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Cromartie working hard

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Johnny Lightning, Jul 10, 2009.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

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    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]





    By Kevin Acee
    July 9, 2009, 5:25 p.m.

    I spent a day last week with Antonio Cromartie. Specifically, I ate a couple meals with him, drove around Northwest Los Angeles County and watched as he was tortured in various workouts.

    Photographer KC Alfred was in L.A. with us shooting the workouts, and he'll have some great stuff in Sunday's Union-Tribune and here on SignOnSanDiego.

    I'd been talking to Cromartie about what he was doing up in L.A., and I was intrigued enough by the sort of transformation (physical and mental) he is going through that I came off vacation to go up there. I'm glad I did.

    I've always enjoyed covering Cromartie, ever since I went to Tallahassee for a visit with him and his family the week after he was drafted in 2006. He is without a doubt the greatest natural athlete I've ever had the pleasure of watching on a regular basis.

    Now, to see him working like he is and hearing some of the things he has to say, I believe he at least is working like never before to make sure that his horrid 2008 season is recalled as an aberration.

    One thing Cromartie said when I was there was that he is trying to make the leap to being an elite cornerback.

    "I don’t consider myself one of the elite corners yet," he said.

    But wait, he had said in a recent interview that he and Oakland's Nnamdi Asomugha are the best corners in the league.

    Cromartie explained: "I feel like I’m the best cornerback in the NFL. What I mean by elite is one of the best to ever play the game. That’s doing it every day in practice, doing it every week, doing it every year."

    Doubt it if you want. That's fair after the '08 season Cromartie endured. But I'll tell you that what I saw last week should make everyone believe he is trying to achieve that.
     
  2. SD Native WY

    SD Native WY Well-Known Member

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    When I see it........I will believe it. :bolt: Go Chargers:bolt:
     
  3. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    Just shut up, play hard, & prove you're one of the best, Cro. :icon_evil:
     
  4. wrbanwal

    wrbanwal Well-Known Member

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    and stay away from Deion


    :icon_evil::icon_evil::icon_evil:
     
  5. HEXEDBOLT

    HEXEDBOLT Don't like it, lump it!!!

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    I agree and would rep you if I could.
     
  6. PowderLove

    PowderLove Former Mod, Current Slacker

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    I know this article looks like Cromartie spouting off about being super mcawesome, but I'm sure the reporter went looking for this story, not the other way around.
     
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  7. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    And that, too!!!! :tup:

    :icon_toast:
     
  8. Showmeyourbolt

    Showmeyourbolt Well-Known Member

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    Go CRO!!! I WANT YOU TO SUCCEED!
     
  9. Boltdiehard

    Boltdiehard Well-Known Member

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    You know I'm tired of hearing most of the guys on this defense talk about how fuggin great they are; you know the same defense that fuc*ed us last year. I don't hear Rivers, Gates, Jammer and those guys doing this. Phillips, Cro and several others did the same **** last year.

    Shut the fu*k up and get out there and hit somebody.
     
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  10. HEXEDBOLT

    HEXEDBOLT Don't like it, lump it!!!

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    Cro is magic when he has the ball in his hands but he needs to put up and shut up. When he's proves himself then talk, until then all it is, is cheap BS.
     
  11. Sydalish

    Sydalish Addicted to Sports

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    Werd~
     
  12. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    Sing it brutha man!:abq2:
     
  13. HEXEDBOLT

    HEXEDBOLT Don't like it, lump it!!!

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    I want him to succeed also, but damn does he need to shoot his mouth off. Could it be, his Mouth is writing checks his *** can't cover???????????????
     
  14. Sydalish

    Sydalish Addicted to Sports

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    He's not saying anything out of the ordinary and he's answering questions. He's nto going out of his way to broadcast anything.

    I EXPECT players to be confident in themselves and their ability.

    I EXPECT players to work hard to get better all the time.

    I know twitter isn't popular with some of you - but I follow Cro and all he ever talks about is his love for God, his family, his girlfriend, his kids and about how he's working hard to be his best this season. He's a good guy who had a bum year after a spectacular one.

    I get the whole "shut up and play" thing - I do - but some of you guys are taking it waay too far imo. We have 2 months until the season - not much else to talk about especially in these last few weeks before TC. So the media is going to hunt for scraps - they are going to write entire articles and do entire interviews based soley on a player saying one or two things about what they're doing in their offseason and how they want to perform in 2009.

