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1st and 10 with Jerricho Cotchery

Posted Nov 8, 2013

Receiver Jerricho Cotchery talks about his role, the team’s struggles and turning things around.

This is your best season individually since you signed with the Steelers in 2011. Was it just a matter of getting the opportunities?
I think this year I am playing a little bit more. Mike Wallace was here, and Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders who are still here, are the guys that I was behind. Now without Mike here I am definitely getting more opportunities and doing my best to take advantage of them.

When you first signed you joked about being an “insurance policy” because of the three receivers that were here. You have become a lot more than that, haven’t you?
I came here because it was a great organization and the opportunity to play for Coach (Mike) Tomlin and play with Ben (Roethlisberger). That made the decision pretty easy for me. But I knew they had a lot of guys here that could make plays so I was willing to make the sacrifice.

Have you and Ben Roethlisberger developed more chemistry now that you are more involved in the offense?
We had it from day one even though I wasn’t on the field with him. I have always felt that chemistry with him, which is a great thing to have. With the more opportunities I have been given I guess everybody else is getting to see it a little bit. But it’s always fun to play with No. 7.

It’s your 10th season, are you proving age is just a number with the way you are playing? Also, did maybe not getting as much playing time the last few years help keep you fresh for now?
No matter what year you are in you have to approach every day with the mindset of getting better. That is what I have been doing. That is what I did the first couple of years when I wasn’t playing as much. I took that approach then and I am taking it now. As far as the not playing as much the last two years, you still have the practice time so I have been banged up the past couple of years. But I think it does help a little bit. For the most part I have just been blessed being out there having more opportunities and being able to help the team out any way I can.

Two of your best games this season came in losses. Is that tough when people want to say nice game to you, but you lost?
You are thankful that people are congratulating you and things of that nature. But at the same time in a team sport you always look up to the scoreboard first. You don’t go to the stat sheet right away. We lost those two games and that is the only thing that really stands out in my mind.

Is there anything you can point to as to why this team is struggling?
It’s mistakes. Some of those mistakes have happened in critical moments when it’s taken away the momentum and given the other team the momentum in the same breath. It’s just the mistakes. You have to eliminate the mistakes and right now we don’t have any room to make any of those.

As a veteran, when the team is struggling what do you need to do?
You continue to work. We do a great job of identifying problems. We have to carry that over to the game. I feel like we have eliminated some of them. We just have to eliminate the mistakes. Mistakes happen, but sometimes they happen in critical moments. Right now we don’t have any room for them so we have to continue to work and get better individually and collectively and hopefully it carries over onto the field.

Does everyone need to look in the mirror and see what they can do to help the team?
When it’s at this point each man has to identify the areas where he needs to get better so he can help this team win games. Until we do that the mistakes will continue to show up. You have to see why you are making those mistakes. If they are repeated mistakes you have to eliminate them quickly. It’s each guy identifying those mistakes and getting rid of them.

You mentioned wanting to sign here because it’s a great organization. Because of the type of organization it is, are you confident that things will get back on track soon?
No question about it. The bond here is so tight. Any time you face any kind of adversity and you have the bond like we have here, you have the hope of overcoming it. That is what we have here. We have a bunch of guys that work hard. We have a bunch of guys that would lay it on the line for each other. That gives me the confidence and everyone else the confidence that we can turn it around.

Does this team have the talent to turn things around?
We do. Like I said it’s about each man getting better individually and that will help the team collectively. Once that happens I believe it will turn into wins.

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