GLENDALE, Ariz. — Antonio Cromartie was this close to picking off a Matt Ryan pass late in the third quarter of Sunday’s NFL Pro Bowl at University of Phoenix Stadium.
Instead, the ball bounced off his hands and rolled toward Cromartie’s Arizona Cardinals teammate, Patrick Peterson.
Peterson, who was in position to make a play on the ball had Cromartie not deflected it, picked up the ball and threw it at Cromartie.
“Yeah, I thought he was going to catch it so that’s why I really wasn’t tuned all the way in because I was ready to go block for him, but he freaking dropped the interception,” Peterson said with a laugh.
“That’s why I threw it back at him, and he still dropped it!”
“When I see him pick it up I already knew what was coming,” Cromartie said. “I put my hands up quick.”
Peterson added he and Cromartie rag on each other all the time for dropping interceptions, which is why he threw the ball back to his teammate “pretty hard.”
Cromartie said he and Peterson just “bust out laughing” when it happened, which, in a way, underscores what the Pro Bowl is all about.
Yes, everyone would like to play well and ultimately win the game. The night ended with Team Irvin knocking off Team Carter 32-28. While all four Cardinals — Peterson, Cromartie, Calais Campbell and Justin Bethel — were on the losing side, it does little to diminish the experience.
“It’s fun. You come out here and enjoy yourself, you run with a couple of guys that you play with in the league for a while, you see some new faces, guys that are making the Pro Bowl for the first time, and you get to enjoy it,” said Cromartie, who played in his fourth Pro Bowl on Sunday. “You get to spend some of their money when you’re poolside and everything else.”
But it sure would have been nice to add an interception to the experience.
“I just dropped it, damn,” Cromartie said with a smile. “Can’t say nothing about it, I just dropped it.”