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Jets’ Cromartie ready for Marshall matchup
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) - Antonio Cromartie is used to the attention.
The New York Jets cornerback has gone up against some of the best wide receivers in the NFL during his four-plus seasons, so his next big assignment doesn’t faze him.
“I’m just going out and knowing what to expect of myself,” Cromartie said, “and what my teammates expect out of me, also.”
Well, the Jets are expecting big things from him Sunday night, especially with Darrelle Revis out for New York’s game at Miami with a strained left hamstring. Cromartie will have the task of being primarily responsible for trying to shut down Brandon Marshall.
“It’s tough from a physical standpoint,” Cromartie said. “He’s a big receiver that can get in and out of his routes real well as a smart receiver. You just have to be patient and play disciplined.”
“Two great athletes going against each other, two huge guys for their positions,” Ryan said. “I mean they are giants for their positions.”
At 6-foot-4 and 230 pounds, Marshall is a huge target for Chad Henne. He has 12 catches for 124 yards in his first two games with the Dolphins, but hasn’t gotten into the end zone. The Jets hope the 6-2, 210-pound Cromartie can keep it that way.
“I think he’s a rare blend of size, but then he also has the ability to make you miss with the run after the catch,” defensive coordinator Mike Pettine said of Marshall. “To me, he’s the total package at wideout. He’s a guy that has smaller-receiver agility, yet it’s a bigger, more physical receiver’s body.”
Not having Revis, a guy Ryan said is the best cornerback he has ever coached, in the lineup against Marshall might cause some teams to panic. Not the Jets. While Cromartie is not Revis, he still shut down New England’s Randy Moss in the second half after Revis was sidelined Sunday.
“He knew right away that Darrelle was going to be down and that all of a sudden everybody’s looking at him and saying, ‘Hey, you’re the No. 1 guy,’” Pettine said. “I think he’s not a guy who’s going to hide from that opportunity. He relishes in it. Looking at the way he practiced, I can tell he can’t wait until Sunday.”
That’s because Cromartie was all over the field Thursday, picking off passes left and right.
So, how many did he really have?
“I don’t know,” Cromartie said with a sheepish grin.
By Brahma Chellaney
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