PHOENIX -- Who Arizona’s next defensive coordinator is will influence cornerback Antonio Cromartie’s decision to return to the Cardinals -- if they want him.
“Honestly, I think it’ll play a role,” Cromartie said Wednesday at a Pro Bowl community event in Phoenix.
At the same time, however, Cromartie, who’ll turn 31 in April, said he can’t be picky about where he continues his career. Cromartie becomes a free agent in March and the Cardinals have yet to announce a replacement for Todd Bowles, their former defensive coordinator who was hired as the New York Jets' head coach on Jan. 13.
On Tuesday, coach Bruce Arians said he may name a new coordinator in the next week.
Once Bowles’ replacement is named, the four-time Pro Bowler will get a better idea of what style will be run -- and if it fits his personal preferences.
“It’s just a point of understanding what kind of defensive scheme it will be,” Cromartie said. “If it’s the same scheme as Rex Ryan and Todd Bowles, when you’re playing a lot of man-to-man and you’re putting your corners out on an island, that’s something that every defensive back thrives on.”
If Arians promotes a current assistant, Cromartie doesn’t expect the Cardinals' defense to change much, if at all, from the 3-4, blitz-heavy scheme Bowles ran the past two seasons.
“I don’t think the scheme is going to change at all,” Cromartie said. “I think everything is going to stay the same, just have a different person calling the game.
“And it’s all about calling the right game and understanding what we’re trying to do and go from there.”
Cromartie, who rated his 2014 as “pretty good” after four interceptions and 53 tackles, including the playoffs, said he hasn’t begun thinking about what his future includes -- or where.
“I’m not worried about it,” he said. “When contract talks start coming about, that’s when I can start talking about it. But right now, [I’m] enjoying the Pro Bowl and going from there.”