He knows how to play the headline game. So it shouldn't come as a big surprise that the Green Bay defensive lineman was ready to respond Thursday to negative comments a couple of Giants players made Wednesday about the Packers' defense.
Raji made a quick, clear and painfully pithy dissection of the state of the Giants' offense heading into Sunday's NFC divisional playoff game at Lambeau Field. He gave the running backs and wide receivers a thumbs up. The offensive line and tight ends, however, got a thumbed nose.
"I'm not saying they're soft," Raji said of the offensive line, "but they're not the toughest group I've been against."
Raji said the members of the Packers' defensive line got together on their off day, Tuesday, and watched videotape of Jacobs and Bradshaw from the last few weeks. The Giants had the worst rushing attack in the league during the regular season, averaging less than 90 yards a game. But last week was a different story as the Giants rushed for 172 yards on 31 carries in a wild-card win over the Falcons. Jacobs had 92 yards, Bradshaw 63.
The Packers' defense is making it a priority to stop the Giants' running game first, and Raji knows they will have their hands full with the 6-4, 264-pound Jacobs. "Brandon is very tough to tackle," Raji said. "Not too many guys compare to him. You just don't see that build of a back nowadays."
Jacobs set the tone of the Giants' playoff win here four years ago when he ran right over Packers cornerback Charles Woodson. Raji said he doesn't expect that to happen again.
Raji then gave his opinion on the Giants' tight ends. Though he didn't mention anyone by name, it was pretty clear his comments were aimed at Travis Beckum, who made disparaging comments about the Packers' secondary earlier in the week. Beckum had a 67-yard touchdown catch against the Packers in the Giants' Week 13 loss.
"Their receivers are great. I don't think their tight ends are in a position to say too much," Raji said. "They're not the best players at that position we've seen."