Antonio Cromartie the Leader in the Jets’ Defensive Backfield


Jul 29, 2013; Cortland, NY, USA; New York Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie (31) during training camp at SUNY Cortland. Mandatory Credit: William Perlman/THE STAR-LEDGER via USA TODAY Sports

Believe it or not, there are other stories at New York Jets camp, that are not related to the quarterback position. I know it seems hard to believe, but it’s true. One of those stories is Antonio Cromartie, and the leadership role he has taken on the Jets’ defense.

Dee Milliner hasn’t even practiced yet, only showing up at camp yesterday. That hasn’t stopped Cromartie, however, about how he is going to help Milliner get along:

It’s just a standpoint of understanding the defense, understanding where his help is coming from, understanding how to play different leverages, understanding how to watch film and things like that. When you come into things like that as a rookie, it helps out a lot. Once you (start) learning the game, then things start to slow down for you a lot faster.

It is so important to Cro to make sure his fellow defensive backs are on the same page, he is even watching Milliner on film, prior to his arrival. Here is why:

You watch it for a lot of reasons. You watch it, for one, to try to get a feel for him, see how he plays and also to see when he comes in what you can help him along with, what he can improve, things like that. As a group and as a whole, you always want to make sure that you’re helping each other out to make sure (everyone) is playing at the highest level.

What is truly great about Antonio’s maturity is his understanding that one player does not make a defense:

Honestly, it’s not just one person. I think it’s the secondary as a whole. When all of us are on the field we have to make sure all of us are on one accord, doing the things that we need to do. Having him here it’ll help out a lot. You know, just from the standpoint of having DBs that can go out and play man-to-man coverage. We have some great guys that can come in and play man-to-man coverage. Like I said before, this is like one of the best groups I’ve been a part of from with having depth and everything else. You know, from Darren Walls to Ellis Lankster, you know we lost Aaron Berry but we still have guys that can step up. We got guys in Donnie Fletcher and those guys. I think we have a great group of safeties that have been a part of this defense and understand this defense. When you bring in a guy like Dawan Landry who has been a part of this defense for his first five years in the NFL.

You know how I have said before that the more I hear Darrelle talk, the happier I am that he is gone? Well, the more I hear Antonio talk, the happier I am that he is here, leading our defense. He has matured, and will keep this group together.