    IMO if you don't walk into the new season with the goal and belief you're going to win a Super Bowl you don't stand a chance at reaching that goal. They can't "shut up and play" for 60+ days yet - so are you going to keep complaining about every article as if it's the players fault until we hit preseason? Or are you going to cut the guy some slack until he has a chance to put his money where his mouth is? Your off season enjoyment is entirely in your own hands my friend.
     
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  15. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    You guys get too bent over little stuff. You seem to feel that the players should never answer questions and should never have confidence in themselves.

    Geesh...

    I want our players to answer questions, I want them to set high goals for themselves. If you dont, then dont read bout the players...
     
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  16. ntman68

    ntman68 Well-Known Member

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    I don't think he's the best corner on the team, let alone the NFL. He had one great year and one crappy one. That means he is starting with a clean slate in my eyes. Man up and bring it this year, Cro. Less talk, more work.
     
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  17. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

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    :clap:

    Now rep me...


    :popcorn:
     
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  18. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    I like confident, too, but look where his 15 interception statement got him last year.

    Just bring it on the field, Cro. The rest will follow.
     
  19. HEXEDBOLT

    HEXEDBOLT Don't like it, lump it!!!

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    Babe, I love you for your knowledge of the game. Dude just doesn't need to be starting chit, I know how that ends up and it ain't usually good.

    I know he was injured last year, and having many injuries myself I know how it affect's ones body. When you can't be who you are it messes with your mind. The next thing to go is the physical element. Things just ain't the same.

    Cro is magic with the ball in his hands and that's what I want to see. The dude can bring one back from anywhere on the field. Damn only if I had his size and speed on the field.
     
  20. BOLT POWER

    BOLT POWER Well-Known Member

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    Last year going in he it seemed to think he was so good from the 10 interceptions he didn't put the effort in it. All corners are a little cocky but he but when you play poorly and blame it on a bad hip, I got to hope he's working hard and that he's right.
     
  21. HEXEDBOLT

    HEXEDBOLT Don't like it, lump it!!!

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    We all witnessed where all Cro's talking got him last year, put up or shut up Cro. That's all I'm asking.
     
  22. TheLash

    TheLash Well-Known Member

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    shut up and play!
     
  23. zatoichi

    zatoichi BoltTalker

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    Just stay away from the ladies!
     
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  24. Sydalish

    Sydalish Addicted to Sports

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    I totally get where you're coming from - I'm just saying maybe we could cut him a wee bit of slack? Expect better from him and give him a chance to deliver before we totally tear him apart for every single interview/sound bite?

    If I'm wrong - I will be seriously pissed off :icon_evil: and will tear him a new one for sure - but for now I'm trying to be optimistic :yes:

    That said... is it football season yet? jebus... longest offseason EVER! :banghead:
     
  25. Dublin Bolt

    Dublin Bolt BoltTalker

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    7 kids under 5 by 5 different women!?.

    Ain't there no 'sex education' in the US?.

    Crazy, pure crazy.

    I so want Cro to succeed, methinks he'd be better off 'performing' on the field instead of the bedroom.
     
  26. Enormo

    Enormo BoltTalker

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    Ha! Maybe he got a bad batch of condoms. :lol:

    Maybe 7 kids will be motivation to be the best in the league. If he finishes his career with only a few million bucks in his back pocket he's still going to be broke.
     
  27. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

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    [​IMG]

    Exorcise program

    By Kevin Acee
    Union-Tribune Staff Writer
    2:00 a.m. July 12, 2009

    It's as if Antonio Cromartie is trying to erase 2008 with sheer determination and sweat. That he hopes to wipe clean the disappointing games, the hip fracture and the off-the-field complications that come with having seven children. Now, the Charger says he is fine-tuned, fit and ready to again be an elite cornerback.

    AGOURA HILLS – In the Santa Monica Mountains just north of Malibu, on a rolling patch of ground, with a tractor tire attached to a strap around his waist, Antonio Cromartie is backpedaling over a 70-yard stretch of dirt.

    He's 20 minutes into the first of three workouts he'll complete this day. It hurts already.

    “For the kids, baby,” he yells, a reminder to himself.
    There will be more times that Cromartie repeats that phrase in various states of agony in another long, exhausting and exhilarating day in the rebuilding of a Pro Bowl cornerback.

    Under a sun that has even bystanders wilting, in a gym where various stretches and contortions make muscles ache, in a mixed martial arts workout that borders on torture, Cromartie can see his future.

    “It's just motivation,” Cromartie would explain later. “In order for my kids to have a better life, it revolves around me.”


