Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery is on pace for a 1,000 yard season. Ok, well almost. At his current pace, Cotchery will gain over 900 yards (924 to be exact) if he plays all 16 games. Still, that’s pretty incredible when you think about where he’s come from over the last few years.
Cotchery joined the Steelers in 2011 – after having some pretty good seasons with the Jets from 2006-2009 but ultimately being released after a severe groin injury in 2010 and his request to be let go. Cotch, known for being a fairly good slot receiver due to his size and ability to cut across the middle of the field, had a bit of a rocky start after joining the Steelers – 16 catches, 237 yards, 2 TD’s in 13 games. However, he was a well respected and a well liked teammate in the locker room. And, when it seemed like the Jets wanted Cotchery back after releasing him just the season prior, his Pittsburgh teammates gave a collective ‘F*&# the Jets’ hoping Cotch would stay with the team for a few more seasons.
I’ve been adopted by the Steelers, man. From Day 1, they embraced me and they made me feel like I’m a part of this family. I’m a Steeler. – Jerricho Cotchery, CBS New York 10/11/2013
This is the final year of Jerricho’s two year extension, and he is potentially ending his career in Pittsburgh (not by his choice) with a bang. Cothcery has been Captain Consistency all season long despite the team’s woeful 0-4 start. He’s always had good hands and is putting them to use when quarterback Ben Roethlisberger slings the football his way. #89 has reeled in 65.5% of the passes thrown his way, and most recently went 5 for 5 against the Vikings and 4 for 4 against the Ravens (he was not thrown to during the Jets game). He’s been thrown at 29 times, caught 19 of those passes and only dropped one ball so far this season. He’s been sneaky against the defenses he faces and has been finding ways to hang underneath the pass coverage. Most importantly, he’s been instrumental to several key first downs over the course of the five games where he’s had a reception.
I hope that Roethlisberger continues to target Cotchery. Heath Miller is the usual ‘go to’ receiver for Big Ben, but Cotchery can still make plays at key moments of a football game. I believe that his continued use in the offense will help lead to Steelers wins. I just hope that Haley does not under utilize him now that Miller is back to full strength and Antonio Brown is picking up the pace in his own game. And by the end of the season, we may just see 1,000 yards (and perhaps a Steelers run at the playoffs…. too far???), his first 1,000 yard season as Pittsburgh Steeler and his first since 2007. Should Markus Wheaton and Derek Moye rise in the ranks, then this could be Jerricho Cotchery’s last season as a Steeler. If so, give’m hell, Cotch.
Stats taken from ProFootballFocus.com and NFL.com