Antonio Cromartie yet to hear back from Darrelle Revis
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - Antonio Cromartie sent a text message to Darrelle Revis shortly after the Jets traded their All-Pro cornerback to the Buccaneers last month.
Cromartie has yet to hear back from his former teammate.
"I've contacted him, but no, he hasn't gotten back to me," Cromartie told Newsday at the Jets' training complex on Thursday. "I don't take it personally. We all understand the business standpoint of him being upset because he wanted to be here. You just have to let him come back around. It goes from there."
What did Cromartie tell Revis in the text?
"I said, 'Man, it [stinks],' " Cromartie said. "We built our relationship, and you get used to playing alongside a guy and sitting next to him in the meeting room. I told him it [stinks], but at the same time, I told him, 'Congratulations on your new deal. Much respect to you, and I appreciate everything you've done for me while you were here.' "
Cromartie says he doesn't take Revis' silence to heart.
"I'm not making a big deal of it," he said. "We had a great relationship while we were here. Even during his rehab, I was calling to check up on him. I know what his main focus is. I know his focus is trying to make sure he's back healthy and trying to understand his position with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and go out and make sure he's the guy for them that he was for us."
Cromartie suspects the two won't talk again until just before the Jets host Revis and the Buccaneers in the regular-season opener Sept. 8 at MetLife Stadium. Cromartie said there won't be any extra incentive for him when he faces Revis.
"It's just going to be a regular game for me," Cromartie said. "I just have to go out and play my game, that's it. Say [to Revis], 'Hey, what's going on?' before the game, and then once it's game time, between the white lines, there ain't no such thing as friends. You just have to go out and play ball."
Cromartie, meanwhile, has maintained the leadership role he assumed last year after Revis went down with a season-ending knee injury in Week 3 against the Dolphins. He's the biggest presence in a revamped secondary that will include two new safeties and rookie cornerback Dee Milliner, as well as former first-round cornerback Kyle Wilson.
"As leaders, we have to take control of the locker room because we have a lot of young guys in here," Cromartie said. "We have to make sure we set the tone and also want to make sure everyone abides by the guidelines on the field and off the field. Off the field, you have to make sure you represent yourself, the organization and your family. You just got to make sure that you cannot go out and do something stupid. As veterans, we don't expect for guys to go out and do anything stupid, either."
Cromartie will pay particular attention to Milliner, the former Alabama star who is being looked to as Revis' successor.
"We're not looking for him to fill anybody's shoes," Cromartie said. "He's Dee Milliner. He has to be himself and can't worry about anything else or what anybody else is saying. He's a smart kid. I think Dee is going to come in and help a lot. He's a physical type guy and he'll support the run. That's going to help out big for us."
Cromartie has made it a point to spend more time this offseason with Wilson, who played reasonably well when he took on a bigger role after Revis' injury.
"I see [Wilson] taking a big step this year," he said. "I honestly believe that. He's been working hard this offseason. By us pushing each other, going out and competing, it will bring the more competitive side of him once we get on the football field. I think this will be his best year."
And what kind of year will it be for Cromartie? Same as last year, when he became one of the most dependable one-on-one cornerbacks in the league.
"From a consistency basis," he said, "I think last year was my best year. I think I can maintain that. You want to come out and be consistent every single week. It starts in practice."