Antonio Cromartie Needs to Focus on Being a Cornerback, Not a 2-Way Player

Ryan PhillipsContributor IIIAugust 14, 2012

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - JANUARY 01:   Antonio Cromartie #31 of the New York Jets looks on during a game against the Miami Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium on January 1, 2012 in Miami Gardens, Florida.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

New York Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie has been pushing to get time at receiver this season, and according to, he has apparently gotten his wish. The 28-year-old cornerback has been putting in some time at wideout, but, frankly, he should be working on improving at his natural position.

Cromartie is a solid cornerback, but, given his incredible physical gifts, he could be far better. In fact, there is a chance fellow corner Kyle Wilson could surpass him as the complement to Darrelle Revis. That's enough of a possibility that back in March (via Rotoworld) Cromartie hinted in a now-deleted Tweet that Jets coaches had discussed moving him to free safety. 

Again, Cromartie is a supremely talented guy, but he is one of the NFL's most inconsistent players. In the middle of the 2011 season, the New York Daily News reported that Rex Ryan had closed door meetings with his coaching staff about how to get the best out of Cromartie.

I get that Cromartie wants to help out the team on offense, especially considering the roster's absolute dearth of top-level receiving talent. But in reality, he should be spending his time working on his technique at cornerback. He should become Revis' shadow and do exactly what he does. He would serve the Jets in a far more effective capacity by being a better cornerback than playing some receiver every now and then. 

At some point, Cromartie is going to have to decide if he wants to be a perennial Pro Bowler at cornerback or just another really athletic NFL player. He showed in 2007 that he could certainly be a Pro Bowl-type player. But since then he hasn't played up to his potential. 

If he just took his job more seriously and stopped worrying about the offense, he and his team would be much better off.