The self-proclaimed second-best wide receiver on the Jets’ roster caught his first touchdown of summer training camp on Tuesday and — perhaps surprisingly — Antonio Cromartie was humble about it.
Two weeks ago, Cromartie made waves when he proclaimed he was the second-best wide receiver on the Jets roster after seeing some limited reps on offense with the receiving corps. Last year, Cromartie did play some wide receiver including a catch in a Week 2 win over Jacksonville, but he’s never been truly part of the receiver rotation.
Until today that is.
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“Ever since high school and in college I was a two-way guy. So it was just something I wanted to try to do up here too,” Cromartie said. “I mean there was no inspiration behind it; I just wanted to try to do it up here on this level.”
An argument can be made that Cromartie is the best overall athlete on the Jets. Given the injuries to receivers in camp, it may be as much about necessity as it is intrigue for what he brings to the offense.
Cromartie is arguably the best kick returner on the team and the second-best member of the secondary after All-Pro Darrelle Revis. The fact that he possesses a6-foot-2 frame and solid speed (Cromartie ran a 4.38 second 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine in 2006) makes him an intriguing possibility to catch passes instead of breaking them up.
It also doesn’t hurt that if he lines up at wide receiver he would bring a cornerback’s knowledge and understanding to the position.
“I mean just facing up against a defensive back, you know the ‘ins and outs’ and also on how you want to try to get the defensive back to turn his hips and things like that,” Cromartie said. “So I think that will help me out when I line up at receiver a lot more.”
Follow Jets beat writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer for more preseason news.