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Surely Kerley’s Prepared for the Challenge

Posted by Randy Lange on August 3, 2011 – 12:50 pm

Jeremy Kerley knows he is in a good place. Kerley, the Jets’ fifth-round selection from TCU who doubles up as a receiver and a return man, feels fortunate to be a pro and that he landed at one of the most desirable spots in the National Football League.

“To be a Jet is a great thing and I know it’s an opportunity a lot of guys wish they had,” he said this week. “So while I’m here, I try to make the most of it.”

The 5’9”, 188-pound Kerley, sporting No. 85 at camp, has had the opportunity to take valuable reps early because both Plaxico Burress and Santonio Holmes are relegated to sideline duty until Thursday because of the new CBA and Jerricho Cotchery (back) started camp on the Physically Unable to Perform list. Kerley didn’t have the benefit of a full offseason in the classroom, so he is working to get a handle on the language.

“The terminology is definitely the toughest part,” he said. “Coming from where I came from, it was kind of a spread-and-go. It’s a lot different learning — you have to break down more coverages and more routes.”

Last season Kerley broke out for the Horned Frogs as 10 of his 56 catches resulted in touchdowns. He has impressed onlookers early on and made a nifty grab in the corner of the end zone Tuesday. The Jets targeted Kerley after he worked out for offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer in the predraft process and then moved up to get him in April.

“We’re really excited about him,” said GM Mike Tannenbaum. “He’s a really good route runner and has really good hands.”

The Jets headed into the free agency period with some uncertainty as both Holmes and Braylon Edwards were UFAs. But Holmes, who was the team’s No. 1 priority, re-signed and then the Green & White added the 6’5” Burress to the mix. Cotchery is a savvy vet and has no doubt he’ll be ready for the upcoming season.

“It’s definitely a great group to learn from. You’ve got Jerricho, who has been with the team seven or eight years,” Kerley said. “He’s definitely a vet in the receiving room helping guys out. We have Coach Ellard and then you have Coach Holmes and Coach Cotchery. They help out a lot.”

While Kerley hopes to do some damage in the slot, it’s his return ability that could set him apart. The Mountain West’s Special Teams Player of the Year each of the past two seasons is getting looks at both kick returner and punt returner.

“I feel good. That’s kind of what separated me in college, so hopefully I can just carry on to the next level,” he said. “It will be a lot of work, but I think I’m up to the challenge. I think Coach Westhoff has a lot of trust in me — I hope he does.”

Kerley averaged 27.2 yards on kickoffs and 13.8 yards on punts at TCU and his two return scores came as a PR. He is cool when the ball is booted in his direction and has the ability to see beyond any obstacles.

“You kind of have to let it all go. You can’t be uptight and you can’t be nervous because those are things that will get you into trouble in this league,” he said. “When I catch the ball, I kind of look out past the defenders. I see the end zone and work from there.”

So far, so good for Jeremy Kerley. He is in a good place and the Jets think they have a pretty good player on their hands.

“This Kerley kid,” said head coach Rex Ryan, “he’s an excellent athlete.”

Inflatables Down but Jets Fest’s a Go

Fans will be able to see Kerley and all the rest of the Jets at this afternoon’s open practice, which begins at 2:15 p.m. with stretching. One note for those coming out to the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center today: Jets Fest is open today from 1-6 p.m., but the inflatable rides are temporarily closed.

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Posted in Eric Allen | 40 Comments »

40 Responses to “Surely Kerley’s Prepared for the Challenge”

  1. By Ray on Aug 3, 2011 | Reply

    I said he is here to replace BS not BE and I still believe that, but maybe they are shopping J-Co because they think this kid can handle that job. I still don’t like it but I at least understand the thinking. Never saw this kid play, are they thinking a Percy Harvin type here?

  2. By IRA on Aug 3, 2011 | Reply

    I thought Kerley reminded me of a quicker and a little bigger Dedric Ward. i was very impressed with his KO returns yesterday. Love Brad but just look back at how many excellent return men the Jets have had since 2001. Most of that has a lot to do with Westhoff.

  3. By scjoe on Aug 3, 2011 | Reply

    I think even though Kerley don’t have great speed he can excel in Westhoff’s schemes. As the #4 WR, I think they can do better. I have been lobbying for the Jets to bring in Roth for a look, now I hear he is in NE. I think that will put them over the top should they decide to sign him. He probably would have been the best pass rusher on the team should the Jets have signed him. Rex says he feels good about the pass rush, we will see!

  4. By IRA on Aug 3, 2011 | Reply

    scjoe, Don’t underestimate Westerman but i too would take a look at Roth. Good pass rushers are hard to find.
    And please don’t say Roth would put the Pats over the top or even the Jets over the top. Right now its all on paper. The games have to be played on the field. A bounce here or there or an injury to some key player changes all the over the top teams and favorites.

