“Backyard Baller” and NC State college standout shined alongside Phillip Rivers between 2000 and 2003. Amassing 200 catches for a whopping 3,119 yds, Cotchery ranks 2nd all-time in Wolfpack history only to Tory Holt.
|1||2003-08-30||North Carolina State||Western Carolina||W||5||62||12.4||1|
|2||2003-09-06||North Carolina State||Wake Forest||L||9||173||19.2||1|
|3||2003-09-13||North Carolina State||Ohio State||L||4||44||11.0||2|
|4||2003-09-20||North Carolina State||Texas Tech||W||3||56||18.7||0|
|5||2003-09-27||North Carolina State||North Carolina||W||9||217||24.1||1|
|6||2003-10-04||North Carolina State||Georgia Tech||L||5||71||14.2||1|
|7||2003-10-11||North Carolina State||Connecticut||W||4||55||13.8||0|
|8||2003-10-16||North Carolina State||Clemson||W||2||55||27.5||0|
|9||2003-10-25||North Carolina State||Duke||W||9||117||13.0||0|
|10||2003-11-01||North Carolina State||Virginia||W||7||111||15.9||1|
|11||2003-11-15||North Carolina State||Florida State||L||10||135||13.5||2|
|12||2003-11-22||North Carolina State||Maryland||L||6||102||17.0||0|
|13||2003-12-22||North Carolina State||Kansas||W||13||171||13.2||1|
The Pittsburgh Renaissance:
What we got:
Cotchery has been a quiet presence in the NFL. He was the quiet, productive guy that wasn't ever a star, but never fully appreciated either. Cotchery's best opportunity to impose himself as a #1 receiver came in a time when the Jets' offense struggled to find an identity. When the Jets did finally found success under Rex Ryan, the offense was never the primary reason driver. It was a tough nailed defense that backed a ground and pound offense. What should have been his best years were undermined by inconsistent quarterback play and playing for teams that never manufactured consistent offensive production. In some ways, there are a lot of similarities to former Panther Steve Smith's years in Carolina between 2008 and 20011. The teams they played hampered their on field production more than their ability. I mean if Smith had been a Colt in between '08 and '11, he'd be a first ballot Hall of Famer for sure.
There are two things that make me happy about this pick-up: 1) my man Cotchery has hands. He catches everything in the same zip code. 2) the luckiest person I have ever known (who will remain anonymous), always picked Cotchery as a third receiving option on his fantasy football team. The quiet producer helped him win a fantasy football championship or two!!!
Cotchery never really had the best opportunity to assert himself as a #1 receiver. He looks to have found his shot in Carolina, however, where there aren't any established receivers ahead of him in the depth chart. Even if the Panthers grab a receiver in the first round, it's unlikely this player would assert himself as a leader among the receiving core. The addition would need to transition from a #2 option to a #1 option throughout the year. Cotchery will have a chance during this time to step into that leadership role. Let' just hope he can continue the renaissance that he started in Pittsburgh last year in the Queen city.