they took us lightly. I don’t know why because we whooped them the first time,” Ngakoue said. ”You’ve got to respect all your opponents. That’s why we’re not big in trash-talking. We’re big in playing on Sunday.
”Real guys, real people don’t talk. We throw the first punch. We threw the first punch and we got the victory.”
And now they have a matchup against the NFL’s most successful franchise over the past two decades.
The Jaguars are 1-3 against New England in the postseason, with the lone victory coming after the 1998 season – before coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady teamed up to take five Super Bowl titles.
Jacksonville’s win came against coach Pete Carroll and backup quarterback Scott Zolak.
The Jags are 0-7 against the Brady-Belichick combination.
”We’re not going to go out there like the Steelers the week before and talk about people in a bad way and give them bulletin board news,” Jackson said.
”We just continue to work and earn respect. … We just keep proving people wrong. (Blake Bortles) keeps proving people wrong, and we just keep going on it and pounding people. It’s just awesome to see and awesome to be a part of.
”We understand we have to do what we have to do or we’ll be watching the Super Bowl at home like everybody else.”
Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin had harsh words for the comments made by President Donald Trump regarding the NFL’s new national anthem policy on Thursday http://www.greenbaypackersteamonline.com/clay-matthews-jersey , as players began to process the new mandate from the league’s owners.
Baldwin has been a leading voice from the players’ perspective for why there were protests last season even though Baldwin never participated in kneeling or sitting on the sidelines during ”The Star-Spangled Banner.”
He spoke passionately after the Seahawks concluded their offseason workout and sounded offended by the president’s comments to ”Fox & Friends” in an interview that aired Thursday saying, ”maybe you shouldn’t be in the country” if you don’t stand for the anthem.
”He’s an idiot. Plain and simple,” Baldwin said. ”I respect the man because he’s a human being first and foremost, but he’s just being divisive, which is not surprising. It is what it is. But for him to say anybody who doesn’t follow his viewpoints or his constituents viewpoints should be kicked out of the country is not very empathetic. It’s not very American like, actually, to me. It’s not very patriotic. It’s not what this country was founded upon. It’s kind of ironic to me the President of the United States is contradicting what our country is really built on.”
Baldwin was among a handful of players that have expressed frustration and disappointment with the NFL mandating players must stand for the national anthem if they’re on the field, though they now have the option of remaining in the locker room for the playing of the anthem and carry on the campaigns against social injustice.
Even normally reserved Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson agreed with the sentiment that the owners’ decision was a message to players to essentially be quiet.
”Pretty much. I think that’s part of it. It seems that way,” Wilson said. ”But I think a policy right or wrong is not going to fix our problems.”
The new policy allows teams to adopt their own workplace rules, which many players interpreted as a backhanded way of subjecting them to fines, suspensions or loss of jobs should they carry on with the protests.
For Baldwin, who is among the players to have worked with the league on addressing social concerns and community programs Luca Sbisa Jersey , the anthem decision felt like a step back.
”If you’re asking my opinion, I think that in conjunction with the NFL, the way that things were going, I felt on the Players Coalition side of things we were coming to an amicable agreement and relationship and working toward initiatives and causes that we wanted to see as players addressed, I thought that you would see the demonstrations and the issues within the NFL dissipate,” Baldwin said.
”But again, when you stoke the fire and inflame a gap that was really dissipating at the time, diffusing, you cause more problems. That’s why I say I think the NFL missed it.”
Others around the league didn’t see the policy as a potential issue.
”I’m really not too worried about it. I would expect that everybody’s gonna be out there with their hand over their heart, showing respect to the flag and to the country,” New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees said.
But teammate Demario Davis had mixed emotions about the policy. His father served in the military, but he also understands why players have been protesting.
”I just think that when you love something – you care about it – you want to work to get it right. I love my children. When they do wrong things Jeremy Kerley Jersey , I’m going to let them know they’re doing wrong things. I’m not just going to sweep it under the rug because I love them,” Davis said.
”I think that’s the difference between patriotism and nationalism. Nationalism is loving your country just to love it, you know, even when it’s right or wrong, you’re going to take the side of your country. Patriotism is loving it enough to sacrifice for it, but also to call it (out) when it’s wrong.
”The people who are speaking up for the people who are hurting have a deep love and devotion for our country. That’s kind of gotten misconstrued at times. But it’s important for people to understand that.”
The decision by the owners was an attempt to quell a firestorm by moving protests away from the public eye and potentially lure back disgruntled fans. But in the process they may have disgruntled their employees and rekindled what appeared to be an issue that was dying down.
”I feel like it might want to make people just want to rebel, just like when Trump said what he said last year,” Denver linebacker Brandon Marshall said.
”People rebelled. And let’s be clear. I know they say they’ll fine the team, but players don’t care about that. Players don’t care about the teams get fined.”
AP Pro Football Writer Arnie Stapleton and AP Sports Writer Brett Martel contributed to this report.