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mesaSteeler
11-16-2011, 05:52 AM
Cotchery emerging as the new No. 3 receiver
http://www.timesonline.com/sports/steelers/cotchery-emerging-as-the-new-no-receiver/article_71ee1bea-e332-516f-bf37-4bd3344d7ed1.html?mode=print
By Mike Bires

mbires@timesonline.com
| Posted: Tuesday, November 15, 2011 12:00 am

PITTSBURGH — Time and again this season, Jerricho Cotchery heard Mike Tomlin’s “next man up” sermon. But never did he grow tired of hearing it. He believed that at some point it would be his turn to make a game-shaping play.

So it was Sunday when Cotchery caught his first touchdown pass as a Steeler in the 24-17 win over the Bengals.

“I just want to contribute,” said Cotchery, a 29-year-old wide receiver who spent the first seven years of his pro career with the New York Jets.

“Every guy in this locker room is important. That’s truly how it is. Coach preaches that all the time. I’m sure he preached it long before I got here. When you’re number is called, you’re expected to make a play.”

Cotchery signed with the Steelers on Aug. 14 right after negotiations with Plaxico Burress didn’t come to fruition. Burress became a Jet, and the Steelers signed the veteran route-runner Cotchery.

With Emmanuel Sanders out at the time with a stress fracture in his foot, the Steelers needed another body at wide receiver. They found one in Cotchery, who from 2006-2008, caught 82, 82 and 71 passes, respectively.

However, Cotchery pulled a hamstring in his first preseason game (Aug. 18 vs. the Eagles) and missed the first three games of the regular season. For the next four games, he played primarily on special teams. He finally caught his first pass in the Oct. 30 game against the Patriots when Hines Ward sat out with a sprained ankle and Sanders suffered a knee injury.

A week later against the Ravens, Cotchery got more chances. With Sanders attending his mother’s funeral in Texas out and Ward getting knocked out with concussion-like symptoms after a hit from linebacker Ray Lewis, he caught three passes for 44 yards.

Then against the Bengals, Cotchery scored the Steelers’ first TD on a 16-yard catch in the first quarter. It was his first touchdown since scoring for the Jets in a 24-19 loss to the Steelers last season in the AFC Championship Game.

Cotchery also had a 24-yard TD catch against the Bengals in the second quarter that was called back because of an offensive pass interference penalty on tight end Heath Miller.

“He’s a veteran, a savvy guy,” Tomlin said. “He’s a guy that we’ve been excited about since the day we acquired him. But he had some things (like the hamstring injury) that slowed him down early in the process. But he’s been a consummate professional throughout it all. He’s prepared himself and we’re just starting to see the signs of that preparation.”

“While I was out, I had the support of my teammates,” Cotchery said. “They kept telling me to keep working and to just take care of myself so I could get back out there on the field and help us down the stretch.”

With Sanders out indefinitely, it appears that Cotchery is the Steelers’ No. 3 wideout for the time being. At least he was Sunday. With Mike Wallace and Antonio Brown penciled in as starters, Cotchery saw time as the third receiver. Cotchery’s increased workload meant a decrease in playing time for Hines Ward.

“We’ve got a great set of receivers, and I think we’re going to be pretty dangerous coming off our bye week,” Cotchery said. “Hines will be back to full speed and later on down the road we’ll get Emmanuel back. So I’m really looking forward to that down the homestretch.

“We have a pretty good guy (in Ben Roethlisberger) behind center who can spread he ball around. So we feel good about that.”
Timesonline.com, Wednesday, November 16, 2011 6:51 AM

steelfury02
11-16-2011, 07:24 AM
as I've mentioned before - a former co-worker's son-in-law played with Cotchery and had nothing but great things to say about him as a teammate and a person in general. He is a very, very humble guy and very appreciative, great to fans, and a family man - already seems like a true Steeler to me

FanSince72
11-16-2011, 09:01 AM
I think that Cotchery is a very happy camper here.