  5. By Jet Fan Since '64 Tom on Aug 3, 2011 | Reply

    Ray, while you were away I made the Percy Harvin comparison with Kerley the second we picked him, if I say so myself. Ira, Ward was one of my favorite Jets of that era and I still wish we’d held onto him, so if Kerley’s got any of that in him even better. scjoe, if Kerley’s going to take over both punts and kickoffs this yr I don’t think he’s gonna see much time at WR, but it’s nice that he’s looking good at that spot. I keep saying the fact that this is a guy Schotty scouted in person and probably lobbied for says a lot. That’s another thing I’m happy about, Moore helping out Schotty. I really feel that if we don’t score in the first half the first few games in this yr, you might see Schotty given his walking papers with Moore taking over.

  6. By Jimmer on Aug 3, 2011 | Reply

    Coach Holmes and Coach Cotchery. I think I like this kid already.

  7. By IRA on Aug 3, 2011 | Reply

    Its so hard to judge after just watching a 2 hour practice in shorts but i really liked what i saw from Kerley. My gut tells me he could be better than Ward. Still have to give Ward love for the 71 yd TD catch in Buffalo back in 98 to when they won the AFC East. Another Ward moment that stands out in my mind was the catch in Green Bay in 2000 late in the game that set up Curtis’ game winning TD catch. Don’t forget V. Green sealed the deal when he picked off Favre’s bomb with very little time left on the clock.

  8. By Ray on Aug 3, 2011 | Reply

    Thanks Ira, gives me an idea of this kids talent level… and I agree with Tom if he’s got some Dedric Ward talent in him I am comfortable that our return game will still be among the top….and Tom if he’s got some Percy Harvin moves in him I am REALLY happy…

  9. By scjoe on Aug 3, 2011 | Reply

    Ira, we saw what Roth could do. We have NO idea what Westerman can do, YET! I will also stand by my comment that Roth would put NE over the top, of course I am not taking injuries in to consideration because we have no idea who will or will not go down. But the fact that Roth playing for NE instead of NY would make that signing twice as bad for the Jets. Rex says there is “potential” here for the pass rush. Potential to me equates to playing the game on paper. Make no mistake, we would be a much better team with Roth here. NE would be a much better team with Roth there.

  10. By GaryC on Aug 3, 2011 | Reply

    you guys have to think higher in terms of kerley, think ernest givens of the oilers,had more outstanding years than ward,played the slot in the oilers run and shoot and that slot position is what he is suited for.

  11. By Jet Fan Since '64 Tom on Aug 3, 2011 | Reply

    Ray, if you haven’t seen clips of Kerley, you should, you’ll see the Harvin comparison and I hope Ira’s right about the Ward comparison. Minimum vet contract offer for S. Ellis? Though I don’t have the Jets books in front of me, I’d like to think I coulda offered minimum plus 10% at least. But I gotta say I see a new seriousness about assembling the squad this yr rooted in going with the younger, healthier guys where possible or necessary, which is why there’s even talk of losing J-Co. I sense the thinking might be like “If J-Co’s gonna miss the 1st couple games, we may as well unload him for the yr, we got a SB to win.” Edwards 1-yr deal with SF? Jeez, he coulda got that from us but I’m sure his ego/pride/whatever wouldn’t allow it.

  12. By Jet Fan Since '64 Tom on Aug 3, 2011 | Reply

    Givens was a beast, GaryC, no two ways about it. I just wish we’d kept Ward longer.

  13. By RCJetFan on Aug 3, 2011 | Reply

    Speaking of receivers, just came across a podcast in which Michael Kay of 1050ESPN interviewed Holmes, the Bus, and an expert from ESPN’s Sport Science who had recently evaluated Burress and gave a very encouraging report. You can find this at 1050ESPN.com, and the Sports Science interview is 26+/- into the podcast. Can’t resist passing on good news!

  14. By Tom Spicer on Aug 3, 2011 | Reply

    The Jets signed Brodney Pool & offered Ellis a $910,000 1 year deal he is thinking about it.

  15. By Tom Spicer on Aug 3, 2011 | Reply

    This is why Braylon is not a Jet “Free agent Braylon Edwards could end up facing legal trouble for his role in a fight that broke out at a Birmingham, Michigan bar over the weekend.
    Two members of Edwards’ now infamous entourage allegedly assaulted bar employees with knives and forks (seriously). Edwards wasn’t arrested at the time because police were concentrating on breaking up the fight, but two of his cousins have been charged with felonious assault. A statement from the bar indicates Edwards was involved, perhaps as an instigator. Edwards is still on probation for assault in Cleveland, so he has more than just his free agent value on the line here” The guy just cant stay out of trouble.

