The Jets might be playing on the road this weekend, but Jerricho Cotchery will have a ton of support inside the New Orleans Superdome.
"I'm going to have a lot of family there. I'm setting my number [of tickets] around 30," Cotchery said on this week's Jets Radio installment of "Jets Two-Minute Drive." "If I can keep it at 30, it will be great. That's just brothers and sisters and nieces and nephews — not even friends. It will be fun playing in front of your family and trying to make some things happen in front of them."
Growing up in Birmingham, Ala., Cotchery was the second-youngest of 13 children. Now the 27-year-old, already a grizzled NFL veteran in his sixth pro season, has a family of his own with wife, Mercedes, and their beautiful 2-year-old daughter, Jaycee.
"Every time I leave the house, she says, 'Daddy play football.' It's a lot of fun when your daughter is recognizing those types of things," J-Co said. "When you get home, she just wants to jump in your arms and jump on top of you and have fun with you. It's fun when I leave the facility and go to the house."
While Dad might be a little reserved, Jaycee definitely has discovered the gift of gab.
"She's doing a lot of talking right now. It's 24 hours," said Cotchery. "I think she talks in her sleep as well."
Jets Nation should be able to rest well because Cotchery is not only in a comfort zone off the field but on the field as well. His 285 receiving yards are the third-best total in football and the Green & White's No. 1 wideout is on pace for 96 receptions and 1,520 yards.
"I think Coach [Henry] Ellard has been a blessing to me, helping me out with a lot of things and the way we've been communicating with each other," said Cotchery. "He's been helping me recognize a lot of things as far as my technique and everything being a receiver, and I've been trying to apply that every Sunday I step out there. A lot of things have come together for me."
Considered by many to be just a possession target, Cotchery is averaging 15.8 yards per catch (Randy Moss is picking up 10.8 yards a grab) as he's "The Guy" for the first time in his career. He's a good route runner and a tough wideout who never thinks twice about putting himself in harm's way.
"I'm not even thinking about a defender, I'm not thinking about anything else but catching the ball. That's what separates a lot of guys when they're going across the middle — their focus on the ball," he said. " That's what I focus on, just making the catch for the quarterback. Every time the quarterback drops back, he knows that his guy is going to make that play for him."
The summer up in Cortland prepared Cotchery for the regular season. It was there in Central New York where J-Co would face the NFL's best corner, Darrelle Revis, play after play.
"He prepares for you like an opponent, so every day he's trying something different. The thing that you beat him on the day before is not going to work twice on him," Cotchery said of the battles. "Every day you have to be aware of what he's going to do because he's changing it up as well. I was preparing for him like he was an opponent as well. There were some fierce battles out there and you know you're going to get better in the end."
One of the classiest guys in the sport, Cotchery has found a comfort zone. The Saints will have to account for him or else you'll probably see a whole section of No. 89s whooping it up down by the French Quarter.
Cotchery Invites You to a Tailgate
Jerricho and his wife, Mercedes, will host The Cotchery Foundation's second annual "Tailgate with the Pros" at ESPNZone in Times Square on Monday, Oct. 19, from 7:30–10:30 p.m.
There'll be plenty of folks on hand to enjoy Monday Night Football, great food and entertainment provided by comedian Michael Jr. Cotchery will also bring some of your favorite Jets players along with local sportscasters Sam Ryan and Joe Benigno.
All proceeds raised from this event will benefit underprivileged children by funding enrichment programs and enhancing educational opportunities through two outstanding organizations in the tristate area: Citizen Schools and Pride Academy Charter School.
To confirm your appearance or to buy tickets for The Cotchery Foundation's "Tailgate With The Pros," you can click here now.