I think the stability and dedication of the Steeler organization is just what he'd been looking for and he seems to be thriving because of it.
His years with the Jets were filled with uncertainty and an overall lack of direction not to mention the locker room politics, backbiting and the overall "goldfish bowl" aspect of playing in New York and it's hard to feel comfortable in a situation like that.

Here, I think he feels that he can actually relax and focus on being a great football player without the distractions and circus atmosphere of the Jets.

He's only 29 and not only has some great years ahead of him but also has the advantage of being in a great environment in which to grow.

For an under-publicized pickup, I'd say Cotchery coming here was a real boon for both he and the Steelers.

StainlessStill
11-16-2011, 09:14 AM
When we signed Cotchery I had to take a double look at it. I was that shocked we actually landed a player of his caliber that late in Training Camp. All season, I was just baffled that his talents were thought to be wasted since we have one of the best WR core in the NFL. Now that he's getting his chance, IMHO, he will replace Ward next season and we'll sign him to a multi-year deal. We got speed with Wallace, Brown and Emmanuel and Cotch will be our hard-nosed, possession receiver who is physical across the middle and in the red-zone. He's kind of like a younger Hines Ward. I just loved the pickup and LOVE that we have the opportunity with him on our lap for some years to come after Hines.

Third Rail
11-16-2011, 10:23 AM
Loving what I'm seeing from Cotch Rocket.

Fire Arians
11-16-2011, 10:32 AM
im surprised the jets let him go tbh, and more surprised when he was willing to play for us for the vet minimum

stb_steeler
11-16-2011, 10:35 AM
I think that Cotchery is a very happy camper here.

I think the stability and dedication of the Steeler organization is just what he'd been looking for and he seems to be thriving because of it.
His years with the Jets were filled with uncertainty and an overall lack of direction not to mention the locker room politics, backbiting and the overall "goldfish bowl" aspect of playing in New York and it's hard to feel comfortable in a situation like that.

Here, I think he feels that he can actually relax and focus on being a great football player without the distractions and circus atmosphere of the Jets.

He's only 29 and not only has some great years ahead of him but also has the advantage of being in a great environment in which to grow.

For an under-publicized pickup, I'd say Cotchery coming here was a real boon for both he and the Steelers.
I thought the jets cut him because of injuries?

steelfury02
11-16-2011, 11:43 AM
from what I've been told it ended very respectfully and somewhat mutual. He saw it coming with the injuries but also wanted a different atmosphere / new start

LVSteelersfan
11-16-2011, 11:53 AM
He knew he was going nowhere with less than 50% reception man Sanchez. Holmes and Burress get all the balls thrown their way. Cotchery was just an afterthought on the Jets. He feels wanted and will be a great contributor for us. I remembered him on the Jets catching pretty much anything that was close to him. I also was ecstatic when they picked him up. Now he is showing us that he can actually play the game.

FanSince72
11-16-2011, 11:58 AM
I thought the jets cut him because of injuries?

I don't know if they did or not.

I'm just sayin' that he seems much happier here and is probably glad to be rid of the three-ring-circus over there.

dcsteel5804
11-16-2011, 12:10 PM
So my question in the whole situation is; now that Cotchery is the 3rd / 4th (depending on Sanders' health) WR, does Ward come back next year?

Fire Arians
11-16-2011, 12:25 PM
So my question in the whole situation is; now that Cotchery is the 3rd / 4th (depending on Sanders' health) WR, does Ward come back next year?

ward might retire this year i think. he even probably knows himself that his time is running out, and that he is far back on the depth chart. if we win the super bowl this year im sure he'll retire

steelfury02
11-16-2011, 06:57 PM
will never be sure how much they think or talk about it among each other - but I'm sure they all know what a 3rd SB would mean to so many of these guys and it would make retiring easier.

SunshineMan21
11-17-2011, 12:27 AM
My impression is that Cotch pretty much saw the writing on the wall when the Jets picked up Burress. Weren't going to be any targets for him, especially because it's not like the Jets use a lot of three+ wide sets.

