FLORHAM PARK, N.J. – It took his own teammate and a fellow cornerback to ask the most brazen of questions when New York Jets cornerback Dee Milliner addressed the media on Tuesday. It was Antonio Cromartie, who put his teammate Milliner on the spot about offseason rumors that he might be out of New York.
Milliner, already labeled a bust here in New York after two injury-riddled seasons with the Jets, spoke to the media on Tuesday at the start of minicamp, his first public comments since the end of last year. He's had two rough seasons in New York, including multiple benchings during his rookie season and then last year where he had season-ending an Achilles injury in mid-October.
Between the end of the year and now, the Jets signed three starting cornerbacks, two of who have Pro Bowl resumes in Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie. They are moves that likely make Milliner a backup on the depth chart.
So on Tuesday, Cromartie, who was in a jovial mood when he grabbed the microphone of the SNY television camera joined the scrum around Milliner, hit his teammate with two questions.
The first one was rather innocuous, with Cromartie asking: “Question here: How do you feel?”
“I feel great. I've been doing my rehab like I was supposed to, my treatment. I've been moving around, being able to cut, do some movements,” Milliner responded with a grin to Cromartie. “So I feel great.”
The grin slid away when Cromartie followed up:
“Do you feel confident going into the season? There's a lot of talk saying you're on the roster bubble, [that] you're here to make the team. Do you feel and have the confidence that you and in your ability that you can do the things you're supposed to do?”
Boom. With teammates like this, who actually needs an opponent come the regular season? Milliner, to his credit, answered the ticking time bomb well.
“Oh most definitely. When I come out there I do what I'm supposed to do. Do my work, get better each day,” Milliner said. “Compete like I'm supposed to, like nothing ever happened. Just be out there.”
Cromartie then turned to the reporters and smiled and walked away, handing over the SNY microphone and leaving the scrum. After Cromartie walked away, Milliner was asked by a reporter if he wanted his teammate's job. His response was timeless.
“Which one?” Milliner said. “Announcer or corner?”