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Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Roethlisberger shows Cromartie some love

By James Walker
ESPN.com

PITTSBURGH -- Question: What do Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie and Ravens defensive end Terrell Suggs have in common?

Roethlisberger
Roethlisberger
Cromartie
Cromartie
Answer: They both dislike Tom Brady but really like Ben Roethlisberger.

For all the nasty and obscene name-calling Cromartie had last week for the Patriots' quarterback, the Jets' corner is doing a complete 180 this week with Pittsburgh's franchise quarterback.

"I love Ben, man. Ben's a competitor," Cromartie told New York-area reporters.

Roethlisberger continued the Jets-Steelers lovefest this week during his news conference on Wednesday.

"Well, I love him too," Roethlisberger said of Cromartie, prompting a room full of laughter. "I have a lot of respect for those guys, every single one of them on defense, because they're so good."

Suggs' disdain for Brady and respect for Roethlisberger also has been well-documented. Recently, Suggs hinted that Brady's three rings were tainted and called Roethlisberger, who has two rings, "a beast." Keep in mind Roethlisberger owns seven straight wins over the Ravens, which includes last week's 31-24 playoff victory.

But as Cromartie, Roethlisberger and head coaches Rex Ryan and Mike Tomlin have proven, don't expect many barbs leading up to Sunday's AFC Championship Game. Mutual respect and admiration have taken over this week with the Jets and Steelers.