NFL > From The Jets To The Steelers, Jerricho Cotchery Says It Was Time To Move On

~ Jerricho Cotchery didn’t see himself fitting into the long-term plans of the New York Jets anymore. He didn’t even see himself fitting into their short-term plans. That’s when Cotchery decided it was time to move on. The Jets former wide receiver signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers looking to find success away from Gang Green.

 “It was time for a change, time for a change of scenery for myself and the organization as well,” Cotchery told the Pittsburgh media. “It was time to move on. Future-wise, I didn’t really see myself fitting in …

 “People on the outside looking in might say, ‘Well, you been there that long, you’re part of the future,’ but I didn’t really see it that way. I think it would have been beneficial for both sides to move on.”

 Cotchery was expected to be apart of the wide receiver group that the Jets would put on the field in 2011. However he now becomes the 3rd Jets receiver to move on to another team. Free Agent Brad Smith signed with Buffalo and the Jets basically let Free Agent Braylon Edwards end up in San Francisco without so much of a thank you card for his tenure.

 The Jets went out and signed Plaxico Burress, then they signed Derrick Mason and all of a sudden Cotchery was in a familiar position that he was hoping to break away from, the number 3 or number 4 receiver on the team.

 Cotchery has not really had the chance to prove he is a top receiver or even a really good number 2 over a long peroid of time. He’s also coming off back surgery. He’s had breakout years in 2006 and 2007, however his numbers since were on a decline and that reflects the changes the Jets have made on offense during that time.

 The back surgery took away any leaverage Cotchery may have had as a free agent and he ends up in Pittsburgh as the 3rd receiver behind Hines Ward and Mike Wallace. Right now it’s hard to envision anything more from him than being a good possession receiver who can move the chains.

 Cotchery is going to have to come up big if he wants to get a piece of the spotlight he feels had no room for him in New York.

James Harrison … When Keeping It Real Goes Wrong

~  James Harrison knows how to grab attention, I give him that much credit. He is doing a better job of that off the field than he did in the Super Bowl against Green Bay. Harrison has managed to find his way into the headlines again for all the wrong reasons. Besides insulting the NFL Commissioner again, Harrison decided to throw some teammates under the bus as well with a interview he gave for Men’s Journal that gives a new definition to the word rant.

  At some point a line has to be drawn where freedom of speech turns into wreckless abandonment of all common sense. This was more than a rant, Harrison unleashed an Ether attack that even Nas might not have given to Jay-Z back in 2001.

On Roger Goodell, NFL Commissioner >

 “If that man was on fire and I had to p*ss to put him out, I wouldn’t do it, … I hate him and will never respect him.

 On Teammate Ben Roethlisberger >

 “Hey, at least throw a pick on their side of the field instead of asking the D to bail you out again. Or hand the ball off and stop trying to act like Peyton Manning. You ain’t that and you know it, man; you just get paid like he does.”

 The interview has even more remarks just as strong as those and words just as harsh, maybe even harsher. Harrison has reportedly came out and stated that his words about Roethlisberger were twisted. I guess it will be up to the readers to make that determination for themselves.

 The question I have when it comes to this is when is enough going to be enough? I make sure that whenever I can in this blog, I refer to the players I write about as professionals. They are professional athletes getting paid to play a game. Baseball, Basketball, Football, it’s all still a game where they are paid to play and be professional about it.

 I understood Harrison when he first began to complain about being fined for the hits he was delivering on the field. I didn’t exactly agree with him, however I could see where it would frustrate a defensive player of the year to have to change his style of play all of a sudden.

 There is a line that every employee has to respect when it comes to criticizing those above them who are somewhat responsible for their paychecks. James Harrison has to realize sooner than later that freedom of speech does not change the fact that he is still an employee and not the employer.

 It seems that he’s more interested in getting his media exposure than he is about just playing the game and representing the Steelers. The game … ahhhh yes … the game that is currently struggling to get out from under an NFL lockout.

 With the lockout still in place, upper management of the Steelers has very limited options as to how to address the Harrison situation. Head coach Mike Tomlin can’t have contact with his players. If the lockout wasn’t here, the argument can be made that this Harrison interview that is about to hit newstands would have had a completely different tone to it.

Food for thought:

 James Harrison plays for the Pittsburgh Steelers, an organization known for it’s classy upper manangement and ownership. They don’t have much of a tolerance level when it comes to their players repeatedly moving to their own beat, Plaxico Burress and Santonio Holmes are examples of that. Ben Roethlisberger even found himself at a crossroads in his career when his off the field issues drowned out his play on the field.

 Harrison is 33 years old now and the NFL will have a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) when the lockout ends that is going to impact every team’s approach to finances. If he’s not careful with his continued approach of publicly attacking everything and everyone he sees wrong with the NFL today, there may not be a tomorrow. At least not in a Steelers uniform.

NFL > Steelers Rashard Mendenhall Provides Clarity on Contoversial Bin Laden Comments


~ Pittsburgh Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall has found himself in the news thanks to controversial remarks that came from his twitter account about the recent current events regarding Osama Bin Laden and 9/11.

On skepticism regarding the notion that hijacked planes took down the World Trade Center, Mendenhall’s twitter gave this tweet:

 “We’ll never know what really happened.  I just have a hard time believing a plane could take a skyscraper down demolition style.”

 That tweet has since been removed from Mendenhall’s twitter and the Steelers have released a statement on their team website which seperates their organization from the comments Mendenhall has made.

“I have not spoken with Rashard so it is hard to explain or even comprehend what he meant with his recent Twitter comments, The entire Steelers’ organization is very proud of the job our military personnel have done and we can only hope this leads to our troops coming home soon.” … Art Rooney II, Steelers President

The Steelers did what they had to do by distancing themselves from Mendenhall’s comments. It’s not any of our place to pass judgement on him. He’s entitled to his opinion. However, it is another example of professional athletes putting themselves in difficult situations with the use of social networks.

Mendenhall did take a step forward recently by posting comments onto his blog titled “Clarification” where he apologized to anyone he offended.

To view the blog post you can CLICK HERE

 The public backlash came quickly once news of the tweets became a headline. Mendenhall could very well have put his job in jeopardy. I’ve seen some make the case of Freedom of Speech and the Ben Rothlisberger’s legal problems and valid points were made when it comes to those points. Hopefully Mendenhall can learn from this and move forward. I don’t think his comments were made to offend, however perception can indeed be reality. Especially when the media gets a hold of it.

 Mendenhall also put his teammates in a awkward position as well as the fact that his team is located in one of the states where lives were lost on 9/11. As a professional, he has to know better and these athletes must do a better job of handling these social networks. They have to realize that every word they tweet or post is going to be put under a microscope by someone. It’s either that or risk losing their careers or prestige with their fans.

Image by: Getty Images

Additional Information: Pro Football Talk

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