  16. By Ernest Wilson on Aug 3, 2011 | Reply

    The NY Jets Need to stop playing with Shaunn Ellis. He is a every down pass rusher and his services is still highly needed. They really need to take care of him for many reasons. He’s been a jet his whole career. Also, he is only 34 and still have a lot left in the tank and he can help the rookie grow.

  17. By IRA on Aug 3, 2011 | Reply

    Very happy to hear that Pool is back. While i thought Elam could be an option Pool really played well down the stretch last year and should continue to play better this year. Maybe with a little more pressure on the QB Pool will be free to roam the field and come up with a few more picks for a team that only had 12 during the regular season.
    GO JETS!!!!

  18. By Jet Fan Since '64 Tom on Aug 3, 2011 | Reply

    Okay, Pool is back at S, which means we haven’t lost anybody there, though we haven’t gained anybody, either, guess that’s for next yr’s draft unless somebody really steps up this yr. It seems a little premature for Cimini to say that McKnight (Joe) “is having a good camp” and “looks like a different back this yr,” though maybe that’s accelerated camp talk. But I’d like to draw attention to that remark since we fans tend to go on at length when somebody’s not cutting it but barely notice when he gets over the hump unless he makes the biggest play of the yr. You guys can expect me to check in several times this yr with match-ups of how McKnight’s doing vs. Leon. I’d do the same with Slauson and Faneca but Faneca’s watching from home.

  19. By Jet Fan Since '64 Tom on Aug 3, 2011 | Reply

    Another thing on “What have you done for me lately?” mindset among us fans: Okay, GaryC, so Pool comes back on a 1-yr deal and while S Ellis has yet to take this “lowball” ($910,000 — yeah, right, real chump change!) 1-yr offer, he didn’t turn up his nose at it either. I say this might be the Love of Rex effect in action, this willingness to take less to stay here, and that’s certainly true of LT and the other guys who accepted reworked contracts. Too bad Edwards doesn’t seem to have seen it that way. Seems like a million yr ago, doesn’t it, when Leon priced himself off the Jets and banished himself to SEA, where they quickly (mid-season) brought in Lynch to push him even further down the depth chart anyway. No tweets from his wife now…

  20. By Jet Fan Since '64 Tom on Aug 3, 2011 | Reply

    I apologize to Digs and DaJuan Morgan. When I said we haven’t lost anybody or gained anybody at S, I meant in terms of starting players. Hopefully Digs will come back, as Rex seemed to hint he might, and keep making his contributions in special packages and on ST and Morgan will make the squad. Though I have to say I like the way Emanuel Cook, who I liked a lot when we picked him up, played in his limited chances last yr, too.

  21. By NYSR2 on Aug 3, 2011 | Reply

    I saw every game from Kerley the last two years. He is outstanding as a punt return man, avoiding the gunners and setting up blocks. He does have excellent speed. He gets deep and nobody catches him in the open field. The stop watch and shorts are for track guys. He has football speed. A YAC monster and impossible to guard one-on-one, making him tough in the red zone. Another Texas college WR who was great, but overlooked in the draft as “too small”—re, Welker, Shipley, Sanders. That is the mold. He instantly upgrades the punt return game….teams wouldn’t kick to him last year, yet he still almost broke a few. A h.s. qb, he also is an excellent passer out of the Wild Cat.

  22. By Jet Fan Since '64 Tom on Aug 4, 2011 | Reply

    Derrick Mason? I don’t see why the Jets would even talk to a WR 8 yrs older than J-Co, no matter how good he once was, unless J-Co’s injuries, or his recent tendency to get injured, is much more serious than the team has been letting on. And I guess it would be one yr and out for Mason, with the young WRs expected to step up next yr and money saved from J-Co this yr spent somewhere else. I’m against this move unless J-Co is physically unable to play this yr. Even then I think I’m against it…

  23. By GaryC on Aug 4, 2011 | Reply

    Ira, just a litlle feedback on certain players out at camp, how is Jarron Gilbert looking,are they giving him reps and how is satele looking at linebacker,Is Ducasse showing any kind of progress or like I have stated I believe he will end up being a guard on this team.

  24. By Jimmer on Aug 4, 2011 | Reply

    Jetfan, Braylon is turning into a mess. I thought he was the clutch player everyone in Cleveland said he wasn’t. I saw no prima donna in his play on the field. But getting involved in yet another incident with booze involved has the immaturaty alarm going off.

  25. By Jet Fan Since '64 Tom on Aug 4, 2011 | Reply

    NYSR2, what you say about Kerley is what I saw on the tape. GaryC, Ducasse at RG next yr sounds right to me, if he earns it. