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OC Likes Baker as ‘Complete Player’

Posted by Randy Lange on September 28, 2007 – 2:35 pm

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:

● 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."

● 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."

● 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.

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Posted in Randy Lange | 4 Comments »

4 Responses to “OC Likes Baker as ‘Complete Player’”

  1. By Ira on Sep 28, 2007 | Reply

    Randy, Its good to hear thoughts from the coordinators. Schotty is the man and has done a real fine job with the Jets. Wished he used Baker more because of his pass catching skills. Once Schotty gets more comfortable with the o-line Baker will see more passes come his way.Clarke seems to be getting more comfortable playing with the o-line.Seems like Smith is pushing McCareins for that #3 spot.

  2. By Ira on Sep 29, 2007 | Reply

    Randy, Sutton’s interview is interesting. He is right about staying in the 3-4 base for this season. You can’t just make a complete change 3 games into a season. They showed last year that it could work. Lets hope it starts earlier this year starting with the Bills tomorrow.

  3. By Dunnie on Sep 29, 2007 | Reply

    Randy … nice job with the coordinators ! I do have a question … when does it become socially acceptable to critque the DC for taking a giant step back since the end of last year. I know its a process .. but this league is not about taking steps backwards. Im still hoping and hanging in there.

  4. By eric on Sep 29, 2007 | Reply

    Regarding the Baker party, I feel like I’m an attendee during the naked emporers walk as the people gush about his wardrobe. Though he made a couple of nice catches this year, historically, he drops way too many, he doesn’t get open down the field, and he doesn’t fight off the defender’s who end up intecepting a relatively large amount of passes thrown his way. And he’s not that good a blocker.

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