Antonio Cromartie injected a little venom into the latest edition of the rivalry between the Hatfield and McCoys with his inflammatory comments yesterday, calling Tom Brady some choice words that are unprintable.
The cornerback didn't back down from those words in the least today after the Jets finished practicing here in Florham Park, N.J. for Sunday's AFC Divisional matchup with the Patriots at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass.
"Why would I regret them?" Cromartie said. "Nah, that’s my opinion and that’s how I feel about it. There’s no reason for me to sit back and take anything back I said about him and I’m not.
"My opinion is never going to change about Brady," he added. "So at the end of the day, it’s going to be what it’s going to be. I hate him, he hates me, he hates the Jets. Who cares?"
Cromartie was almost defiant and seemed to relish the fact that his words about the Patriots GQ quarterback may have Brady looking to target him a little bit more come Sunday.
"I hope so. I really do," he said. "I hope he throws the ball 10 times my way. Only thing I can do is go out and make him pay. That’s the only thing you can do."
What bothers Cromartie most about Brady, whom he's grown a severe distaste for since the Patriots stopped on the Chargers' logo at midfield following New England's 2006 playoff victory against San Diego, is the "antics" the Jets have been talking about. Brady sometimes points at the opposing sideline following a touchdown, and Cromartie said he did that in New England's 45-3 drubbing of the Jets on Dec. 6.
"Everybody saw the film and everybody saw the tape on him pointing and taunting at the sideline and at our players," Cromartie said. "So that’s just ongoing. When you do stuff like that, it’s not being a professional on the football field. Just be a pro and act like you've been there before."
He added: "Let the scoreboard speak for itself, which it did in the last game, and let your play speak for itself. And that’s what the did last game, too. But all the taunting, be a pro about it. If you are going to have your fun, do it on the sideline. But don’t look at our sideline. That’s the biggest sign of disrespect."
Cromartie said others might have the same kind of opinion about Brady, but don't want to say anything negative about him -- at least publicly.
"You have some guys that are not going to speak their mind," Cromartie said. "I’m going to speak my mind about any and everybody. To me, my opinion is going to be my opinion and if anybody else doesn’t like it, I really don’t care."
Here's something else he doesn't care about: possibly providing the Patriots with some bulletin board fodder.
"Man, they can have all the material they want to," he said. "It’s about what you do in between those white lines. They don’t care what we say out here in the media. It’s what you do in between those white lines. That’s what it’s going to come to on Sunday."