Thursday, April 2, 2009

More from the Locker Room

Just got out of locker room session number two. Nick Mangold is awaiting responses to the golf poll from my previous post, so please weigh in.

Following up on my notes about Mangold's hair, I have neglected to update the fact that Alan Faneca has both cut his hair and shaved off the mustache/beard thing he had going all of last season. Why, you ask? His three-and-a half-year-old daughter asked him when he was going to "throw his mustache in the trash." Being the great dad that he is, he got rid of it then and there.

Then I went and had an actual football conversation with Jericho Cotchery. My first question was how he feels about everything heading into the 2009 season. He looked at me and just grinned. Cotchery told me that he has been officially designated the team's number one receiver, so it's more than just the obvious assumption.

The Jets selected Cotchery in the fourth round of the 2004 Draft, but not a lot of attention was paid to him for a while. Toward the end of that season, then Head Coach Herman Edwards started to notice the talent Cotchery was starting to display (in fact, I remember sitting in the press conference where Edwards poked fun at himself for not noticing Cotchery's progress sooner) and insisted that the team find some way to get him on the field. Special Teams Coordinator Mike Westhoff approached Cotchery and asked him, "Can you return punts?" Never having done it, Cotchery of course, answered, "Sure."

Over the past four years, everyone has watched Cotchery work his way up the depth chart, behind Wayne Chrebet, Justin McCareins and Laveranues Coles, becoming an incredibly reliable and consistent receiver.

Off the field, he is not one of the boisterous personalities in the locker room but the other players love him, he's always accessible and easy to talk to.

As for the quarterback situation, while Cotchery and the other members of the offense aren't saying anything against Jay Cutler, several of them have told me that they'd really like to see Kellen Clemens get a shot at the job. They feel that 2007 wasn't really a fair way to judge, given all the problems with the offensive line.

As for all the Cutler trade rumors swirling around, Darrelle Revis and I had a conversation and he told me unequivocally that the only place he wants to play is for the Jets.

I spoke to an agent last night who told me that while a player has no say when he's under contract, teams generally don't like to bring in a player who adamantly doesn't want to be there.

I'll let you know if I hear anything.

And...congratulations to Jason Trusnik who gets married on Saturday!

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