Handling NFL trash talk is no small task

Buffalo Bills

For the second time this week, Josh Allen deflected questions about Jalen Ramsey’s offseason trash talk Wednesday. He used a familiar refrain. 

“The only people I care about [and] their opinion is this team, the people in this franchise and organization.”

Allen has stuck to the high road on this topic since Ramsey referred to Allen as “trash” in a GQ article over the summer.  

“That’s what you’re supposed to do,” Kyle Williams said. “Especially for a young guy, rookie, a guy that needs to put all his focus on his preparation to get ready to perform, that’s what he needs to do.”

“This is all part of Josh’s growth,” Sean McDermott said. “There’s going to be times when he’s questioned, whether [it’s] by a player of someone else out there. I’m sure it’s not the first time, right? We’ve all gone through moments in our careers where we’ve been questioned. How you handle it determines how far you go.”

Most players have experienced some sort of trash talk during a football game since the first time they threw a ball around in their neighborhood. However, dealing with it at the highest and most public level of the sport is no small task. 

“It’s definitely a skill. You have to develop thick skin,” Micah Hyde said. “I think that every player, whether it’s college, NFL, you have to somehow develop that because, if not, you’ll get ate apart.”

Allen admitted his trash talking skills aren’t great, but he does dish it out to some teammates, including LeSean McCoy. 

“When we step on the field or the court, it’s fun to kind of get in someone’s head,” Allen said. “After the game, obviously you go and you shake hands and start talking with them and they’re just a normal guy just like you. Like I said, that’s what makes sports so fun.”

Jordan Poyer says there’s lots more trash talk during an NFL game than most fans or media realize. He won’t start it, but it’s just something that happens during the course of a game. 

“I invite that. I invite someone to come in and talk crap to me. It’s part of the game. You gotta love it,” Poyer said. “If you don’t love being out there, talking crap, you don’t love the game.”

Unlike just about everything else, trash talk is less vicious and less demanding in the NFL than it is in college. Guys respect each other more at the NFL level. A high percentage of verbal sparring happens when two college teammates go head to head in the NFL. 

There’s also a good sized chunk that is, literally, just for show.

“Most of the time, guys who are talking smack are the one’s who are mic’d up for that game,” Micah Hyde said.”They’re just trying to put something on that the NFL can showcase on NFL.com.” 

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