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Will Tom Brady really target Antonio Cromartie?

Jets defensive coordinator Mike Pettine talks about a

Jets defensive coordinator Mike Pettine talks about a Jets' playoff game. (Jan. 5, 2011) Credit: Joe Epstein

Despite the trash talk Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie directed at Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, defensive coordinator Mike Pettine finds it difficult to believe Brady will make a particular point of trying to embarrass Cromartie. After all, how much worse can any of the Jets' defenders be embarrased than they were in a 45-3 loss to the Pats five weeks ago in Foxborough?

Cromartie called Brady an unprintable name earlier this week and said he "hates" Brady. But Pettine (pictured) doesn't expect Cromartie to draw any more fire than usual. "I think when all is said and done, it's all talk," Pettine said on Thursday. "I don't think tom Brady is going out of his way in a critical moment of the game to prove a point against Cromartie. Once you get in the mode of the game, you're playing the game and all of the in-between stuff [doesn't matter]."

At the same time, Pettine noted that Cromartie didn't exactly turn in a stellar performance against Brady last time out. He missed tackles on two long pass plays. "I think he was just okay on a night when everybody stunk," Pettine said. "We couldn't have played worse. That's why I think our guys feel better about this one. Any time you lay an egg like that and get a chance for redemption, I think that's a positive thing."

New York Sports