Catching Up with Chansi

It hasn't been all that long since Chansi Stuckey was catching passes at Clemson. Actually, not even two years have passed ... but much has happened to this former Tiger receiver since then.

After being selected in the seventh round of the 2007 NFL Draft by the New York Jets, former Clemson wide receiver Chansi Stuckey was poised to have a big rookie season. Unfortunately, he broke his foot during the preseason that year and landed on injured reserve, forcing him to miss the entire season.

But the good news is all of that is now in the past. Stuckey is now 100 percent and making a little noise for the new-look New York Jets who now have future Hall of Famer Brett Favre under center.

In fact, in the Jets' first three games of 2008, Stuckey averaged just over 10 yards per catch and had also caught a touchdown pass in each of those games.

CUTigers.com caught up with him and here's what he had to say about a wide array of subjects:

First off Chansi, I know you look back on your time at Clemson fondly, but talk about that as we get started here.
Stuckey: It was a very memorable experience, the memories that I had with coming to Clemson. I really enjoyed myself and think I really grew a lot as a player and as a person.

What kind of impact did Coach Bowden have on you both on and off the field?
Stuckey: Coach Bowden does a great job of running the organization side of things. He runs a really disciplined program and treats everyone the same way. He has his favorite guys but he's always very fair.

You started in Clemson as a quarterback ... does any part of you miss being under center at all?
Stuckey: Zero. I don't miss it at all. I'm glad to be a receiver. I'm still learning but I don't miss quarterback a bit. I am still getting a lot out of catching passes.

How much does being a former QB help you as a receiver in the NFL?
Stuckey: It helps a lot. When you have people blitzing, you know what his reads are and what guys are doing in certain coverages. It helps to know how he thinks, does all his reads and everything like that.

Have you kept up with Clemson so far this year?
Stuckey: I watched the Alabama game. That's the only game I have been able to watch so far this year. I had a tough week after that week. All the guys were really on me after that one. But I have this thing on my phone where it keeps me updated on what is going on with them. It will also give me an alert when they're playing with stats and things like that when I'm not able to watch them on TV.

Former Clemson wide receiver Chansi Stuckey has caught three touchdown passes this season from future Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre.
Are you planning to make it back for a game this year?
Stuckey: I wanted to but I don't think I can because our off week is the same as Clemson's off week. We have the same bye week, so I don't know if that's going to happen.

How much do you and Justin Miller talk about "the good old days" in and around the locker room?
Stuckey: (laughing) We're always talking about Clemson. We always stick together. We have a lot of ACC guys here, so when he comes over, we can really gang up on people talking about them.

Has Justin helped you out a good bit since you first came in the league?
Stuckey: Early on, it was great because I was a rookie coming in and he was an older guy who had been here for a while and really understood what was going on and what I needed to do to make it in the NFL and things like that. He really helped me out a lot my rookie year. But I think now that I'm a little older, I do my own thing and do things my own way now.

Last year, you missed the entire year because of an injury. How tough was that experience?
Stuckey: Last year was very tough being on I.R. and being away from the game. But it was great just to see the game from a different perspective. I got to learn the game, be in meetings and got a full year to really go through seeing how a full season really is in the NFL.

Besides catching passes, you also return punts for the Jets. How do you like that added dimension of your game?
Stuckey: That's just that added value and something more that I can do. I like doing it because it helps keep me here in the NFL.

How do you like playing with Brett Favre so far?
Stuckey: It's great. Being on the same team and having a chance to play with somebody like that is incredible. He's one of the greatest quarterbacks of all-time who has had such a successful career. It has been incredible to play with him.

How much has Favre brought up your being a former quarterback?
Stuckey: Yes, he has brought that up. He asked about it one day when we were throwing the ball around. He said something about those old QBs. We kind of joke around about it.

Did you have to make any adjustments when you first moved to the Big Apple?
Stuckey: It was kind of an adjustment but we were living in Long Island and weren't really in the city. But when you go the city, it was definitely a big adjustment with all the people, traffic and learning how to find your way around. That was the main thing.

What's the biggest misconception the average fan has about life in the NFL?
Stuckey: That it's easy. When we say that we have to go to work, people look at us like what? It's seven days a week and we don't have weekends off like everyone else does. All everyone sees is that we play on Sunday. They don't see the hours and hours that we spend putting in each week in meetings and things like that.

What was your biggest on-field adjustment when you first got to the pros?
Stuckey: The speed of the game was the biggest adjustment. Learning the playbook and things like that for the first time were a big adjustment for me.

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