On Wednesday, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady said he doesn’t care what Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie says about him.
Brady may be interested in Cromartie’s latest.
On Thursday, Cromartie dared Brady to throw at the Jets’ No. 2 cover man. “I hope I’m a target this game,” Cromartie said, per the Associated Press. “I want to be a target every game.”
With Darrelle Revis expected to cover receiver Wes Welker most of the time, it’s safe to say that Cromartie will indeed get what he wants. And Cromartie said that he plans to rough up whoever he is assigned to watch.
“To beat the hell out of their receivers, that’s our game plan on the outside,” Cromartie said. “It’s to try to mess up their timing routes as much as we can.”
It’s one thing to do that against receivers Chad Ochocinco and Deion Branch. It’s quite another to do it to tight ends Rob Gronkowski or Aaron Hernandez. Though the latter has been sidelined with a knee injury, Hernandez returned to practice on a limited basis Thursday, which means that he could play on Sunday.
Bottom line? The Patriots may have too many weapons for the Jets to shut down. And so the chess match will come from the ability of the team’s front seven to get to Brady before he can find an open man.