Steelers Notebook: Veteran WR Cotchery plugs key slot
Former Jets receiver Jerricho Cotchery, seen here tangling with Troy Polamalu in the AFC Championship game in January, signed a deal with the Steelers.
The Steelers' Baron Batch faces knee surgery soon.
The Steelers' Ryan Clark takes his turn behind the camera during training camp Wednesday.
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Former New York Jets wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery left Saint Vincent College Monday without signing a contract with the Steelers.
He wanted to see if he could find a better situation than the Steelers, who wanted him to be the fifth receiver. But, after visiting Baltimore, Cotchery changed his mind and signed a multiyear contract Thursday with the Steelers.
He will not be with the team for the preseason opener tonight against the Washington Redskins in Landover, Md., and is not expected to join them until the Steelers return to training camp Sunday.
The Steelers were seeking a veteran for the slot, and Cotchery, who played all eight of his NFL seasons with the New York Jets, fits the bill. At 6 feet, 203 pounds, he brings size and toughness.
He had 358 catches, 4,514 yards and 18 touchdowns in his career with the Jets. In the AFC divisional playoff game last season at Heinz Field, Cotchery had five catches for 33 yards and a 4-yard touchdown against the Steelers.
Cotchery might not be the only player to return after visiting the Steelers at camp. They could sign former Cincinnati Bengals tight end Reggie Kelly, who was at camp Monday. Neither side has ruled out a reconciliation.
The season-ending injury to rookie running back Baron Batch, who tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee while making a cut in practice Wednesday, does little to affect the team's plans.
Batch, a seventh-round pick from Texas Tech, was going to be the fourth running back and back up Mewelde Moore in third-down situations.
The Steelers will not seek another running back to replace Batch, one of the standouts at training camp. Instead, preseason performances will determine the fourth running back -- probably Jonathan Dwyer or maybe rookie free-agent John Clay.
Batch had an MRI Thursday and likely will wait for the swelling to subside before he has surgery. He was injured on the artificial-turf field at Saint Vincent College, which the Steelers have been using because the grass fields have been saturated by rain.
First Published August 12, 2011 12:00 am