CINCINNATI -- Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie doesn't get into the arguments about who is best like other mouthy and me-focused cornerbacks seem to do. At least not publicly. Inside his head, though, he thinks very highly of himself even after an injury-dampened first season with the Giants.
Asked if his confidence ever wavered during 2014, he laughed heartily.
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"Never," he said. "Not one bit. I'm a confident young man. If there is one thing I know at this corner position, don't let a bad play turn into a bad day."
Or, even though it doesn't rhyme, a bad season turn into a bad tenure with a team.
"The moment they take your confidence it's going to be a long, long, long year for you," he said on Wednesday. "That's the main thing. You have to have that . . . If you [lose confidence], it's hard to come out of that tank."
Rodgers-Cromartie is once again fighting through injuries, though. He has a slight groin issue that he practiced with against the Bengals. It might be nothing, but last year's wave of injuries began with little nagging matters that collected into bigger ones. So the Giants will be cautious with him. They already have another starting corner, Prince Amukamara, sidelined with a groin problem.
Ultimately, his season will come down to covering receivers. Good ones. Really good ones.
He gets a strong dose of that in practices where he sits out most of the reps in one-on-one drills, only jumping in to square off against Odell Beckham Jr. or Victor Cruz. This week against the Bengals he's been facing A.J. Green.
"It's always good to go against somebody else, you get a different feel of other kind of receivers," he said. "Their receiving corps is definitely one you notice. Any time you get a chance to go against somebody else and not see your own guys it lets you know where you are as a player."
And where is he, exactly? Top 10? Top five? Does it matter?
Not to him it doesn't.
"When you come in this league you come in fighting for your legacy and to prove [yourself] to people because it's hard to get into the NFL," he said. "So you're always going to have that prove-you-belong-here [attitude]. But don't get caught up in it. Saying you're the best? No. I'm just out here. I'm blessed to be on the team, I'm just going to keep playing."