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Cotchery Talks Animal House and Rex's New Book

In his sixth season in the league, New York Jets wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery personifies leadership.

Whether it’s playing through injuries, as he did with a herniated disk that plagued him throughout the 2010 season, or setting an unrivaled work ethic for young players to emulate, Cotchery is the ultimate team player. As the second longest tenured Jet and a consummate professional, Cotchery’s integrity and character are intangibles that won’t show up in the box score. Unfortunately, Gang Green has carried the persona of an “Animal House” organization, a label that Cotchery amongst other teammates believes is unfair.

“With the Jets, you’re always going to get talk about things outside of football; character issues and all of that,” Cotchery said. “A lot of times teams have faith in their locker room that they’ll be able to help the young guys along the way. That allows team
s to take a risk on young players sometimes.”

Cotchery has no issue with the players the Jets brought in via this past April’s NFL Draft. A month ago, the Jets selected a tandem of talented, yet troubled defensive lineman with Muhammad Wilkerson out of Temple taken with the 30th overall pick and Kendrick Ellis out of Hampton at No. 94. The Jets feel with strong veteran leaders like Cotchery to set the right example, Wilkerson and Ellis will follow suit and become valuable additions in 2011.

"Just look at the guy from Temple, he’s very talented," noted Cotchery. "He’s big and athletic and wears No. 9 along the defensive line. You have to some kind of skill to wear that kind of number."

And speaking of talent, Cotchery came to the defense of head coach Rex Ryan, who recently wrote Play Like You Mean It, an autobiographical sketch which details the Jets coach’s first two years in the NFL.

Ryan has been catching flack for writing a book before delivering on his Super Bowl promise and also for some pointed commentary on players in and around the league.

“I think he has the right to write a book,” Cotchery said. “It’s his life. He can speak about the things he’s gone through and his experiences. Obviously people are going to have opinions about his opinions or the things he is saying, but it’s his life and it’s his right to speak his mind.”

Ryan’s book includes some choice words for ex-Jets Eric Barton and Chris Baker as he refers to them as negative locker room guys. Cotchery did not share in Ryan’s sentiments and offered his personal assessment of both players.

“As far as Chris Baker being negative or Eric Barton being negative, you’d have to ask their ex-teammates,” said Cotchery. “I don’t think people that were not on the field with those guys in or in the locker room. I can remember in 2005, when I was still a young pup, just working in practice to be able to get some playing time. In practice I was just exhausted, I was working myself to death. As a came back to the huddle, and the defense was going up, Chris Baker pulled me off to the side and told me to keep working and I would get my shot. I know he helped me out a lot, and I know a lot of ex teammates that enjoyed playing with Chris Baker and Eric Barton as well.”

Going Green

Rick Laughland of Fans’ Favorite and Kristian Dyer of the Green and White Report are traveling to TEST Sports Club in Martinsville, New Jersey to catch up with Jets Jericho Cotchery, Vladmir Ducasse, Bart Scott and Jamaal Westerman as well as former Jet Damien Woody. Player Interviews will be posted following Tuesday’s media session. Stay tuned to Fans' Favorite for more exciting coverage.

Play Like You Mean It

Passion, laughs, and leadership all characteristics embodied by Jets head honcho Rex Ryan. Ryan's book "Play Like You Mean it" hit bookstores May 3rd with thousands of adoring fans flocking to stores to secure their copy. Ryan, no stranger to media attention, has made appearances on the FOX Business Network, The David Letterman Show and will be holding book signings in the Metro area over the next few weeks promoting the release of his much anticipated book.

Ryan is beloved by Jets fans, but a misunderstood figure by NFL opponents and media critics. "Play Like You Mean It" aims to clear the air on the misnomers about Ryan's leadership style and shed the Jets label as an "Animal House" organization. Ryan chronicles Gang Green's exhilarating 2009 and 2010 seasons, providing fans an inside perspective from the sidelines, inside the locker room and film room to bring the team's past two seasons to life.

True to form, Ryan's book contains a few predictions for the upcoming season along with what he has learned from his father, a legendary coach in his own right, Buddy Ryan. Bold and outspoken, Ryan's confidence and self-assurance trickle down to his players which he touts as an integral component of the Jets success. Rex Ryan professes his love to his players, fellow coaches, father Buddy, brother Rob and for what he calls "the world's most beautiful game." Play Like You Mean It is a can't miss for all football fans and provides a colorful look inside the mind of one of the most polarizing, yet brilliant figures in the sporting world.

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Westerman Talks Starting Job and Brotherly Love

With future hall of famer Jason Taylor, pro bowler Bart Scott and franchise backer David Harris nabbing headlines, third year linebacker Jamaal Westerman is flying under the radar. Westerman emerged as an impactful special teamer in 2010 and is relishing his opportunity to compete for a starting position. In his third year out of Rutgers, the Brooklyn native is working tirelessly this offseason alongside his mentor and fellow undrafted linebacker Bart Scott.

“Bart is a guy that came in the league in a similar situation,” noted Westerman. “He is a pro bowler and a vocal team leader. Just his leadership in the locker room and on and off the field have taken his career to another level.”
Westerman is fortunate to be under the tutelage of a stellar linebacking corps and has made a concerted effort to become a student of the game.

“I’m the kind of guy that tries to pick up as many good things from good people,” noted Westerman. “That’s what I’ve always tried to do throughout my career college and now in the NFL. I take little tidbits from everybody, him {Bart Scott}, Jason Taylor, Calvin Pace, my coaches, and even guys in college. I take positive things from positive people and try to incorpo
rate them into every aspect of my life on and off the field.”

As the eldest of three brothers, Jamaal Westerman knows a thing or two about setting the right example. Westerman encouraged his middle brother Jawann to walk on at Rutgers as a wide receiver. This offseason Jamaal attended the Scarlett Knight’s spring practices rooting his little brother on.

“It was his decision, but I love Rutgers and I love what they’ve done for me,” declared Westerman. “Coach Schiano and his staff and the whole New Jersey community have been very supportive. I have my youngest brother at Eastern Michigan. I love both my brothers and I will keep encouraging them. I try to set the right example for not just them but for everybody.”
Jamaal Westerman has certainly laid the groundwork for both his brothers, yet he understands they will need to create their own path. Westerman is fully motivated to refine every facet of his game as he is hungry for a starting role on what is expected to be a Super Bowl contending team.

“I’m not starting now so I’m trying to improve everything: coverage, stance, pass rushing, footwork and tackling,” said Westerman. “The Jets have great special teams play and I’m learning from guys like Ihedigbo and Smith. Until you win a Super Bowl ring and you’re the MVP you constantly want to improve. My offseason is dedicated to securing a starting job and helping this team win a championship.”

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