Word of the Jets' trade for Braylon Edwards preceded his arrival at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center shortly before 2 p.m. Wednesday. And his new teammates were intrigued at the implications of getting such a dynamic player.
CB Darrelle Revis talked about the last time the two met up, back in Week 14 in 2007 in the Meadowlands, when Edwards got the better of the matchup with three passes for 63 yards, including a 45-yard bomb followed two plays later by a one-handed grab of a 4-yard touchdown pass.
"He torched me. He killed me. He got a touchdown pass on me," said Revis. "We lost the game. He has good upside. He's 6'3", 6'4", big-time threat to defending the pass. Teams have doubled him a lot because of his deep threat.
"Now we can go four wide. We have David Clowney, who's fast. We can put Jerricho [Cotchery] in the slot even more now. You can create mismatches with him. Then you have Braylon over on the other side. They might double him, they might not."
Mark Sanchez was eager to get working with him beginning at today's practice.
"Braylon's a great football player. He can stretch the field," the rookie quarterback said. "He's shown on film that he just makes great catches. Whether the ball is behind him, over his head, he has to dive — they are all catches. I am not planning on throwing anything too far out of reach.
TE Dustin Keller and RB Leon Washington talked about Edwards' blocking ability that is overlooked sometimes and how he can help the running game.
"He goes out there and gets involved in the running game," said Keller. "We've seen a lot of film on their offense, whenever we were playing the same opponent they played. He'll definitely get in there and block. He's a huge receiver so he can just dominate corners."
"I hope he comes in and takes two or three guys with him to help our running game," said Washington. "He's the right type of guy to help us get to our goal."
S Kerry Rhodes trusts in the organization to make the right decisions.
"It just shows what they're trying to do here," he said. "They're trying to win, they're not trying to wait, and we think we have the chance to win now and they went out to improve the roster. I think they did that with Braylon and we're going to miss the two guys that left, but it's all about winning in this league and you can't pass on a guy like that."
Cotchery was the most sought-after player, for obvious reasons. He talked about how the move could take the target off of his back as the No. 1 receiver.
"Coming in with the numbers over the first four games that I've had, teams are starting to pay a little more attention to me now," he said. "With Braylon coming in, they are going to have to choose what they want to do at this point in time. Whatever decision they make, it's not going to be good."
When a reporter speculated about his job security as the Jets' No. 1 receiver, Cotchery said, "I knew you were going to ask that. It doesn't change my role at all. I've been in this offense four years now. I know the ins and outs of this offense. I don't think it limits my catches or limits my yards or anything of that nature.
"There's going to be enough balls to go around, believe me. We had a lot of weapons before we made the trade and adding this type of weapon is going to make it that much more special.
Players also reflected a bit on the two great teammates they lost in the trade with Cleveland — WR Chansi Stuckey and LB Jason Trusnik. Sanchez was struck by losing his first pro teammates via a trade, including Stuckey, who caught his first NFL touchdown pass at Houston.
"I'm such good friends with Stuckey and so loyal to him and now he's gone. That's just the nature of this business. That's the first thing he said. He said, 'Hey, man, don't miss a beat. You're going to do awesome,' " Sanchez said. "I wish him the very best. He was a great player for us and I will always remember him and hopefully I'll be with him somewhere along the line. I know that they're both going to be great and we just added a great football player. We're excited.
After receiving several text messages this morning, Revis tweeted this at 11:02 a.m.:
I'm gonna miss chansi stuckey and jason trusnik. We were all in the same draft class when we came in the league.
Bart Scott is from Detroit along with Edwards and said he knows him quite well. He spoke briefly on the transaction, mentioning that he'd say more today, but first wanted to send out his good wishes to the departed Jets.
"I am excited but I'm also saddened losing a young guy that was working his tail off," he said of Trusnik. "He won every off-season award for being here and Stuckey was working really hard. I just want to be sensitive to his family. I saw how hard he took it. He was almost in tears. That's tough but it's the nature of the business."
Brad Smith performed side-by-side with both players, Stuckey on offense and Trusnik on special teams.
"I hate to lose guys like Stuck and Trusnik," said Smith.
Referring to Trusnik, he said, "He's a good enough player to start with his strength and he has a lot of drive. The sky is the limit for him. So far this year he's been playing lights-out and doing a great job on special teams for us. Coach Westhoff, I'm sure he's hurt about it. It's time for other guys to step up and try to fill that void."
As Cotchery's understudy last year and the No. 2 man on the WR depth chart this year, Stuckey and J-Co built a bond.
"The first thing I heard was that Stuckey was involved in the trade and everyone knows how I feel about Stuck," said Cotchery. "He was very good friend of mine. It was just sad to see him leave."
"Stuckey and Trusnik, we swung a lot of golfclubs together," Washington said. "That's the business part of it. You understand that. Chansi understands that, I'm sure Trusnik understands that. Now we've got a new guy here. We welcome him, we embrace him and hopefully he fits in our system quite well, which I'm sure he will, and hopefully we'll benefit from this."