StainlessStill
11-17-2011, 12:40 AM
The Jets f'ed up bigtime in channeling over their offense to Sanchez. He is no different than a Chad Pennington, Romo or Palmer if you ask me. Always putting his team in awkward situations if relied on TOO much. They needed to stick to ground and pound. Now they are on the fence because of it. The kind of wideout Cotchery is, he would of helped Sanchez out because he's bigger and more physical than 'Tone and Plax.

Cotch was such an AWESOME pick-up. I feel we really lucked out.

IowaSteeler927
11-17-2011, 07:09 AM
Look at how the Jets are doing with out him. J-E-T-S SUCK SUCK SUCK!

LayingTheWoodley56
11-17-2011, 07:43 AM
I'm from New York so a ton of my friends are Jets fans. They all have nothing but good things to say about Cotch, shows up, focuses on his work and gets his done, hard worker, sure-handed. I was happy when we signed him and then wondering why we weren't seeing him more. It's great to see him making a difference in the offense, especially last Sunday. Keep it up Cotch.

stb_steeler
11-17-2011, 10:50 AM
I don't know if they did or not.

I'm just sayin' that he seems much happier here and is probably glad to be rid of the three-ring-circus over there.

Yep, the Jets gave up a good one....:thumbsup:

Fire Arians
11-17-2011, 11:10 AM
anyone think we'll be able to keep him though? we need to resign wallace which will probably cost a lot of money. I doubt cotch will sign for the vet minimum again, and if brown keeps producing the way he is, he will ask for more money also

wera176
11-17-2011, 11:22 AM
It's great to see him making a difference in the offense, especially last Sunday. Keep it up Cotch.

Those two tipped passes he caught against the Ravens were eye-openers for me. You really don't see too many receivers, even good ones, catch a lot of those and here this guy catches 2 of them in 1 game.

The Jets have been good to us, Farrior and now Cotch... Although they have gotten a few good ones from us too...

theplatypus
11-17-2011, 11:31 AM
So my question in the whole situation is; now that Cotchery is the 3rd / 4th (depending on Sanders' health) WR, does Ward come back next year?


Doubtful, 4-5 million is way too much money for a #4 or 5 and we're already facing salary cap hell. My bet is at the very least Ward, Foote, Farrior, Hoke, and Allen are seeing their final days as members of the Steelers.

Buddha Bus
11-17-2011, 04:27 PM
Anyone else think that maybe Ward has already told the team that he plans to retire at the end of this season? I think that may be why we signed Cotchery... as a vet replacement for the out-going Ward. We have great young WRs, but it's always nice to have a physical, dependable vet with sure hands in pressure situations.

I find it hard to believe that Cotchery came here to be the #4 or #5 receiver on the depth chart when he could have gone a lot of other places for more money and playing time, unless he was promised a more prominent role in our offense by next year at the latest. They may have assured him that Ward was going to be retiring and that they needed him to fill the void he will leave behind.

MasterOfPuppets
11-17-2011, 05:28 PM
there's no way ward comes back next season. he's thrived with a chip on his shoulder which was put there early in his career because the steelers kept trying to replace him ( burress , edwards ). he's got to much pride to watch from the sidelines.
honestly i think the only reason he came back this year was to get those 1000 receptions.

jjpro11
11-17-2011, 11:08 PM
bet he's happy as shit after watching Sanchez and the Jets play like garbage against the Broncos.. it must be nice to have a real QB throwing him the ball.

StainlessStill
11-17-2011, 11:21 PM
The Jets/Sanchez are complete GARBAGE. Eliminate another team we would crush. IMHO, the AFC will come down to Pittsburgh/N.E/Baltimore.

bubbletownwr88
11-19-2011, 04:14 PM
This is definitely Ward's last year, i'm sorry to say it

Whodis
11-19-2011, 04:30 PM
This is definitely Ward's last year, i'm sorry to say it

I'm with you..... I just want to see Hines go out on his terms or his way

Cotchery is such a big target. Nice pickup

steelfury02
11-19-2011, 08:47 PM
I actually thought if they would have won XLV (#3) there would have been a mass exodus. All I gotta say is that it (3rd ring) will come this season or next couple of seasons so enjoy this group while you can

Changing of the guard