FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — Before, the words were too often the focus. They got the attention, as Antonio Cromartie allowed himself to say outlandish things, to trash talk, to insult, say, an opposing quarterback. He would open his mouth and, suddenly, it was hard to remember what he had accomplished on the field.
And while he could be relied upon to consistently fill a reporter’s notebook, he was inconsistent in the place it mattered more. The skills were there. The size and strength and football acumen. It just wasn’t quite working, at least not as well as it should.