Antonio Cromartie has taken the rivalry between the Jets and Patriots to a new level in advance of this weekend's AFC divisional game between the two.
Cromartie unleashed a profanity-laced tirade directed at Patriots future Hall-of-Fame quarterback Tom Brady during an interview with the New York Daily News on Tuesday. Cromartie proclaimed that he "hates" Brady and thinks the acclaimed signal caller is an "a**hole." He even said "F**k him," during one answer, and called into question Brady's sportsmanship and respect for his opponent.
What set Cromartie off was revisiting last month's 45-3 Jets loss to New England in Foxborough -- Brady pointed at the Jets' sideline and their defense after throwing a touchdown pass that stretched the Patriots' lead to 38-3. Ryan first broached the subject in his own press conference but was a bit tamer in his remarks, saying that was just "Brady being Brady." Cromartie was a little more passionate.
"We see that a lot. He does it a lot," Cromartie said. "That's the kind of guy he is. We really don't give a damn, to tell you the truth. He's doing the pointing at our defensive line and stuff like that. That's the kind of a guy he is. He's a competitor, he loves what he's doing. He's going to compete. When you're competing, you are not worrying about anything else, about what anybody else is doing. You're just worried about what you have to do."
But while the last part of that statement sounded a bit like praise for Brady's competitive nature, Cromartie didn't mince words when asked to elaborate on the colorful terms he used earlier to describe New England's superstar.
"That's what I think about him. I don't really give a damn about him," he said. "I don't have to play against him. I play against the receivers. If I beat the s**t out of his receivers, he can't throw the ball."
Cromartie is in his first year with the Jets, so he's relatively new to the rivalry. In two games against Brady this year, he's got five tackles, an interception and two passes defensed.