Friday’s Video Features on newyorkjets.com included exclusive interviews with TE Dustin Keller and CNNSI’s Peter King.
After last Saturday night’s Green & White Scrimmage, OLB Calvin Pace told me that the Jets’ offense was vastly improved and then he volunteered that the one guy really giving the defense problems was TE Dustin Keller.
Keller, a first round pick (No. 30) out of Purdue in 2008 who has totaled 93 receptions in his first two pro seasons, should only benefit from the offseason acquisitions of WR Santonio Holmes and RB LaDainian Tomlinson.
“If I get some 1-on-1 matchups inside, I feel like that’s to my advantage every single time,” Keller said. “Eventually people are going to have to start to recognize that if they haven’t already. Then you’ll have 1-on-1s outside with Braylon [Edwards], Jerricho [Cotchery], Santonio, [David] Clowney and all those guys, and those are favorable matchups for them every time.”
The 6’2”, 248-pound Keller stepped up his game last January, becoming the first player in franchise history with TDs in three consecutive playoff games and tying Wesley Walker for most postseason receiving TDs.
During a goal line drill Friday morning, Mark Sanchez was reminded of a memorable play in the divisional round when he rolled seemingly forever right and found No. 81 in the end zone. Those two provided a replay of that score for spectators at SUNY Cortland and Sanchez sprinted to celebrate with his tight end.
“He said that was freaking awesome, but I don’t think he said freaking,” DK said. “He said it was just like San Diego.”
Among those who attended Sanchez’s “Jets West” camp, Keller said the Jets got a foot up on competition by getting their timing down with Sanchez during a normal down time. And while Keller looks good, there’s a rookie tight end, Jeff Cumberland, who’s raised eyebrows and is making a legitimate push for a roster spot.
“He’s looking really good out there. It’s just unbelievable that this guy wasn’t drafted,” said Keller of the Illinois product who had 59 receptions in four college seasons. “He’s big, he’s fast, he has good hands. He’s as good as any tight end that was in the draft, really, and just to think that we got him as a free agent. Of course, he’s a Big Ten guy, so that makes him that much tougher. He’s definitely making a lot of plays, he’s turning heads and we have four very capable tight ends on our roster right now.”
King Catches a Chippy Cromartie
CNNSI’s Peter King believes there’s “a better than 50/50 chance” that Darrelle Revis will be in his Jets uniform on Sept. 13 when the Green & White host the Ravens on Monday Night Football. But the top corner in camp caught King’s eye Friday with his physicality, which included a big hit on Cotchery by the sideline.
“I thought Antonio Cromartie was physically chippy and he obviously knows that he has to be more of a physical football player,” said the Monday Morning Quarterback.
The 6’2”, 203-pound Cromartie has been very active at camp, not only picking off passes in the Jets’ man-press system but showing a willingness to add some grit in the backfield. King anticipates a tough divisional race as three potential heavyweights battle it out for AFC East supremacy.
“This division reminds me of the American League East where you have the Yankees, the Red Sox and the Rays and here it’s the exact same thing. You have three teams — New England, the Jets and Miami in my opinion — who could all win 12 games even with a difficult schedule,” he said. “Then you have the Buffalo Bills who are hanging back and are not on their level right now, which is the same thing as in the East with the Orioles or Blue Jays.
“But I think this is one of those divisions that I could see three teams making the playoffs or I could see one team making the playoffs because the three teams just beat the crap out of each other the way it used to be quite honestly in the NFC East.”
Tags: Antonio Cromartie, Dustin Keller, Jeff Cumberland, Jerricho Cotchery, Peter King
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