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After bad game, Antonio Cromartie shrugs off criticism

New York Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie looks on

New York Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie looks on during the second half of a game against the Washington Redskins on Sunday, Oct. 18, 2015. Photo Credit: Lee S. Weissman

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - "Is he losing a step?''

"Is he getting old?''

"Is he overpaid?''

Antonio Cromartie hears all the chatter. And he said he doesn't care.

"That's what everybody wants to say when you get old,'' the 31-year-old Jets cornerback told Newsday after Thursday's practice.

The Raiders steamrolled the Jets' defense last week, totaling 451 yards, including 118 rushing, as the Jets missed more than 20 tackles. Cromartie admittedly played his worst game of the season and heard it from everyone, including his wife, Terricka.

"She critiques me when I'm not home and she critiques me when I get home. I'm always hearing it,'' he said, smiling. "But I love it. It's my wife. She pays attention to football, she understands the game. You hear it from her. You just hear it.''

Constructive criticism from a spouse is one thing, but Cromartie said he doesn't care to listen to the outside noise.

"I hear it, but I don't worry about none of that,'' he said, adding that his hip isn't an issue. "I know my talent, I understand it. Like I said, I didn't play up to my standards, I didn't play up to the standards that my teammates hold me to. So when I said I played like [expletive], I really played like [expletive]. Even going back and looking at it, I still played like [expletive].''

As painful as it was for Jets fans to watch the game, Cromartie said it wasn't difficult to watch tape of his mistakes.

"You always want to see what you're doing wrong,'' he said. "I don't look at it like, ah, man, I'm going to hang my head and this is going to be held over me. This is a long season. I'm not worried about that or if anybody else says, 'Has he lost a step? Is he losing [his] game?' Or this one: 'He's overpaid.'

"I'm not worried about what the outside people say because I know what I've got in this locker room, I know what I have in this organization. That's all that really matters.''

Coach Todd Bowles fielded several questions about Cromartie's play, and each time he refused to single out any player. Instead, he said it was "a bad day at the office'' for everyone. Added defensive coordinator Kacy Rodgers: "No, we don't worry about Cro.''

Notes & quotes: Nick Mangold practiced on a limited basis for the first time since injuring his neck Oct. 25 against the Patriots . . . Eric Decker and Willie Colon (knees) and Calvin Pryor (ankle) didn't practice for a second straight day . . . Former first-round pick Dee Milliner (wrist) is eligible to play, but Bowles said: "At the moment, he's just practicing. If we can make room for him,'' he'll be added to the active roster. Milliner, who was placed on short-term injured reserve Aug. 7, has been practicing since Oct. 21. According to league rules, the Jets have 21 days from the first practice (including that practice) to add the cornerback to the active roster or place him on season-ending IR. In Milliner's case, that means Tuesday.

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