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Stuckey showing he could stick as starter for Jets

Chansi Stuckey is aware of the perception by some that he's not talented enough to be a starting wide receiver for the New York Jets.
/ Source: PhillyBurbs.com

Chansi Stuckey is aware of the perception by some that he's not talented enough to be a starting wide receiver for the New York Jets.As far as he's concerned, go ahead and keep underestimating him. He'll just keep making catches."Michael Jordan got cut by his high school team, so people are going to say what they want to say," Stuckey said after practice Monday. "They can all think what they want to think. Obviously, he became one of the greatest players to ever play ball. I'm not saying I'll become the greatest football player ever, but it's just another example of how sometimes you have to go through things and people say things that get you motivated."Stuckey made a major case to be the team's No. 2 wide receiver opposite Jerricho Cotchery with a big night against the Giants on Saturday that was topped by an eye-popping 31-yard touchdown."Man, it felt like the old days," said Stuckey, who had four catches for 69 yards. "I felt like I was back in college. I felt loose, felt like I was just playing the game and having fun."One of the major story lines of training camp was who among Stuckey, David Clowney and Brad Smith would step up and claim the No. 2 spot. Meanwhile, the Jets acknowledged they looked into Plaxico Burress' situation before the draft. Denver's Brandon Marshall also has come up in rumors, as well as Philadelphia's glut of receivers.Stuckey, in his third season, has been mainly considered a slot receiver and a complementary player. He might have made a statement to coach Rex Ryan that he's much more."Whatever he got, I just hope it's positive," Stuckey said. "I'm just trying to go out and make plays and hopefully he feels he can trust me."His touchdown catch against the Giants might have assured Ryan of that."It's still a position that's going to be by committee," Ryan said, "but he's the guy you throw out there first."Stuckey zipped across the field, slowed near the right sideline and caught a pass from a scrambling Mark Sanchez near the 12-yard line. And, he wasn't done. Stuckey juked a defender and broke a couple of tackles _ all while staying inbounds _ to get into the end zone."If that would've been me or the average man, he breaks his ankle trying to stay inbounds," Ryan said. "It was crazy. The move he makes is ridiculous. It was a great throw, the quarterback's getting smacked, and Stuckey makes an unbelievable catch. ... You look at it and the moves he had to make to get in there, that was special."Sanchez was so excited, he ran down the field with his right shoulder pad sticking out, and hugged Stuckey. The Jets' other receivers were also impressed by the catch-and-run."He's just a smart guy and understands coverages and is just so fast and quick and is hard to cover," Cotchery said. "You combine that with how smart he is, you're going to get good results out of that."Stuckey has had to be patient to get to this point. He had an impressive college career at Clemson, where he was the first player in school history since the 1940s to score on a catch, throw, run and punt return. Stuckey was also considered a possible second- or third-round pick until a broken right foot dropped him to the seventh round in 2007 with the label of being injury-prone."It's a tag that's going to be put on you, but you know you can get rid of that by playing a full season," Stuckey said.That didn't happen in his rookie season: Stuckey hurt the foot again late in training camp and spent the year on injured reserve."It was a really scary time for me," he said. "But I made it through, got back and was healthy and able to have a little success."He sure did, becoming an early favorite target for Brett Favre with 32 catches for 359 yards and three touchdowns. During the offseason, Stuckey worked out in Georgia with former Jets receiver Terance Mathis, who developed into a Pro Bowl player with Atlanta."He was kind of in the same position as I was," Stuckey said. "He started out as a slot guy who moved to the outside and was very, very successful. He helped me a lot with the balance between both."Whether he ends up as the No. 2 receiver, Stuckey already has proven himself to be a reliable option on offense."That was my ultimate goal," Stuckey said. "I want it so that anytime in a game, I get to the point that I don't come off the field. I want to be able to stay out there the whole time, whether it's two-, three- or four-receiver sets."NOTES: Ryan said he would play most of the starters for maybe just one series Thursday night against Philadelphia. ... Rookie RB Shonn Greene, out since injuring rib cartilage against Baltimore, practiced Monday. ... Ryan gushed about MLBs David Harris and Bart Scott: "I'll go out on a limb and say those two right there, in my opinion, that's the best duo in the league."