How does Cromartie plan to deal with Ward? Well choke him, of course.

Pittsburgh Steelers receiver Hines Ward (86) catches this second quarter pass and runs it in for a touchdown against the Miami Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium in Miami on October 24, 2010. UPI/Michael Bush

I thought the Jets were being rather quiet this week. Turns out they were just waiting for Sunday to talk a little trash.

The Jets’ defensive backs are well aware of Hines Ward’s reputation of throwing blindside blocks and will apparently look to deliver a message to him early.


“We’re going to deal with him early so he knows what type of game it’s going to be, and that none of that stuff is being tolerated,” Jets safety James Ihedigbo said.

Like a tone-setting hit?

“Hell yeah,” the safety said.

Safety Eric Smith hesitated to say what would happen if Ward serves up any cheap shots on Sunday. Why? Because Smith is worried such words might incur a fine from the league.

“If I finish what I said and then do what I planned on doing, I’m going to get fined,” Smith said.

Cromartie said that he doesn’t really care if Ward hits opponents with blindside blocks — as long as he can hit back.

“I really don’t care. You smash him in the mouth, he’s going to smash back, whatever,” Cromartie said. “Does he do it while you’re not looking? Yeah, he does. But who doesn’t?”

The Jets corner allowed that Ward’s hits “can be” dirty. When such hits occur, Cromartie suggests that players “grab [him] by the throat and choke [him].”

Only the Jets could make a conference championship game even more interesting than it already is.

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