Jerricho Cotchery “Didn’t Fit In”…Really?

By Alan Schechter

Jerricho Cotchery has taken his feelings about the Jets public.  His accurate feelings?  I am not so sure.

Jerricho, in talking with the Pittsburgh media today, stated that he “..didn’t really see himself fitting in.”  He said he needed a change of scenery.  Things are perfect in Pittsburgh if you ask Cotchery.

“That’s exactly why I came here — to play for a Super Bowl contender,” Cotchery said. “And the atmosphere. The way they handle their guys over here, it’s something I need at this time. It’s the best atmosphere for me to thrive in as a player and as a person.”

Let’s really look at what he is saying though.  “A Super Bowl contender”.  An interesting comment to make when you leave a team that went to the AFC championship game twice in a row, in favor of a team that yes, went to the Super Bowl last year, but didn’t make it even to the championship game the year before.

“Fitting in” is also an interesting idea.  Look at the depth chart.  Staying with the Jets, Cotchery would have been the 3rd receiver, behind starts Santonio Holmes and Plaxico Burress.  He would have gotten plenty of playing time.  Now he moves to Pittsburgh, where at best, he will be a third receiver as well, behind Mike Wallace and Hines Ward.  It really doesn’t make any sense to say that he was a bad fit here, and a good fit there.  It’s a lateral move.

Go back to the story that came out after his release.  He was going to Mike Tannenbaum and coach Ryan at the combines in February, saying he wanted to be a starter again.  He had to know that wasn’t likely, with Santonio, and Braylon at the time, now with Plaxico.  What else came out at the time of the story?  That the team asked him to take a pay cut, and he said no.  That is the crux of the story.

Jerricho thought he was being “disrespected”, because of his years on the Jets, and his faithful service.  He was a great Jet, don’t get me wrong.  If being “disrespected”, is being asked to take a salary of around $900,000, then disrespect me every day of the week.  If you are a team player, then you do whatever it takes to win, whether it’s less money, or a diminished role.  It didn’t stop Mark Sanchez from volunteering to redo his contract, or LaDanian Tomlinson from volunteering to take a reduced role on the team.  That’s what being a team player is all about.  That’s the type of guy we want around this team.  That’s how you “play like a Jet”.

Jerricho Cotchery will always be remembered as a good performer on the field in his time with the Jets.  But he is not a team guy.  He doesn’t have to be, many players aren’t.  But this is not who we want on the Jets.  Good luck seeing the field down in Pittsburgh Jerricho.