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200 Miles From the Citi


October 9, 2009 4:01 AM

BIG CATCH?

I think there's somebody other than Mark Sanchez who has to be breathing a big sigh of relief that the Jets got another weapon at the wide receiver position in Braylon Edwards. I can't wait to see how this acquisition helps their former (still current?) number one receiver, Jerricho Cotchery.
Cotchery has actually had a good season so far - very quiet, but productive (so quiet I didn't realize he had had some decent games). He's gone for 90, 87, 108, and 71-yard games (one touchdown) so far this season. It doesn't seem like he's been thrown to an awful lot. You might say he hasn't built up a relationship with Mark Sanchez...but I would argue that he hasn't had much of a chance.

Cotchery has been in a tough spot to this point. If you're the opposing team going up against the Jets, are you paying much attention to Cotchery, Chansi Stuckey, or David Clowney? I think you make Stuckey and Clowney and their combind 500 career receiving yards beat you, and you devote your coverage to Cotchery. I don't know if teams have been doing this, but if so, it's a wonder Cotchery has had the types of productive games he's had.

So now, Edwards will draw some of that coverage. Cotchery should be more available as a target. And I expect big things from him the rest of the season.

ANALYSIS ON EDWARDS: Wide receiver for the Jets has been a position that has felt exposed not just in this young season but the past few seasons. Laveranues Coles had a good career with the Jets, but he's just not that big play kind of player. Braylon Edwards could be the biggest-play receiver the Jets have had since Keyshawn Johnson.

Of course, the key word is could.

Edwards has had well-documented off-field issues. And, for that matter, his on-field drops issues have also been well-documented.

I always want to give guys the benefit of the doubt that they'll respond positively to a fresh start (though if Edwards loved the Cleveland nightlife I can only imagine he'll have a field day in New York), so I'm going to do so with Edwards.

The key, though, is productivity. If he drops important passes and costs the Jets games, forget about it. If his presence elevates Mark Sanchez to the next level as an NFL quarterback...I'll forget he ever played in Cleveland, let alone that it was a disappointing start to a promising career.

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