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Paths converge yet again for Rivers, Jets WR Cotchery

Discussion in 'American Football' started by Johnny Lightning, Sep 21, 2008.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

    Feb 7, 2006
    Even before they'd met and become trusted teammates and friends, they'd met.
    In addition to being the Alabama Player of the Year in football his senior year at Athens High, Philip Rivers was a hot-shot basketball player whose greatest challenge one night was just to get the ball up the court against the quicker, smaller guy covering him, Jerricho Cotchery of Birmingham Phillips High.
    “I was checking him the whole game,” said Cotchery, now a receiver with the New York Jets. “I shut him down.”
    About to play against Cotchery again Monday night, Rivers does not dispute the account, but will amend it to include the reason Cotchery was assigned to guard him so closely that night.
    “The game before against them, I had something like five threes,” said Rivers. “The next game, he picked me up when we took the ball out and he was all over me. I was miserable. I think I had about five points and fouled out.”
    The two of them found out they worked even better together as a team – a team within the football team at North Carolina State. With all the throws coming from Rivers, Cotchery was one of the most prolific receivers in ACC history with 200 catches.
    “He was my guy,” Rivers said. “It got to the point where, we were within the scheme, but it was just me-to-you, backyard stuff.”
    Years later, they're still almost completing each other's sentences and thoughts, if not passes.
    “He's a cool dude,” Cotchery said. “We had a great chemistry When you're on the same page, it's hard to stop. Philip and I developed that. There were times when we weren't even talking, just looking at the coverage or looking at the cornerback, he'd give a look and I'd know where to run.”
    Cotchery has caught 82 passes in each of the past two seasons and has become more of a deep threat to complement Laveranues Coles. They're still in the process of developing the aforementioned type of bond with their own new quarterback, Brett Favre, who has been with the Jets for less than two months, with Cotchery already on the receiving end of a 56-yard touchdown connection from Favre.
    “He spreads the entire field and keeps everyone honest on the entire defense,” Cotchery said. “In some offenses you have clear-out routes and guys that know they're not going to get the ball – they're just trying to make a lane for the next receiver – but the clear-out guy can get the ball with Brett. That creates another weapon.”
    All week, Cotchery has been watching film of Denver Broncos receivers having their way with the Chargers secondary, including 18 catches by Brandon Marshall alone. Now that it's the Jets' turn, Cotchery said he isn't reading too much into that or the Chargers' winless record.
    “I think they got off to a slow start last year,” Cotchery said, “but once they got to that Colts game on “Monday Night Football,” they just turned it up another notch. We understand what type of players they have. They've had a great program since I've been in the league, tons of talent. So we're not really buying too much into it because they've given up a certain amount of yards.”
    For the first time all week, strong safety Clinton Hart put his injured left hand to the test of catching passes Saturday and had little problem receiving or holding onto the ball despite a cast covering most of his forearm, wrist and area around the thumb.
    Hart plans to start Monday's game with a smaller version of the hard cast. He also knows how the very sight of the cast might make him more of a target for an opportunistic quarterback such as Favre.
    “Believe me, I'm expecting it. But I'm ready. I'm expecting to get my hands on some,” Hart said with a grin. “We've got a great cover guy in (free safety) Eric Weddle. Anytime that I have to cover, I'll say, 'Eric, go get him. I'll stay in the post.' ”
    Running back LaDainian Tomlinson and left offensive tackle Marcus McNeill both reported progress after another day of working out with the first unit. Each is expected to start Monday, McNeill for the first time since he was shut down in early August with bulging disks.
    “I'm leaving it to the discretion of the head coach,” McNeill said, “but I'm 100 percent.”
    Tomlinson said his foot with the damaged toe “feels better, so much better than a week ago,” though he didn't completely rule out the possibility of some limitations tomorrow night.
    “He looked good, quick, sudden,” coach Norv Turner said. “Obviously, the issue is sustaining it and how long it feels that way.”
    Meanwhile, running back/kick returner Darren Sproles was listed as “probable” for the game, but he was held back somewhat in yesterday's practice due to a strained hamstring.
    “Running for 380 (total) yards in a game,” Turner said, “you get a little sore.”
    The Chargers already know they'll have the Jets beaten in one rather difficult aspect of life in the NFL. While the Jets have noted that this is the first of three cross-country trips for them to the West Coast and that they'll travel approximately 25,000 miles in the regular season, the Chargers have games at Buffalo, Miami, Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay. And then there's that game against the New Orleans Saints, a short hop away in London, England.

  2. VikingBolt

    VikingBolt BoltTalker

    Oct 8, 2006
    I don't remember so many injuries last year. And then we have to go all that way to England and play, hope the European air heals them all.
  3. matilack

    matilack Take A Knee McCree!!!

    Aug 14, 2006
    Its time for something to go right.

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