Jets Q&A: Brady shied away from Cromartie

New York Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie celebrates his New York Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie celebrates his team's 28-21 win over the New England Patriots in an NFL divisional playoff football game. (Jan. 16, 2011) Photo Credit: AP

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So how did Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie fare in his personal duel with Patriots quarterback Tom Brady after calling him a vulgar name and inviting him to throw his way 10 times if he wanted?

Well, Cromartie was stride-for-stride with Deion Branch on the one true deep shot Brady took - it was overthrown - and Branch helped him out by dropping a fourth-down pass deep in Jets territory with 5:15 left and the Patriots trailing 21-11. But there were no big plays against Cromartie, who said, "I think we had Brady all frustrated. We got him moving outside the pocket, [where he] wasn't as accurate a passer."

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Was it special for Cromartie to back up his trash talk with a solid game against Brady? Did Brady say anything to him?

"It's nothing about making a comment," said Cromartie, who added that there was no personal exchange of words with Brady. "Those were my thoughts. The game is over. We've moved on. We're getting ready for Pittsburgh now."

How did Cromartie do as a kick returner in the absence of injured Brad Smith?

The starting cornerback returned four kickoffs an average of 25.8 yards but botched his one punt return by losing a yard. His best return came after the Patriots kicked a field goal to cut the deficit to 21-14 with 1:57 left and then tried an onside kick. Cromartie picked up the loose ball and scooted 23 yards to the New England 25 to set up Shonn Greene's 16-yard TD run.

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How does Cromartie feel about Ben Roethlisberger?

"He's a great guy, a guy that can move outside the pocket and be accurate outside the pocket. He's a tough guy . . . I love Ben, man. Ben's a competitor, man."

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Why wasn't Wes Welker in the Patriots' starting lineup?

According to a CBS report, Welker was replaced by Brandon Tate because Bill Belichick was unhappy with Welker's sly comments about Jets coach Rex Ryan and his wife, Michelle, who closely resembles a woman who appeared in some foot-fetish videos. Welker made 11 references to feet in an interview before suffering the agony of de-feet against the Jets.

What did Bart Scott really mean when he told Newsday that Welker's "days in a uniform will be numbered"?

"I meant that I was going to try to take my helmet and ram it through his chest," Scott said. "I'm not a dirty player, but you can always get somebody out of their game by going man-on-man, bone-on-bone."

Why did Welker's comments about Ryan upset Scott so much?

"Because that's my coach," the linebacker said. " . . . I took offense to it and I handled it that way and I stand behind my words. And if I get another opportunity for him to come through the middle, I'm going to try to pull him through the ground . . . They made it personal for me by attacking my coach. He takes a lot of flak for believing in this team and taking the pressure off this team. I'll go to war with a coach that's willing to put himself on the front lines instead of dictating from a tower and letting his troops go into battle. [Ryan] is in there going to battle with us like so many other great leaders. Think about Hannibal, Genghis Khan. Now you can add Rex Ryan to that."

With Kimberley A. Martin

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