Cromartie ready for the Patriots


Cromartie ready for the Patriots

By Mary Paoletti Staff Reporter Follow @mary_paoletti

In New England, this is not NFL Week 5, it's Jets Week.

As soon as the Patriots' 31-19 win over the Raiders went in the book, the page turned to Rex Ryan and his trash-talking, rally-crying, Patriots-ousting Jets. It's the AFC East's most hot blooded match up in recent years and the hatred turned full boil in the Northeast last season when Ryan's crew booted Belichick's from the postseason.

There is no forgiving, no forgetting. On either side.

Newsday's Bob Glauber spoke with Antonio Cromartie after the Jets' 34-17 loss to Baltimore. The corner's rebound rate was predictably quick; he hadn't left M&T Bank Stadium before starting in on New England.

"We play against Tom Brady and New England, it's a divisional game, it's something to definitely look forward to and get excited about," he told Glauber. "We'll just do what we need to do, go out and make as many plays as we can and compete."

Surprisingly, Ryan didn't echo the enthusiasm. The Jets are 2-2, with the Ravens game butting up against Week 3's 34-17 beating in Buffalo. Glauber describes the usually bombastic coach as "muted."

"I'd rather play Summit (his son's high school team)," Ryan joked Monday. "There's probably easier assignments than going up against New England at New England. But that's the cards we were given, and we're going to play."

Not exactly a 'Super Bowl or bust' call. But Cromartie is picking up the slack. Naturally.

Last year's trash-talk was rabid. There was no quarterback in the league who drew more ire from the cornerback than Tom Brady. Cromartie went on a rant before the teams clashed in the playoffs, calling Brady "an a------" and accusing him of pointing to the Jets sideline after a touchdown pass in their last meeting -- a 45-3 New England win on December 6.

"If you want to be a professional, be a professional," Cromartie had said in January. "You've been there before scoring touchdowns, so go back to the sidelines . . . I hope he'll throw the ball 10 times my way . . . Let the scoreboard speak for itself, which it did the last game. Let your play speak for itself. Don't look at our sideline. That's the biggest sign of disrespect."

Eight months later he's singing the same tune.

"What I said last year, I meant it," Cromartie told Glauber. "I'm not going to take back anything. I'm definitely looking forward to this rivalry game. I still have the same feelings. Feelings don't change. Whatever I said last year is not going to change."

You can bet Brady is looking forward to it, too.

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