Antonio Cromartie on 2013 Pro Bowl: ‘I should have never gone’

Antonio Cromartie knows he didn’t deserve to make it to the 2013 NFL Pro Bowl.

Fans voted him into the game, and he acknowledges the Pro Bowl voting was based on his reputation, rather than his play on the field.

I should have never gone in 2013,” Cromartie said, via Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News. “That was an injury-plagued year. I gave up seven touchdowns.”

As we all know, making it to the Pro Bowl isn’t necessarily an indictment of excellent play these days. It’s nothing more than a popularity contest, and it’s refreshing to hear Cromartie give an honest take of his situation.

The fine folks at Pro Football Focus (subscription required) would almost certainly agree with Cromartie’s assessment. He received a negative-11.4 rating in 2013, which made him their No. 102-ranked cornerback out of 110 qualified players.

After spending a year in Arizona, Cromartie—who made it three-straight Pro Bowls after being voted in again last season—is back in New York for another go-round with the Jets. He’s excited about the upcoming season (and about playing alongside Darrelle Revis once again) and believes the team has a chance to do something special in 2015.

“The No. 1 goal is to be playing in the Super Bowl,” Cromartie said. “I’ve always been told that talent doesn’t always win football games. It can take only take you so far. It’s about guys putting everything together. But when you look down on paper and look at this defense and look at the weapons on offense, you’re like, ‘This team has every possibility of making it to the playoffs.’ “

Likely, the team’s playoff chances rests on its ability to produce on offense. As Cromartie mentioned, the Jets do have weapons on offense, but it remains to be seen if New York’s quarterbacks are good enough to get those weapons the ball consistently enough to make impact plays on a regular basis.

This is familiar territory for Cromartie, Revis and the Jets. If New York does make it into the postseason, then you can bet the defense will have had a lot do with the team’s success.