FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- With a touch of humor and an easygoing delivery, New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski acknowledged that he draws some motivation from Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey's critical remarks about him.
"For sure. There's always motivation you're looking for," Gronkowski said Wednesday. "It does and it doesn't, so that's tricky right there. ... It motivates you to hear that. Obviously, there's something out there that he saw on film and stuff that I can probably get better at. You don't always feel the best every single day when you're out on the field, so if that's how he feels, that's how he feels."
In an ESPN The Magazine piece, Ramsey said, "I don't think Gronk's good. Let me say -- I don't think Gronk is as great as people think he is. Any time Gronk has been matched up with a corner, he's had a very bad game -- and that corner has had a very good game."
Gronkowski said Wednesday that he expects to see Ramsey covering him at times in Sunday's game in Jacksonville -- a rematch of last season's AFC Championship Game.
"I'm sure I'm going to have opportunities to go versus him. I'm sure he's going to have opportunities to go versus me," he said. "I'm just preparing like I always prepare."
When a statistic cited in the ESPN The Magazine article was mentioned to Gronkowski -- that his catch rate drops from 71 to 56 percent when covered by a cornerback -- he smiled.
"That's some good percentages. I mean, I don't really go into statistics like that," he said. "I've just got to play ball. That's basically all. I've got to come out and play ball."
Gronkowski later turned to humor, saying that he prefers defensive linemen cover him when he's releasing into a route.
Ramsey's comments also found their way to quarterback Tom Brady on Wednesday, as he was asked his thoughts on Ramsey telling GQ Magazine that he was part of a group of quarterbacks who "don't suck."
"I never want to suck, so I don't want to be in that category," Brady said, smiling.
Asked if he expects plenty of jawing on the field with the Jaguars, Brady said, "It's going to be an emotional environment. Whenever you play some of the best teams, you want to see where you're measured up to, and that defense has been ranked very high all last year, and I could see why ... It's going to be a great environment for football -- 4:30 game, everyone's going to be watching. It should be a really great game for us to go out and see what we're made of."