Inside the Film Room: New York Jets’ Antonio Cromartie


Oct 27, 2013; Cincinnati, OH, USA; New York Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie (31) on the sideline with safety Dawan Landry (26) and cornerback Dee Milliner (27) during the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium. Cincinnati defeated New York 49-9. Mandatory Credit: Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

Recently, we have gone back and looked at “key plays”, when going inside the film room. Whether it has been on offense or defense, we have broken down big plays that played a major factor in either the win or the loss. However, last week was so bad all the way around, I couldn’t narrow it down to one or two plays.

Instead, I want to concentrate on one guy. His name is Antonio Cromartie. We have been talking for a while now, asking about what’s wrong with this guy. He is our number one corner, but he has spent a great deal of time in 2013 getting beaten like a drum. Is he hurt? Don’t know. But something is wrong. Take a look at this play from the end of the first quarter:

First look at the set up. AJ Green is lined up wide to the right, covered by Antonio Cromartie, both circled. What did we talk about during the week? About getting physical with these receivers. But look. Cromartie is leaving a cushion of about 10 yards. How can Cro keep him from getting a free release here? He can’t.

Green is going to run a simple post pattern, also indicated on the picture.

Instead of coming up to challenge Green, Cromartie is content to back pedal. Is he not confident in his own speed? He has elite speed and closing ability. Is he not comfortable? Is he expecting help? It’s hard to tell, but all I know is he doesn’t challenge Green at all, making it very easy for him to make his cut to the post.

By the time Antonio gets anywhere near Green, it’s too late. Green has inside position on Cro, and Dalton makes a great throw.

53 yards later, the first quarter comes to an end with a huge play.

A similar play for ironically the same number of yards is on the next page.

Again, we have AJ Green split out wide to the right, with Cromartie on him. Look at the cushion yet again! Why is Cro giving him so much room? It is tough to explain. They needed to get physical with this guy, and they just didn’t, and it killed them.

Green is again going to take it straight up the field on Cromartie. Let’s move ahead.

Green is running a deep route, moving to Antonio Cromartie’s inside shoulder. Kyle Wilson, in the second circle, is acting in a safety role, coming over to help Cro deep. Does it help?

Nope. Green blows by both Cromartie and Wilson, as if they are standing still. It almost becomes an easy pitch and catch for Dalton and Green.

Good thing for the Jets that the pass was underthrown, otherwise it would have been a touchdown. In this case, the Bengals had to “settle” for another 53 yard pickup and first and goal.

Does anyone else feel that in the past, Antonio Cromartie would have had better success against this guy? I know that I do. I am convinced that Cro is hurt, and being tough by staying in the game, because he wants to be a leader. That is the type of guy he is.

But something isn’t right. This is not the Cro we have gotten used to.