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hawaiiansteel
07-28-2012, 09:44 PM
Wide receiver Cotchery glad to help young, talented group

By Alan Robinson
Published: Saturday, July 28, 2012

http://triblive.com/csp/mediapool/sites/dt.common.streams.StreamServer.cls?STREAMOID=g4anc WC9GFPysh84k3sc1s$daE2N3K4ZzOUsqbU5sYvaV1u2p_OXvYt wxyScee_cWCsjLu883Ygn4B49Lvm9bPe2QeMKQdVeZmXF$9l$4 uCZ8QDXhaHEp3rvzXRJFdy0KqPHLoMevcTLo3h8xh70Y6N_U_C ryOsw6FTOdKL_jpQ-&CONTENTTYPE=image/jpeg

Steelers receiver Jerricho Cotchery cuts after a catch during practice at St. Vincent College July 27, 2012.

Jerricho Cotchery long admired Hines Ward from afar, the passion he displayed and the intensity he self-demanded while playing a skill position with the physicality and the mindset of a defensive player.

Cotchery found himself thinking, “Now that’s the way to play wide receiver.”

“He just plays the game the right way, tough, hard and physical,” Cotchery said.

After becoming Ward’s teammate with the Steelers last season, Cotchery’s respect for Ward grew even more because he saw how a player unaccustomed to taking off a single play suddenly had to adjust to taking off most of a game as his playing time shrunk during his final NFL season.

As the Steelers go about their first training camp since 1997 without the now-retired Ward, it is fitting that Cotchery is filling the role that Ward held for years as an effective possession receiver with a tough-guy personality and an ability to make difficult catches for first downs. Ward ended his career with 1,000 catches, the eighth most in NFL history.

Cotchery isn’t a carbon copy, but he’s close. An example: He started only one game with the Jets in 2009, yet he still caught 57 passes.

“It’s definitely going to be different without Hines. Steeler Nation has been seeing No. 86 on the field for the last 15 years, so it’s definitely going to be different,” receiver Emmanuel Sanders said. “Up in our receivers room, it’s definitely going to be different. But Jerricho, Antonio (Brown) and myself are going to lead the room in the right direction. The way Hines taught us.”

The way that the 30-year-old Cotchery played even before signing with the Steelers last August following his release by the Jets, his team since 2004. During a tight game against the Browns late in the 2010 season, Cotchery broke off a pass route after realizing quarterback Mark Sanchez was in trouble. Doing so, he tore a groin muscle, yet still managed to make a diving catch for a first down and Jets went on to win 26-20.

“I’m going to try to hold up my end of the bargain by showing up for work every day and making plays,” said Cotchery, who had a pair of 82-catch seasons with the Jets. “If the guys see that, maybe they’ll want to hold up their end, too, and that’s how you accomplish your ultimate goal.”

Cotchery found himself behind from the start when he injured a hamstring not long after signing. But he came on late in the season as he moved into Ward’s role, making 10 catches in the final four games and another for a 31-yard touchdown in the playoff loss to Denver.

He could have signed elsewhere following the season but agreed to a two-year contract with the Steelers.

“It was going to be a pretty tough sell to get me away from Pittsburgh. This atmosphere, I love it,” he said.

Cotchery, who will be used primarily as a slot receiver, is behind Mike Wallace, Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders on the depth chart. But Wallace is currently holding out, and Sanders is trying to get over previous problems with his feet, so the Steelers wanted to make sure they had a reliable receiver with experience and the ability to be an effective teacher to younger receivers.

Another Ward.

“There are many different pieces to the offense. I’m just another piece,” Cotchery said. “Those three guys are very talented, and I’m going to do everything I can to get the best out of them. They welcome that. That’s why they are the way they are. If Emmanuel can stay healthy, it can be a special, special group.”

http://triblive.com/sports/steelers/2265607-85/cotchery-ward-receiver-steelers-season-game-jets-catches-definitely-hines (http://triblive.com/sports/steelers/2265607-85/cotchery-ward-receiver-steelers-season-game-jets-catches-definitely-hines)

BradshawsHairdresser
07-28-2012, 10:09 PM
So glad we've got this guy in the fold.

ikestops85
07-29-2012, 12:15 AM
So glad we've got this guy in the fold.

