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Steelers notebook: Jets' Cromartie expected to play

| Saturday, Oct. 12, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

New York Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie is expected to play Sunday against the Steelers despite being listed as questionable with a knee injury, ESPN reported.

Cromartie did not practice Friday. Jets coach Rex Ryan said Cromartie would be a game-time decision.

Cromartie, two-time Pro Bowler, injured his knee during practice Thursday.

Tebow played role for both Jets, Steelers

The Steelers were convinced they would win the Super Bowl after beating the Jets in the AFC Championship Game nearly three years ago. Coach Rex Ryan was certain his Jets would be in the Super Bowl a season later.

Neither happened. Now, with a combined 37-36 record since the Steelers' 24-19 AFC title game win in January 2011, both teams are scrambling for respectability.

“It does seem like a while ago,” Steelers defensive end Brett Keisel said. “Obviously that was a great game.”

What's remarkable is Tim Tebow ended up doing in both teams. The Steelers went 12-4 in 2011 but lost to the Tebow-led Broncos. That playoff upset loss may be topped in its surprise factor only by the AFC title game defeat to the Chargers in 1994.

The Jets admittedly became distracted after bringing in Tebow for no apparent reason during a drama-filled 6-10 season a year ago. At the same time, the Steelers were going 8-8.

Steelers receiver Jerricho Cotchery, a former Jets player, credits Ryan's leadership for a 3-2 start this season in which some predicted the Jets would be the NFL's worst team.

“He knows how to motivate and how to tap into that something in each guy that gets him to respond the way he wants to,” Cotchery said.

Good bye

Maybe it was the right time for the Steelers to take a week off. Under coach Mike Tomlin, they are 5-1 coming out of a bye.

“(You get) refreshed, refocused,” receiver Antonio Brown said. “You take some time to reflect where we're at and feel better about it. And here we are for a new opportunity and excited for this weekend.”

Alan Robinson is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at or via Twitter @arobinson_Trib.

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