New York Jets: Antonio Cromartie doesn’t need to rush return
This is an open letter to one of my favorite players on the New York Jets, cornerback Antonio Cromartie.
I think I speak for most fans when I say this: we’re absolutely ecstatic to have you back on our side. Coupled with Darrelle Revis, you two make up one of the best – if not the best – cornerback tandem in the NFL. Revis is a legend in his own right, and you’re coming off another Pro Bowl season. It’s no secret to anyone.
Personally, you are one of my favorite Jets, because not too many players bleed green and white like you do. I’m pretty sure you would do just about anything for this team. That’s why I’m asking you: take your time returning from what’s ailing you. Per Rich Cimini of ESPN, that appears to be the plan:
"Cromartie’s knee injury will be one of the storylines as the Jets prepare to face the Indianapolis Colts (0-1) on the road. He didn’t tear his ACL, according to the team, but even a sprain can take a few weeks, depending on the severity. Cromartie is week-to-week, according to Jets head coach . Todd Bowles"
Despite getting outmatched by Rex Ryan’s defense in Buffalo last week, the Colts have many tools at their disposal on the offensive side of the ball. Andrew Luck, Andre Johnson and T.Y. Hilton are all some of the best at their positions. I know that on the national stage of Monday Night Football the Jets always look to make a statement. I’d like nothing more than to see you out there making plays and showing everyone that Gang Green is no joke.
With two top wide receiving targets lining up for the Colts, we need you and Revis Island shutting them down. Week 2 always seems to be a big week for the Jets. I think things may have turned out differently last season if it wasn’t for the timeout call that negated a beautiful touchdown pass from Geno Smith last year at Lambeau Field against the Green Bay Packers.
I’m not going to lie, you looked a little gassed on Sunday. Maybe a little rest will do you some good. At least take it easy. I spoke with someone who attended the game at MetLife last Sunday and they made a claim saying that they thought that after you got burned on this play:
Johnny Manziel has his first career #touchdown pass https://t.co/q3uiXl5KEx
— BuzzFeed Sports (@BuzzFeedSports) September 13, 2015
You used this injury to get out of the game:
INJURY UPDATE: Jets CB Antonio Cromartie carted off after potentially serious knee injury: http://t.co/lXdSe8WUlj pic.twitter.com/nN0BNPENZb
— ESPN (@espn) September 13, 2015
Any thoughts of you mailing it in are absolutely outrageous. However, the way you injured yourself, essentially on no contact, was worrisome. I agree with Jared Dubin of CBS Sports when he says that the injury was ugly. I don’t know if something was ailing you in the preseason, but I do know you’re a warrior.
Going into your 10th season, you just played your 144th game on Sunday. You’ve missed one regular season game in ten years. That has to take its toll. I’ll tell you this: the Jets have a few young guys behind you on the depth chart who are ready to go. Marcus Williams is one of those guys. He played pretty well in relief, and as you know, he even had a pick:
Johnny Manziel giveth. Johnny Manziel taketh. PICK! #CLEvsNYJ http://t.co/BhTVXn4BPT
— NFL (@NFL) September 13, 2015
While his stats from his half-season in a starting role last year don’t stand out, Ryan had little faith in his secondary personnel last year. This year is a different story. That may allow young guys like Marcus who are looking to prove their worth to shine. The kid plays hard and has a chip on his shoulder as he went undrafted out of an FCS school.
In the review of defensive film done by NJ.com’s Dom Cosentino, the fact that the Jets rushed 7 on the play shown above was noted. This is something you wouldn’t have seen much out of the Jets last year. While the Jets had the talent up front to rush seven last year, it couldn’t be done as frequently because the secondary was viewed as a liability.
The improved level of play in the back allows the Jets to change up what’s done on defense, leading to plays such as Marcus’ interception. Daryl Slater of NJ.com reported that Revis has a positive opinion of his younger counterpart:
"“He has a lot of confidence,” Revis told NJ Advance Media on Wednesday. “A lot of confidence, especially for a young guy who is in his second year. That’s why he’s here. He’s very valuable.”"
Marcus and the young guys can buy you some time, but the bottom line is Cro, we need you come crunch time. You probably remember when you picked off Luck 3 years ago and took it to the house. It’s clear, we need you. We also need you October 25th against the Patriots.
As the season grinds on, the Jets will look to the veterans – like you – to lean on. So rest up, or play sparingly on Monday, and let the depth of the secondary test itself. Jets nation hopes to see you back soon.
Next: New York Jets: Devin Smith's debut is on the horizon
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