    Gary Wichard sits at his usual table outside a Westlake Village cafe talking about an old Chinese woman and the flag he had her place on a nearby hill visible from his seat.

    “It's feng shui,” he says.

    Whether he is serious is not relevant.

    The important thing is that Wichard's main purpose is bringing a sort of feng shui to Cromartie's existence.

    “I wanted to simplify his life and get him back to where he was healthwise,” he said of Cromartie, who last year approached Wichard and asked him to be his agent.

    To that end – and Chargers General Manager A.J. Smith will spit out his coffee reading such a thing about an agent – Wichard is probably the best thing to happen to Cromartie in some time. The fast-talking New York native has represented some of the NFL's top players and had a hand in the early guidance of Lindsay Lohan.

    No one disputes the physical pain and limitations Cromartie played through in 2008, a season that saw him intercept just two passes (both in the third game) and be the third-most burned defender in the league. This, after Cromartie in 2007 set a franchise record with 10 interceptions (plus two more in the playoffs) and made the Pro Bowl despite not becoming a starter until midseason.

    But what was revealed after the season to be a fracture in his right hip was only part of Cromartie's problem.

    All throughout the organization there were whispers that the then-24-year-old's head was not right.

    Cromartie is not the type to acknowledge difficulties as they're happening. One generally doesn't rise from a nomadic childhood in the projects to the NFL by stopping to talk about challenges.

    But sitting down between workouts last week, Cromartie acknowledged a less-than-focused drift through the 2008 season.

    “Last year my head wasn't in there,” Cromartie said. “I was dealing with my kids and their moms. It had my mind somewhere else.”
    There are a lot of directions to be pulled when you have seven kids living in five states.

    Cromartie has been named in at least five paternity suits in the past two years. Wichard said all of those have been addressed.

    “It's all part of the simplification process,” Wichard said. “Everyone will be taken care of.”

    Part of Wichard and his team's goal of simplifying has been to intervene with those who are making demands of Cromartie and explain the situation. Something like: If you want Antonio to truly take care of you and the kids, let him take care of himself first.

    Said Cromartie: “They handle it. It's a lot simpler.”
    It's simplification for responsibilities' sake.

    All of Cromartie's children are under 5. He embraces their existence. His locker is adorned with their pictures. He talks with them often.
    “The Lord has them here for a reason,” he said. “To not talk about my kids, it would be like I'm trying to hide something.”

    He acknowledged it hasn't always been so, but he is trying to take care of them financially.

    “It took me awhile to man up and say, 'I gotta do what I'm supposed to do,'and accept my responsibilities,” said Cromartie, who is not married or engaged to any of the mothers. “I can't point a finger at anybody else. I made a lot of bad decisions my first and second year in the league. I point a finger at myself.”

    Cromartie spent a month after the season at his home in Atlanta, where one of his sons lives. He says he sees the kids in California on a regular basis. The others, he misses, and he has great plans for their futures.

    But for now, there is simply simple.

    “My biggest thing this offseason is getting everything out of the way I need to get out of the way,” he said. “I'm focused. I'm doing things I'm supposed to be doing – taking that leap to trying to be one of the elite cornerbacks.”
     
  28. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

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    About 15 minutes into his MMA workout, Cromartie shows real distress for the first time all day.

    Brandon Bradley, Cromartie's workout partner, loses his breakfast after the day's first workout. Cromartie never even doubles over for more than a few seconds.

    When Bradley and Atlanta Falcons defensive end Jamaal Anderson sit down, huffing and puffing during a rest period at the gym, Cromartie is actually dancing.

    But in the MMA gym, sweat is puddling below Cromartie's face as the “warm-up” has morphed from a set of modified up-downs that includes a jump, into a series of bear crawls.

    Instructor Hector Peña, a 12-time kickboxing world champion, tells him he's done with a set of crawls, but Cromartie asks for another one.

    Peña will explain later, outside Cromartie's earshot, that he sometimes purposely shorts the number of reps to see which athletes correct him and which gladly take the gift.

    “I sometimes miscount to see what kind of mentality they have,” Peña said. “I test them. I play with their heads.”

    As the end draws near on a 45-minute session in which Cromartie would move from the bear crawls to hitting a heavy bag until he could barely lift his hands, then on to chasing and being chased by Peña around an octagon, the instructor looks up and says, “He's a great athlete. A great, great athlete.”

    Afterward, Peña adds: “He's one of a kind. He's an amazing athlete, and he works very hard.”

