Cromartie ready for the Patriots


Cromartie ready for the Patriots

By Mary Paoletti Staff Reporter Follow @mary_paoletti

In New England, this is not NFL Week 5, it's Jets Week.

As soon as the Patriots' 31-19 win over the Raiders went in the book, the page turned to Rex Ryan and his trash-talking, rally-crying, Patriots-ousting Jets. It's the AFC East's most hot blooded match up in recent years and the hatred turned full boil in the Northeast last season when Ryan's crew booted Belichick's from the postseason.

There is no forgiving, no forgetting. On either side.

Newsday's Bob Glauber spoke with Antonio Cromartie after the Jets' 34-17 loss to Baltimore. The corner's rebound rate was predictably quick; he hadn't left M&T Bank Stadium before starting in on New England.

"We play against Tom Brady and New England, it's a divisional game, it's something to definitely look forward to and get excited about," he told Glauber. "We'll just do what we need to do, go out and make as many plays as we can and compete."

Surprisingly, Ryan didn't echo the enthusiasm. The Jets are 2-2, with the Ravens game butting up against Week 3's 34-17 beating in Buffalo. Glauber describes the usually bombastic coach as "muted."

"I'd rather play Summit (his son's high school team)," Ryan joked Monday. "There's probably easier assignments than going up against New England at New England. But that's the cards we were given, and we're going to play."

Not exactly a 'Super Bowl or bust' call. But Cromartie is picking up the slack. Naturally.

Last year's trash-talk was rabid. There was no quarterback in the league who drew more ire from the cornerback than Tom Brady. Cromartie went on a rant before the teams clashed in the playoffs, calling Brady "an a------" and accusing him of pointing to the Jets sideline after a touchdown pass in their last meeting -- a 45-3 New England win on December 6.

"If you want to be a professional, be a professional," Cromartie had said in January. "You've been there before scoring touchdowns, so go back to the sidelines . . . I hope he'll throw the ball 10 times my way . . . Let the scoreboard speak for itself, which it did the last game. Let your play speak for itself. Don't look at our sideline. That's the biggest sign of disrespect."

Eight months later he's singing the same tune.

"What I said last year, I meant it," Cromartie told Glauber. "I'm not going to take back anything. I'm definitely looking forward to this rivalry game. I still have the same feelings. Feelings don't change. Whatever I said last year is not going to change."

You can bet Brady is looking forward to it, too.

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Brady enjoying "unique experience" of road trip


Brady enjoying "unique experience" of road trip

While being away from home isn’t uncommon for the Patriots - just think about all those Super Bowl trips - Tom Brady believes each excursion takes on its own feel, its own flavor and - eventually - its own meaning.

Back in 2014, the Pats went from playing in Green Bay and losing to the Packers straight to San Diego for a week on the West Coast prior to a rousing victory over the Chargers. That week, many players said in the aftermath, helped propel the team to great heights,.  You’ll recall, that season ended in grand fashion, a triumph in Super Bowl 49 over Seattle, at the time - and maybe still - the greatest Super Bowl ever played.

“I think all these experiences are pretty unique,” Brady said Friday from Falcon Stadium at the Air Force Academy. “That was a very unique experience. This is different.”

Brady spoke about the number of stops the Pats have and will have to make on this trip - from Denver to Colorado Springs then on to Mexico City Saturday before a Sunday night return to Foxboro and their own beds for the first time in 10 nights.

“When you’re on the road like this, there’s less to do,” he said. “You know my family is not here, my kids aren’t here. There’s nobody telling me what I did wrong in the house. It’s just being at home and now it’s being here and trying to figure out a way to win a game.”

Brady quickly smoothed over any possible ill-will at home - why make Gisele mad? - smiling and saying “I didn’t mean that so I’ll take it back.”

Kidding aside, the 40-year old signal caller seemed pleased with the work the Patriots have put in during this long trip. A week of team-bonding can’t be a bad thing, especially for a group that seems to be hitting it’s stride both on and off the field. There’s the five wins in a row and also a locker room that has a better understanding of one another than it did during the first month of the season. But Brady is not ready to make any grand proclamations. That just wouldn’t be his style.

“I think it’s still work in progress,” he said of team chemistry. “You look at still adding a player like Marty (Bennett) last week. Things are always changing and evolving. We’re still trying to figure out what we’re doing well and after 8 or 9 weeks, you start to figure those things out. Now we have to work hard at those things, try to really own them, and use them going forward to try and win the most important games. We have a lot of important games coming up, starting with this one. Hopefully we can play our best football going forward.”

Brady said he’s been fired up for this game with the Raiders south of the border ever since the schedule was released all those months ago.

“I’ve never been to Mexico City,” he said. “It’s been a game you kind of look forward to. We’re playing against a really good football team in a pretty cool environment. It will be very memorable. I think everyone is excited.”

Patriots’ injury report: Center Andrews, WR Hogan out


Patriots’ injury report: Center Andrews, WR Hogan out

The Patriots will be without center David Andrews on Sunday when they play the Raiders in Mexico City. Andrews, who hasn’t all practice all week with an illness, is one of four Pats listed as out on the injury report released Friday.


Offensive tackle Marcus Cannon, who didn’t play last week against the Broncos is also out, along with wide receiver Chris Hogan and special teams captain Matthew Slater. Offensive linemen Ted Karras and Joe Thuney each took reps at center so one of them will likely start in Andrews’ absence. LaAdrian Waddle filled in for Cannon and performed well last week vs. Denver. 

Here’s the full injury report for the Patriots and Raiders: