FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) -Chansi Stuckey spent last season imagining the catches he'd make once his injured right foot finally healed.
Two games into his delayed NFL career, the New York Jets' speedy receiver has two touchdown receptions and surprisingly established himself as a favorite target of Brett Favre.
``I envisioned myself catching touchdown passes and you have to envision yourself doing big things, but I never imagined it would be from Brett Favre,'' Stuckey said Friday. ``It was kind of surreal when he came here and now you have a chance to do something special with a really, really great quarterback.''
Stuckey is tied with running back Leon Washington for the team lead with six receptions, and he's the first Jets player since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970 to get a touchdown in each of his first two games.
of tight spaces pretty quick and catches the ball. He's a very smart guy.''
Talk about a glowing endorsement. And that's coming from a quarterback who knows a thing or two about good receivers.
``It's great just because of who Brett is, and all the things he's done over the years,'' Stuckey said. ``For him to come here and I catch my first two touchdowns from him has been great. I'm just trying to build a lot of trust with him.''
So far, so good. In the season opener at Miami, the 6-foot Stuckey made a leaping grab in the end zone for a touchdown after Favre launched a desperate heave on fourth-and-13 from the Dolphins 22. Last week, Favre found Stuckey cutting to the right side in the middle of the end zone.
``I think it's just a matter of being in the right place at the right time,'' Stuckey said. ``Brett does a great job of improvising and finding people.''
Maybe so, but Stuckey has also played well enough to become a go-to guy for Favre.
``It's not surprising, to me, the way that he's been able to contribute here early on,'' coach Eric Mangini said. ``I expect him to continue to do that. He's a smart guy. He kind of reminds me of Deion Branch. Not just purely physically, but how intuitive he is, how things just come naturally to him from a football perspective.''
tinue to see good things from Stuck.''
Stuckey hurt his foot late last summer, was inactive for the season opener against New England and then was placed on injured reserve. His rookie season was done before it even started, but he stayed around the team and took part in meetings when he wasn't in the trainer's room rehabilitating.
``It's not like he took off to Cabo and relaxed,'' Mangini said. ``He was here and he was working. That experience that he gained sitting in those meetings, you can tell that he was listening.''
Stuckey's first love growing up was basketball, but he focused on football once he got to college. He was the first Clemson player since 1940 to score a touchdown by pass, rush, punt return and reception, but was plagued by injuries. Stuckey had a nagging left ankle injury as a sophomore, a concussion as a junior, and a thumb injury and broken right foot that sidelined him for three games as a senior.
Originally thought to be a second-round pick, the foot injury dropped Stuckey to the seventh round despite him finishing sixth in Clemson history with 141 receptions and eighth with 1,760 yards receiving.
And that's quite an accomplishment, considering he came to Clemson as a quarterback.
o the open field, he was as dangerous as any running back or wide receiver that played.''
Stuckey described himself as a scrambling quarterback whose best weapon was his legs, which is why he went from throwing passes to catching them.
``Don't let him fool you,'' Miller said. ``He's a strong one and he could sling that ball, too. I've seen a couple of highlights where he'd throw a ball you wouldn't think he could throw. He came into college probably like 160 pounds, but he could throw that ball.''
These days, Stuckey is happy being on the receiving end of Favre's rocket throws.
``It's my first real live action in the NFL and I'm still learning a lot,'' Stuckey said. ``I'm learning how things change in the game and what people like to do. I'm constantly learning.''
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