Confidence key in secondary

Confidence is one of the key attributes when bringing in a cornerback. The selection of Antonio Cromartie handled that. Despite not playing last year, the rookie has dreams of contributing as much as Shawne Merriman last year.

Cornerback Antonio Cromartie is lacking in playing time. But what he isn't in short supply of is confidence.

"The coaches at Florida State said I was going to be a shutdown corner and I was built into that," said Cromartie, who missed last year with a serious knee injury. "I always had the confidence I was going to grow into one."

Cromartie's audacity needs no boost. When someone inquired about his goals, Cromartie didn't backpedal.

"Rookie of the Year, go to the Pro Bowl and also help the team win the Super Bowl," he said.

Cromartie rattled that off with no smile, no letting on that he was pulling anyone's leg. While others wonder on the wisdom of spending a 19th overall pick on someone with but one college start, Cromartie is certain he is going to be someone special.

"I don't think the transition for me is going to be that hard," Cromartie said. "Once I get into the playbook, I'm going to learn fast. You have to know your opponent well enough to get on the field and work your magic."

Standing in his way is cornerback Drayton Florence. He begins the year as the starter and has no visions of letting that go.

"There's a lot of competition here because we all want to be the best," Florence said.

But Cromartie will be an integral part of the lineup, particularly with tough foes in the AFC West. Oftentimes, three receiver sets are the norm and it will require a cornerback who can handle the slot and man-to-man coverage.

If he is in the game, you better believe he will be a target. Cromartie welcomes that opportunity to shine.

"I would love for teams to throw at me. I would love that," Cromartie said.

The confidence brewing again.


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