Perhaps Antonio Cromartie isn’t the only New York Jets player who can play all sides of the ball.
The versatile cornerback and occasional special teamer has been taking reps at wide receiver in the past few weeks, trying to prove that he can be a weapon in every aspect of the game.
This week, Cromartie scored his first NFL touchdown. Well, sort of. He did score a touchdown, albeit in 7-on-7 drills on a throw from third-string quarterback Greg McElroy.
“I’m just trying to get the technique part down and have fun with it,” Cromartie said. “I’m dead serious [about playing receiver]. This is something I want to do, play both ways.”
However, Cromartie wasn’t the only defender who worked his way into the offensive huddle at times this week.
Second-year linebacker Nick Bellore, who was a special teams standout as a rookie, got some reps at fullback during red zone drills, something that the Jets are experimenting with in camp.
“Yes, we have been working Nick some at fullback,” head coach Rex Ryan commented. “He’s been staying after practice working with [running backs coach] Anthony Lynn.”
“Sometimes you have to find depth in different ways. The same way with Cro at wide receiver. If you go into games and somebody goes down, you need to plug somebody in.”
Right now, “the Terminator,” John Conner is the only true fullback on the Jets roster, even before the upcoming first roster cutdown day.
H-back Josh Baker is the backup fullback at the moment, and he’s essentially a tight end learning the fullback position as well.
I doubt that Bellore, who’s currently on the Jets’ second-team as an inside linebacker, will become a full-time fullback. But it’s certainly interesting to see if he’s capable of learning the position in case of emergency.
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