FOXBORO, Mass. — Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback (for now) Jalen Ramsey believes he’s the best cornerback in the NFL. New York Jets head coach Adam Gase (probably) doesn’t agree with that assessment.
Gase was asked Wednesday how to prepare for Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore before New York’s matchup with New England this weekend. Gase indirectly responded to Ramsey’s boast.
“Well, I mean (Gilmore’s) probably the best corner in the league,” Gase said. “Just the fact of, if he’s one-on-one, he’s very difficult to get open on. He has a very good knowledge of the game. He understands splits, he understands break points, he understands stems and things like that, that really make it challenging for any receiver. But as a play-caller, you’re aware of that and just have to understand that he’s playing chess while everybody else is playing checkers. He’s really, especially the past couple years, he’s playing at an extremely high level.”
Gilmore said he agreed with Gase’s assessment, but he’s focused on the future, which right now means preparing for the Jets.
“Anybody can say all that, but I just try to go out and do my job,” Gilmore said.
He also wasn’t about to get into a war of words with Ramsey.
“Everybody has their opinion. You can’t control what other people say,” Gilmore said. “You just gotta prove yourself each and every day and as long as you prove yourself, the truth comes out.”
Patriots safety Devin McCourty has Gilmore’s (and Gase’s) back and is wondering why it took other so long to come to the conclusion that Gilmore, a first-team All-Pro last season, is No. 1 in the NFL.
“You just found that out? I’ve been agreeing with that assessment,” McCourty said. “The guy’s been playing lights out, understanding what we want to do from a defensive standpoint, playing against guys 1-on-1. He does a great job with that. Just overall, our secondary communication’s been great, and I think that’s allowed each guy to kind of play their best football and Steph definitely leads the way in that.”
Gilmore had a monster performance Sunday against the Miami Dolphins, when he picked off a pass, returned it for a touchdown and broke up two other targets, one of which fell into McCourty’s hands for another interception.
Gilmore has let up just seven catches on 13 targets for 83 yards with a 41.5 passer rating allowed in two games this season, per Pro Football Focus.
He’ll likely cover Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson on Sunday. Gilmore allowed just four catches on 12 targets for 31 yards with an interception and four pass breakups against the Jets last season. Only two of those catches for 11 yards came against Anderson. Gilmore also had an interception and all four pass breakups against Anderson. He let up a 0 passer rating while covering the Jets’ top receiver in 2018.
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