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Jets' Chaz Schilens irked by Antonio Cromartie's No. 2 receiver claim

New York Jets wide receiver Chaz Schilens makes

New York Jets wide receiver Chaz Schilens makes a catch during practice. (June 7, 2012) Credit: AP

CORTLAND, N.Y. -- Chaz Schilens took the high road, but his irritation with Antonio Cromartie was more than apparent.

Schilens said he and the rest of the Jets' wide receiver corps were bothered by Cromartie’s claim Tuesday that he was the team’s No. 2 wideout.

“I think it’s a slight, I’m not going to lie,” Schilens said. “I just wouldn’t say it. It’s not something I would say. But I’m not him, I guess.”

During an interview on ESPN's “First Take,” Cromartie – the Jets’ No. 2 cornerback – said he can run “every single route on the route tree” despite not having played the receiver position in the past “four or five years.”

“But I can put myself as the second [best] just with raw ability and talent going out there, I think, me separating and being a more physical guy out there on the outside," he explained.

Asked if he was aware of Cro’s comments, Schilens said with a smirk: “Yeah. I did. I heard that.”

Rex Ryan also heard the interview, but he remained tight-lipped about his reaction to it.

As if fighting back the urge to say more, the head coach said: "Alright, I'm going to say this right now. Listen to me when I tell you this. I'm aware of what was said. OK? I'm on top of it. I'm telling you that right now. I'm on top of it. And it will not be a problem. And that's all I'm going to say about it." Ryan added that he and his players will deal with the issue in-house, rather than "playing it out" in front of the media. The typically gregarious coach also refused to chime in when a reporter joked that Cromartie should fill in on offense now that eight wide receivers are battling injury.

Schilens, who was traded from Oakland in the offseason, said he and the other receivers didn’t address the situation with Cromartie.

“I’ll let him think whatever he wants,” said the 6-4 wide receiver. “I think he thinks receiver is a little different than what it actually is. He’s unbelievably talented, and he plays cornerback.”

Schilens went on to say that defensive players often think they can play wide receiver, without realizing what the position entails.

“Everybody knows Cro is unbelievably athletically gifted. Very fast. He’s a great athlete,” Schilens said. “But I’ve played with a lot of receivers. And playing receiver is about more than being fast. I’ll leave it at that.”

Rookie receiver Stephen Hill said he has a great relationship with the veteran cornerback and went out of his way not to say something critical.

“Cro is Cro and I’m myself and whatever he thinks about I guess we'll see, I guess,” Hill said, adding that he wasn’t upset.

Schilens, however, was annoyed.

“I wouldn’t have said it,” he said, adding that he has no intentions of discussing the issue with Cromartie. “It’s not something I would put out there and we’ll see. We’ll see.

“We’ll address it on the field. He said it. That’s how he feels. So it’s my job to, I guess, fix that situation.”

Cromartie declined to speak to the media.

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