FLORHAM PARK, NJ - With the Jets playing in the New York market Dee Milliner has heard all the talk about how he is a bust. That he won’t ever be able to stay healthy and (the ridiculous notion) that he might not even make the team this year. None of this seems to faze him as he brushes the criticism aside and sets his sights on showing what he’s capable of.
To start the scrum off the media was lucky enough to get to witness an impromptu comedy routine starring not only Milliner but also fellow cornerback Antonio Cromartie.
Cromartie, apparently the newest reporter on the Jets beat asked “Yo, Dee. Question here, how do you feel?”
“I feel great,” Milliner said. “I’ve been doing my rehab like I’m supposed to, doing my treatment. I’ve been moving around, been able to cut and do some movement. So, I feel great.”
“Do you feel confident enough coming into this season, you know, there’s a lot of talk that you’re on the roster bubble. You’re here to make the team,” A ruthless, yet clearly poking fun at the media, Cromartie asked. “Do you have the confidence, in you and your abilities, that you’ll be able to come out here and do the things that you’re supposed to do?”
“Oh, most definitely,” Milliner said. “I’m going to go out there and do what I’m supposed to do, do my work, get better each day, compete like I’m supposed to, like nothing’s ever happened. Just be out there.”
After this little comedy sketch a reporter asked Milliner if he wanted to take Cromartie’s job to which Milliner said with a giant smile, “Which one? The announcer or the corner?”
Another reporter then joked to Milliner saying, “I didn’t realize you were on the roster bubble.” Cromartie wasted no time explaining the joke behind the routine saying, “that’s what the media said!”
This Jets team is filled with a bunch of confident and talented veterans and there all a bunch of characters. They love to joke around and have fun but they listen to everything the media has to say about them. They know the drill, they know how it works here but they also know joking in such a manner can bring a certain amount of levity to the situation to help the younger guys. This was a funny little bit by Cromartie, and Cromartie of course did it for the jokes, but even more so he did it to get his teammates back.
Milliner enjoys having this type of veteran leadership to lean on and while some corners might panic that their team signed three starting quality corners in the offseason Milliner is happy to be able to learn from them and is eager to prove he belongs along side them.
“Great quality guys, individuals, they’ve been doing good since they came into the league, so I’m good with it,” Milliner said. “They’re on the same team that I’m on, so all of us can be out there together and make things happen.”
For now the focus for Milliner is on getting healthy, learning the playbook inside-and-out and taking his mental reps. When his number is called he expects he’ll be ready to prove his worth.
“Not at all. You just got to compete, like I said go out and do your job,” Milliner said. “Be responsible, be accountable for what you can control and what you can do.
“Take it all in, get my mental reps when I need them (and) when ever my time is I got to be prepared and be ready for it. Like I said, just control what I can control, go out and compete, be responsible and just be ready for my time.”
Milliner said he’s still not sure if he’ll be able to take part in team drills during minicamp saying, “Maybe, maybe not. I don’t know, I’m just going to listen to the trainers and whatever they tell me to do I’m going to do.” But when he was asked if he thinks he will be 100 percent for the start of training camp Milliner just gave a simple nod of the head and said “Yes.”
For the critics and the doubters out there all Milliner has to say is, so what? Let them talk.
“Let them talk. Let them label me as they want to label me,” Milliner said. “I ain’t get to this point by being a bust so I’m just going and do what I can do and let the people talk what they want to talk.”