    Thing is, Antonio Cromartie wakes up a better athlete than 99.9 percent of the rest of us. Even in the NFL, he stands out as gifted. He is one of those rare athletes blessed with the grace and strength to make extremely difficult things look easy.

    He's 6 feet 2 and 214 pounds. His six-pack is really an eight-pack. The muscles on his arms have their own muscles.

    As impressive as the results of the past few months are – he's gained 12 pounds while decreasing body fat, down to 4 percent from almost 5 – it's like Wichard said: “This is not a total makeover.”

    No one should question Cromartie's work ethic. This is a guy who had reconstructive knee surgery (plus surgery to repair his hamstring) in July 2005 and eight months later ran a 4.38 40-yard dash at his pro day for NFL scouts.

    But Cromartie acknowledges he has never worked like this. Not even close.

    “Last year I didn't work out that much,” he said. “I was going here and going there. ... This year is more of a focused year. I'm trying to get everything in order, have a clear mind and play football. It's the best I've felt ever – physically, mentally, all the way around.
    Everything has been focused, looking straight ahead.”

    John Quiroz, the firefighter who owns the aforementioned hill and whom Cromartie introduced as “the drill instructor,” and Ryan Capretta, Cromartie's personal trainer, both marvel at the gifts and the drive Cromartie has shown this spring and summer.

    “Most guys improve over the course of two or three weeks; after two days he's a different guy,” said Capretta, who has worked for NFL teams. “With his genetics and his work ethic, he's one of the best athletes in the NFL, by far. ... There's no limit on what he can do.”


    An NFL coach is never pleased when a player decides to skip team-organized workouts. But even as Norv Turner expressed some disappointment over Cromartie's sporadic attendance at conditioning drills this spring, he was quick to add how impressive Cromartie looked when he did show up.

    There is no doubt why.

    There is breakfast every day with Wichard in Westlake Village, then a series of workouts depending on the day, five or six days a week since early March.

    The hill twice a week, field work twice, mixed martial arts twice, the gym five times, physical therapy four times and running the sand dunes in Ventura on Saturdays.

    One day last week, breakfast was at 8 a.m. and the MMA workout concluded at 3 p.m. Only lunch and driving interrupted the crazy-intense physical exertion.

    All the workouts are designed to simulate in an amplified manner the types of movements and muscle Cromartie requires as a cornerback. The focus is on strengthening his core and sustaining power endurance.

    He dragged a 115-pound tire as he ran 70-yard sprints, an 85-pound tire as he backpedaled the same route. He sprinted 50 yards up a hill pushing a wheelbarrow filled with eight 45-pound sand bags. He banged a giant sledgehammer against the big tire 10 times – from the top, then the side, then the other side. He threw a 45-pound tire around like a discus. He ran backward up a hill dragging the 85-pound tire.

    The workout, as Cromartie does it, almost must be seen to be believed.

    Bradley, Cromartie's high school teammate and now a cornerback at BYU, looked like a weekend warrior compared to Cromartie.
    “Let's just say it. It's true,” a laughing Bradley said later.

    Cromartie evidently unfettered his life in order to make it more feasible to punish his body. That's the second prong in this approach to becoming a better – and a healthier – player.

    When Cromartie first started working with Capretta, who directs all but the MMA workouts, his hip would give out at times.
    “I didn't have any confidence in it,” said Cromartie.

    A two-millimeter crack in the hip – suffered in the season opener – limited Cromartie to about a dozen full practices all season and made it so that an out route against him was easy pickings for opposing quarterbacks.

    There came a time last season when Wichard told him not to play, as did mentor Deion Sanders.

    “I need to make better decisions on how I play hurt,” Cromartie said. “I should have shut it down for a few weeks and let it get better. ... If that happens again I will just sit out.”

    He hopes time and work will prevent such a scenario in '09.

    “I'm getting my body to a point I can absorb a lot more and not be injury-prone,” he said. “A lot of stuff I do here prevents injuries by strengthening (muscles) and doing things right.”

    When his day is done, Cromartie smiles and says, “I recognize I'm getting exactly where I wanted to be or to be even better than I wanted to be. It makes you that much more excited for the season. I'm even excited for training camp.”

    Or, as he screamed out during the MMA workout, just before tearing off his shirt: “It hurts, but I love it. You've got to make sacrifices.”


    http://www3.signonsandiego.com/stories/2009/jul/12/1s12chargers01169/?chargers
     
  29. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

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  30. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    Impressive workout. :yes:
     
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