Antonio Cromartie
(Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)

Antonio Cromartie was around for the New York Jets’ last playoff trip. He believes this current crop of pass defenders can help get them back.

Having patrolled the area for five seasons, Antonio Cromartie knows a thing or two about heroics in the New York Jets secondary.

Interceptor of 13 passes during his tenure, he was around for the Jets’ last playoff trip in 2011, a postseason visit that ended in the AFC Championship Game.

The 11-year NFL veteran believes the current group of Jets pass defenders can help end the drought.

Speaking to Tyler Calvaruso of Jets Wire at CC Sabathia’s Charity Softball Game last week, Cromartie raved about the current crop of defenders, which welcomes invaluable free agent Trumaine Johnson to a group that returns a squad comprised of youth, talent and experience. 2017’s first-round selection Jamal Adams will lead the safeties alongside Marcus Maye, while veteran Morris Claiborne comes back for his second year in green.

“It’s going to be a good group. Once they grow into that, the sky’s the limit,” he said. Cromartie had some specific praise for Maye, last season’s second-round pick from Florida. “He’s just a guy that understands the game, plays very well, understands what offenses are trying to do and he can also go out and cover on the back end also.”

With 2018 possibly being a turning point for Jets football, one where the team can truly make up some ground on its AFC brethren, Cromartie stressed how important a sense of continuity will be to developing a truly strong defensive unit that can be a consistent threat for years to come.

“It’s all about trying to keep that group together,” Cromartie said. “Of course you have Maye and all of your guys that are there from the safety standpoint. You have to make sure you try to keep the corners there as long as possible. It’s something that’s going to take time. The communication has to be there and everyone has to understand not just by physical communication, but by body language.”

The Jets report to training camp on July 26.

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