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Picks, Hips and Prime: Sitting Down With Antonio Cromartie

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Picks, Hips and Prime: Sitting Down With Antonio Cromartie
(Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

This time last year San Diego Chargers corner Antonio Cromartie was on top of the world. And for good reason after stellar sophomore season in which he snared a league high and Chargers record 10 interceptions, made the Pro Bowl and was the runner-up for Defensive Player. The year the sky was the limit.

That was just for starters. He set the NFL record for longest play on an impossible play by returning a missed Vikings field goal for a staggering 109 yard touchdown. He also became the first player to pick Peyton Manning three times in one game, one of which was so artful it could be considered performance pass piracy.

This made for great expectations and even talk of breaking the 56-year-old NFL interceptions record which stands at 14. It all seemed possible for the third year corner after an off-season spent training with none other than Primetime himself, Deion Sanders. 

But that was not to be. It was in the second quarter of Week 1 against Carolina when Cromartie, 25, suffered a broken hip. The injury wasn't disclosed until after the season but it was obvious how badly it had curtailed his unnatural skills.

He finished the season with only two interceptions, both of which came in the the same game, a whole lot of pass interference calls and none of the swagger of a year earlier. Not exactly Pro Bowl numbers. There were even a few trade rumors.

Needless to say, Cromartie has a lot to prove coming into his fourth year. The former first-round pick out of Florida State has overcome challenges before so here are few things I would like to ask Antonio as he prepares for the upcoming season.

William Risser: First off, how's the hip doing? And how, in this day and age, was the injury able to be kept quiet for the whole season? 

Antonio Cromartie:

WR: Even though they didn't amount to anything, how did you react to the trade rumors this off-season?

AC:

WR: What's your relationship with Ron Rivera and Cris Dishman like? Does Dishman ever tell crazy stories about his playing days? 

AC:

WR: You only had two picks last year and the league leader was Ed Reed with nine. You're both considered ball hawking players, so what would you say are the similarities and difference in your games?

AC:

WR: Which other players at your position do you watch to see if there is anything you can pick up from them?

AC:

WR: Off all the quarterback/receiver combos in the league, which pair do you consider to be the hardest cover? What goes into that equation? 

AC:

WR: Your cousin Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie made the Superbowl last year. I bet you thought you'd make it to one first. Have you talked to him about what that experience was like?

AC:

WR: You spent some time training last summer with one of your idols, Deion Sanders. What was that like and are you planning on doing more training with Prime before camp this summer?

AC:

WR: A pair of draft picks were spent on the secondary this season so what do you plan on doing to welcoming them to the team? Tape them to a goal post after giving them some pointers? 

AC:

WR: The group of corners looks to be coming into it's own with you, Quentin Jammer and Antoine Cason. Are you a close knit group or do guys do their own thing?

AC:

WR: You've got some high-profile endorsements in Nike, Pepsi and Cadillac. How have you enjoyed those relationships and what has it taught you about the league's business side?

AC:

WR: Without questions, San Diego is a great place to live so what are some favorite spots around town you've gotten to know?

AC:

WR: I know talk of 15 picks is premature at the moment but how do you see the upcoming season going? A return trip to Hawaii perhaps?

AC:

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