A conversation with Jerricho Cotchery

In the fourth round of the 2004 draft, the Jets selected North Carolina State wideout Jerricho Cotchery. He had a superb career for the Wolfpack hauling in 200 catches, but slipped in the draft because of his speed. Will his suspect 40 time be an issue on the NFL level? Here is a conversation with the affable wideout where he answers that and other questions:<p>

Q)Talking to scouts, it seems like the Jets were clearly the team that showed the most interest in you prior to the draft . . .

Cotchery: The Jets were definitely the team that showed the most interest. During the interviews at the combine, they were the team that made me feel the most wanted. So I was definitely thrilled to be drafted by them.

When you are a player, you want to feel wanted by a team. I have strong feelings about the Jets, so I'm happy to be a Jet.

Q)What do you think your role might be with the team this year?

Cotchery: When you are drafted in the later rounds, it's all about special teams. They expect you to come in right away and contribute on special teams.

My senior year, I played a lot in the slot, so I'm thinking they may work me behind Wayne Chrebet and then later on, whenever he retires, they'll probably place me in there.

Q)One knock from some scouts is that you lack ideal speed. What is your take on this?

Cotchery: I think my field speed is definitely completely different than my 40 time. Actually, at the combine in Indianapolis, I ran pretty well. The Jets saw the big improvement I made in my speed, so I think that made them like me even more. I feel my speed is pretty fast, but everybody is going to continue to say the same thing. As long as you're a productive, that will erase the criticism.

Q)Growing up in the deep south, how do you like now living in New York?

Cotchery: I'm thrilled. I'm from Alabama, so when I saw everything moving so fast with all the lights, it's a little crazy. But I fell in love with [New York] once I came here. I also have family in New York.

Q)One aspect of your game that has been praised is your fearless nature over the middle . . .

Cotchery: Throughout my career at N.C. State, that was what I mostly did. But despite what people say about my speed, I did go deep, but most of the time I was working the middle because I wasn't scared to go across the middle. I think the Jets saw that I wasn't afraid to do that, and I think they like receivers like that.

Q)You are friends with former N.C. State receiver Torry Holt, who is now a star for the St. Louis Rams. What advice did he give you about the NFL?

Cotchery: You have to sell your routes more. You can kind of have your way in college, but up here you've got to work hard on your routes. You have to sell every route you run in order to get open. He said you have to be faster out of your cuts because in this league the [defensive backs] will be all over you.

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