New York Jets news, commentary and insider info from beat writer Kimberley A. Martin.
Cro scores TD; could play WR vs. NYG
CORTLAND – Antonio Cromartie wasted no time getting in the end zone.
A day after the Jets cornerback participated in wide receiver drills, third-string quarterback Greg McElroy completed a 15-yard touchdown pass to Cromatie near the end of 11-on-11 drills.
“It was good. You can see the skill that he has,” Ryan said of the touchdown. “…He’s an impressive guy.”
Cromartie admitted Monday that he’s spent the past three years begging to play offense. And Tuesday’s touchdown catch was further proof that he’s capable of being an offensive threat for the Jets.
However, his defensive teammates weren’t all too thrilled about him teaming up with McElroy. Linebacker Bart Scott couldn’t resist calling Cromartie a “traitor” after scoring against his own secondary.
“I’m not a traitor when we’re on the same team,” the cornerback said with a smile. "I feel like I can help, so yeah I feel like I’m a traitor for the day, but I can take it.”
Cromartie said his experience as a defensive back has helped ease the learning curve of being a wide receiver.
So that begs the question: if “Cromartie the Corner” and “Cromartie the Receiver” ever faced off against each other – who would win?
“Cromartie the cornerback,” he said, laughing.
Ryan, however, can already sense trouble on the horizon with “Cromartie the Receiver.”
“The problem I have with Cro right now, playing him so much at wideout right now, is I think he could be a diva,” the coach said with a smirk. “He’s one of those type of guys without question – as a wideout I’m talking about because I see him hanging his head and all that if he doesn’t get the football.”
Ryan said he mentioned his fear of potential diva behavior to the cornerback, and Cromartie assured him that wouldn’t happen.
“I’m like, ‘Yeah, yeah. Yeah right.”
Cromartie might get his chance to show off both his cover and catching skills against the Giants Saturday. And if he does, Ryan’s curious to see how the cornerback will react when he gets drilled by big safeties like Kenny Phillips and Antrel Rolle of the Giants.
“Then we’ll see if he can catch the ball,” Ryan said. “A lot of guys look good in shorts running around and but then they get hit and they have the tendency to look like T-Rex going across the middle with those little arms.
“We’ll see. He enjoys it. He enjoys competing, whether it’s kick returner, anything like that. And he certainly has the skills.”
Ryan wouldn’t say for sure if the “Cro package” will be featured against his hometown rivals, but he didn’t rule it out either.
“I throw it out there to make sure they’re working on it,” joked the Jets coach. “It would be interesting though. Throw him out there and see what happens.”