Me too! He's one of those solid players you need to make your team really good. It's great to have stars but without the Ryan Clarks, Brett Keisels, and Jericho Cotcherys you don't have the glue that holds the stars together. That's why Dan Snyder's method of trying to buy a SB by signing every big name he could never worked. They didn't have the players that turn that talent into a cohesive team. Cotch is going to get his catches this year and the majority of them will be big time clutch plays.

Oviedo
07-29-2012, 08:46 AM
Resigning Cothery was a great move by the organization. He will be good for 50 catches and IMO he is one of those smart WRs who knows how to get open in the redzone. He also has what Wallace doesn't...leadership.

steelfin
07-29-2012, 09:19 AM
I think Cotchery can still be a productive receiver if given the chance. If Wallace was signed, I would like to see Wallace, Brown and Cotchery as the starting 3 WRs for this team...With Wallace out and Sanders on the verge of another injury I am sure we will see lots of Cotchery this year...

This may be much more important of a signing than we first thought....

steelz09
07-29-2012, 11:18 AM
As he saw more playing time, you saw the cohesion w/ Big Ben starting to form. The QB "trust factor" with his WRs is so important especially on third downs and I saw that grow especially w/ Brown and Cotchery last year. Sanders too but injuries are his problem.

Slapstick
07-29-2012, 11:58 AM
Sanders has ability...he was the leading receiver in the Broncos game and had a large part in the game plan in XLV before his injury...

I think he can stay healthy...

ikestops85
07-29-2012, 04:18 PM
As he saw more playing time, you saw the cohesion w/ Big Ben starting to form. The QB "trust factor" with his WRs is so important especially on third downs and I saw that grow especially w/ Brown and Cotchery last year. Sanders too but injuries are his problem.

I understand what you are saying about the trust factor. That is what Ben had with Sanders before his injuries started. If Sanders stays healthy i see them re-forming that bond. If not then it is great that we resigned Cotch. He is a valuable asset to this team.

squidkid
07-29-2012, 04:32 PM
i wish these guys writing the articles would quit talking about wallace being a steeler and how the depth charts go.

Sugar
07-29-2012, 05:03 PM
i wish these guys writing the articles would quit talking about wallace being a steeler and how the depth charts go.

Well, the problem is that Wallace is the #1 guy as soon as he shows up to camp. Him not being here is the elephant in the room that would be silly for them to simply ignore. While the Steelers can do that from a business standpoint it doesn't really work in the media.

hawaiiansteel
08-06-2012, 08:14 PM
Cotchery a leader at WR

Posted by Teresa Varley on August 5, 2012

When the Steelers reported to training camp a week ago one of the big questions was who is going to replace Hines Ward as the leader among the wide receivers.

The answer is simple – Jerricho Cotchery. Cotchery began to step up as a leader last year, but after Ward retired this offseason that role elevated. One thing Cotchery knows though is the best way for him to be looked upon as a leader, is to produce on the field.

“I think the leadership is not taken seriously unless you’re making plays,” said Cotchery. “I’m going to go out and I’m going to work and I’m going to show up every day. Hopefully the guys will see that.

“It’s all about winning a championship and what are you doing to help this team get there. I just want to hold up my end of the bargain showing up to work every day and making plays. If the guys see that maybe they’ll want to hold up their end of the bargain as well and that’s how we’re going to accomplish our ultimate goal.”

Cotchery signed a one-year deal with the Steelers after training camp started in 2011, but re-signed this year before the offseason programs began, giving him time to work with his teammates throughout and it’s helped tremendously.

“Last year I was just trying to figure everything out,” said Cotchery. “I was trying to meet people within the organization. Last year things were just moving so fast. We had an offseason this year to get familiar with the guys. They get familiar with me. That happened throughout the season, but that offseason work, you can’t replace it.”

http://blog.steelers.com/2012/08/05/cotchery-a-leader-at-wr/