|Chaz Schilens may be looking for Antonio Cromartie. (AP photo)|
It was only a matter of time before the soap opera that is the New York Jets had some in-fighting at training camp. That time is now and it involves the typical back-and-forth where overreaction takes center stage and puts the Jets as the lead story for all the wrong reasons.
The latest drama involves cornerback Antonio Cromartie calling himself the second best wide receiver on the team right now, behind Santonio Holmes. Cromartie said so on ESPN's First Take Tuesday. Wednesday, new wide receiver Chaz Schilens took exception to the comment, calling it a slight, and said he would address it on the football field.
I don't know if that means he's going to burn Cromartie on a passing route, or if he's going to mix it up with him between plays, or simply talk about the comment during a break in the action. No matter what the message will be, Schilens should view the comment as motivation and not a slight.
First, who cares if Cromartie says he's the second best wide receiver on the team? Second, it's up to Schilens to finally prove he's a capable starting wide receiver. It's on him. If he's good enough to be the No. 2 behind Holmes, he'll be the No. 2. If he fails, he'll be a backup and have no one to blame but himself.
For Cromartie's comment, it's hard not to agree with him, or at least see the huge potential in having him on the field in that capacity, although it's still a stretch. Behind Holmes, the Jets have Schilens, Jeremy Kerley, Stephen Hill and Patrick Turner. For the Jets and their fans, that's not a group to brag about. So, if Cromartie can help, I'm all for giving it a shot. I'm also hoping Schilens does what he couldn't with the Raiders ... live up to the hype and become a key contributor.
Schilens should have taken a page from the rookie of the group. Hill, the team's second round draft pick from Georgia Tech, responded simply to the comment, saying, "I'm just trying to be Stephen Hill and stay in my place."
But Schilens took the opposite approach. "I kind of thought it was a joke but then I guess he said it. It's my job to fix that situation."
Schilens, of course, is wrong. It's his job to win the starting job, not worry about something a teammate said. Hopefully from here on he uses the words of Cromartie as motivation.