Share story

A week ago, during an appearance on Sirius XM NFL Radio, New York Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie had a lot to say about Richard Sherman, specifically saying he can’t be considered the best cornerback in the NFL because he doesn’t follow the other team’s No. 1 receiver (Seattle leaves Sherman on the left side of the field to cover the opposing receiver on the right side).

Today, Sherman had his chance to fire back when he was asked about Cormartie’s comments when he met the media after Seattle’s OTA.

Said Sherman when asked if he’d seen what Cromartie said:  “I did. That was unfortunate. You’d think that after me helping him get the Pro Bowl bid this year — we went to the Super Bowl or he wouldn’t have made the Pro Bowl otherwise (Cromartie, who played for Arizona last year, was initially an alternate) — and now he’s talking bad. I think it’s one of the things that’s just the ignorance of the public. How many great left tackles do you see switching to the right side because there’s a great d-end switches to the right side. You don’t see it. Great players stay on their side and do what they’re supposed to do. How many guys have you seen switching from side to side on a No. 1 defense? We’re the No. 1 defense for a reason. You’d think guys like that wouldn’t — who coaches a No. 1 defense to be worse? If we’re No. 1, it must be working. It’s an effective strategy for us, and obviously we’re playing at a high level. I guess when you’re doing something great you’re always going to have naysayers and detractors. I guess this is just one of those situations, but it’s unfortunate.”

Asked if he thinks people understand Seattle’s system, he said: “I think they just need an excuse why we’re great, why we have so much success. They have to have something to give themselves some credibility down the line. It is what it is. We’re going to keep doing what we do. We’ve been No. 1 in scoring defense the past three years. If you’re going to tell us to do something different, it’s like, ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.'”

If you want to be reminded of what Cromartie said, here you go:

“Go follow the No. 1 receiver. Follow him around for a whole entire game and let’s see what you can do. Darrelle Revis has done that his whole career. I’ve done that. Patrick Peterson has done it. Joe Haden has done it. (Sherman) is the only defensive back that hasn’t.”

Cromartie also said: “Go play in a defense where you don’t have two All-Pro safeties. That’s what I would tell him.”

Former Seattle defensive coordinator Dan Quinn explained last year why he leaves Sherman on one side of the field:

“Really, we play a lot of zone, so left and right is where (the cornerbacks) play. The more practice you get playing at that one spot, just like anything else, you just get more accustomed to doing it. That makes sense. It’s not necessarily by design, like he needs to always play on the left. We’ve had games where we put him on a tight end or a receiver. Sometimes, it just depends on the game.”