Monday, January 6, 2014

Like he did with Sanchez, Cro goes all-in on Geno


If Antonio Cromartie is anything, he's loyal.

Cromartie, who vehemently defended Mark Sanchez in the media multiple times last season, has now thrown his full support behind New York Jets rookie quarterback Geno Smith.

The veteran cornerback, who wants to retire with Gang Green but wouldn't be surprised if he were cut due to cap restrictions, told NFL Network Monday that he thinks Smith is a franchise quarterback.

"I honestly think he is," Cromartie said, via Newsday. "He handled himself as a true professional when he's in the office. He's in early -- 5:30, 5:45 in the morning -- he doesn't leave until 7 at night; trying to understand defenses and understand where he needs to get better at.

"I think the last month of the season, you're starting to see the progress of what he's starting to understand about the offense, understand about himself . . . We finished the season at 8-8 with him and we feel that we can grow with him."

We're not criticizing Cromartie for backing his guy. In fact, it means he's a good teammate. It also says that both quarterbacks have done enough behind the scenes to earn the respect of their peers, regardless of the public perception.

Just over a year ago, when he was asked if the Jets should replace Sanchez in the midst of a year of struggles, Cromartie said those question Sanchez "can kiss my ass."

The incumbent Sanchez was lost for the entire 2013 season after injuring his shoulder in exhibition action, paving the way for Smith. Smith was up and down throughout the year but finished on a high note. Sanchez is expected to be released in the coming months.

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