Antonio Cromartie on Mike Pettine feud: 'I've grown'

When the Browns visit the Jetson Sunday, Cleveland coach Mike Pettine will try for his first win of the season by outdueling, among others, New York cornerback Antonio Cromartie.

It won't be their first fight.

The two had their differences when Pettine served as New York's defensive coordinator, as chronicled in "Collision Low Crossers," Nicholas Dawidoff's behind-the-scenes look at the 2011 Jets.

After Pettine publicly characterized Cromartie's streaky play that season as a case of "good Cro" and "bad Cro," the two got into it during practice. As described by Dawidoff, "When Pettine chided him, Cro said, 'Shut up.' Then he said, '(expletive) you.' Pettine told him quietly, 'Don't lose your cool. We're all in this together.'

"As soon as Pettine left and the defense split into positional units," per the book, "Cro said loudly that Pettine was 'a high-school coach' and declared he wasn't 'gonna take it' from him."

Four years later, Cromartie is over it, telling Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News: "I've grown."

"What did we have? One incident when we got into an argument?" Cromartie said. "That was it. We squashed it. We left it alone and we handled it like men and we went on from there. I don't have any hard feelings. I'm not a person to hold grudges. I'm not a person to have any ill will toward anybody. I'm pretty happy for him. He got a head coaching job. That's what he wanted."

Said Cromartie: "I can't worry about things that happened in the past. Anything that happened in the past (clouds) your future. So my biggest thing is just looking forward. Congratulations to him on getting his job."

We doubt Pettine is back on Cromartie's Christmas card list -- and they won't be pals on Sunday -- but we're chalking up this distant feud as just another example of the chaos that always seemed to swarm around Rex Ryan's old Jets squads.

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