It was Coordinator Day at Weeb Ewbank Hall today, and OC Brian Schottenheimer was ready to dive into the subject matter of his first question: TE Chris Baker.
"It’s funny. Everybody’s been asking about Chris lately," Schottenheimer said. "Chris is a complete player, he really is. He’s been seen over his career as a great run blocker, but he’s got excellent hands. He’s doing a better job of route-running, and when the ball’s in his vicinity, he finds a way to pull it in."
Especially when he’s catching those flips from Chad Pennington. Ten times the two have hooked up for scores, and the average length of each TD catch is 3.3 yards. That’s not good for Baker’s per-catch average, but it’s great for him being in the mix each game, as Schottenheimer says he is.
"Chris is definitely a guy who’s always in our plan," he said. "The ball might not always go to him, but he’s in our plan as we build our progression every week."
A few other offensive snap-Schotts:
â— What impressed the OC about Kellen Clemens’ Baltimore start was "the way he competed. He showed some toughness and leadership. … More than anything, he should feel good that he went out and played pretty well. He didn’t play perfect, obviously, but he did some good things."
â— He said of LG Adrien Clarke’s improvement, "like any young player, he’s starting to grow. The big thing for an offensive line, for any group, is spending time together."
â— On Brad Smith’s multiple roles, he said, "I’ve always trusted Brad in terms of the effort he gives, the way he competes for the ball, the way he competes in the running game. You always feel good when 16′s in the game."
That is especially true when 16 is the deep back in the Jets’ kneeldown formation. That had been Jerricho Cotchery’s role most of last season, but Smith was the emergency back for the final two snaps of last regular season vs. Oakland, and he assumed that position for Chad Pennington’s three kneeldowns Sunday vs. Miami.
"Yeah, I guess that is another position for me," Smith told me as he dashed for the locker room and then home ahead of Saturday’s flight to Buffalo. "I’m used to being in that formation, but before I did the kneeling." When he was the four-year starting QB at Missouri, of course.
For Saturday morning surfing, I’ll have a longer news story on defensive coordinator Bob Sutton’s interview with Jets reporters.
Tags: Adrien Clarke, Brad Smith, Brian Schottenheimer, Chris Baker, Kellen Clemens
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