Antonio Cromartie and the Jets Are NFL Champions in Talking a Good Game
It’s understandable that the Jets cornerback — that is, the Jets’ other cornerback, the guy who plays on the opposite side from Pro Bowl shutdown corner Darrelle Revis and typically covers the opponent’s second-best receiver — would feel that way about the Patriots’ quarterback, considering the rude way Brady treated him the last time they saw each other.
It was Dec. 6 in Foxboro, a Monday Night Football showdown between 9-2 teams that was hyped as the battle for supremacy not just in the AFC East but in all of the conference, if not the league. It turned out to be not so much a game as a slap in the face and a knee to the groin, as New England brutalized the J-E-T-S, 45-3.
In building a 24-3 halftime lead that night, Brady threw two touchdown passes. Care to guess which Jets corner was beaten on both scores? Hint: His name isn’t Revis.
What smack talk did Cromartie throw around after the game? Not a word. He declined to speak to the media. Shocking.
Revis did have a few words, though, saying, “When you play against those caliber quarterbacks, you can’t bring your C-plus game.”
C-plus. Nice nickname for Cromartie.
Nah, as second corners go, Cromartie isn’t bad. But the man talks way more than a second corner should. His motormouth head coach, Rex Ryan, might not think so, but it’s the truth.
Cromartie could take a lesson — not a schooling, like Dec. 6, but a lesson — from Brady. It’s not that Tom is above the trash talk. It’s just that he knows that talk is cheap unless you back it up. Or maybe that’s not it at all. Maybe Brady’s silence is caused by an inability to talk with a broad smile spread across his face. Having watched tape of that “showdown” game from last month, in which he targeted Cromartie with half of his 16 passes and had two TDs and lots of yardage to show for it, Brady can’t help but smile at the possibilities for Sunday afternoon’s AFC playoff game. He watched Deion Branch beat Cromartie for a 25-yard TD reception that made it 17-0 in the first quarter. He watched Brandon Tate get open in the end zone behind Cromartie for a 4-yard score that made it 24-3. Now he hears Cromartie talking, and Brady just smiles.
Cromartie, meanwhile, comes off like the relentlessly clueless Black Night from Monty Python and the Holy Grail:
Victimize me with a TD pass to Branch? I’ve had worse done to me! Beat me in the end zone with a pass to Tate? Just a flesh wound!
Isn’t it funny how one guy can talk and talk and not say anything, while another guy can remain silent, just play the game and make a resounding statement?
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