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Cotchery Welcomes the Additions to His Family


Cotchery works through the Packer defense

Jerricho Cotchery knows a thing or two about good acquisitions and he's given his stamp of approval on the Jets' free agency splash.

"I'll tell you what — I'm pumped up, man. I'm pumped up with the moves we're making. I feel like they're good moves," he said. "I always felt like [Mike] Tannenbaum and Coach Mangini knew what they were doing."

With just 10 days remaining until the Jets return for spring workouts, Cotchery isn't exactly relaxing. He's in Tempe, Ariz., training at Athletes Performance with a number of other players, including a new teammate. When reached this week, he spoke of the new Jets including an old college rival.

"I played against Calvin Pace in college, and he played out here with a couple of my teammates and a couple of guys I know out here in Arizona. They were sad he was leaving," Cotchery said. "I'm familiar with Faneca and with Woody. Damien Woody is actually out here training with me, so I had a chance to talk with him. It's been fun, man. I'm excited about the moves we've been making and it looks like its going to be a good off-season for us."

And that was before Cotchery was told the Jets had also signed FB Tony Richardson, a three-time Pro Bowl player and one of the better character guys in the NFL.

"I didn't even know about that move," he said. "I met Tony Richardson at [Jets RB coach] Jimmy Raye's event that he has every year, so I've known him for a couple of years now. It's going to be fun. That just goes to show you that those guys are trying to something around there. That's the reason I signed back there last year, because I knew they want to make the right moves to get us in position to do some good things."

Cotchery's heard plenty of good news recently. His daughter, Jacey, whom Jerricho and Mercedes adopted back in September, is going through a wonderful stage of development.

"It's been a blast. I've had a lot of fun with her," J-Co said of fatherhood. "I guess every baby starts off saying the little 'da-da' sound, but they don't know they're saying it. But I just pretend she's calling me every time she's making that sound. She goes crazy, saying 'da-da-da' all the time. It's been fun playing with her every day."

But the 25-year-old wide receiver, whose 1,130 yards receiving last season were a career high, hasn't been able to see her of late. Work has brought him to the desert for a few weeks, so his parenting has been relegated to phone calls.

"Every time we're on the phone, Mercedes will put the phone to her ear if she's awake. But she doesn't know what's going on," he said. "She's trying to grab the phone and eat it, I guess."

When spoke with Cotchery, he was expecting a visit from Mercedes later that afternoon. The cross-country trip would have been too much for Jacey, who stayed in New York and was going to be looked after relatives, and her dad was looking forward to coming home.

"I missed the heck out of both of them," he said. "I have a lot of pictures out here with me but that's the tough part, being away from them."

A proud dad, Cotchery appreciates the rewards of the adoption process. That's why he cleared space in his schedule to visit recently with Travis, a 10-year-old who resides in a foster home and is a huge Jets fan.

"These kids are in the greatest spirits. I got my daughter when she was eight days old. I wasn't familiar with the adoption process with all the kids," Cotchery said. "It's hard because all those kids just want a family and they want to be young. If I can help in any way to help someone else see that spirit, I'll definitely try to do that."

As part of the Freddie Mac Foundation's national effort to increase adoptions of children in foster care, Travis was profiled on New York TV station WNBC's "Wednesday's Child" segment when he met up with Cotchery inside the Jets' practice bubble. Cotchery, who aspires to be coach when his playing days are through, actually worked on some D-line drills with Travis.

"He chose the right position because he's a big guy. I was trying to show him some of the position drills that I've seen the defensive linemen do when we warm up at the beginning of practice," said the offensive star. "He liked all the drills that we did and I think he had a lot of fun."

And so did Cotchery. He's excited over the Jets' recent movement and would be elated if Travis finds a permanent home.

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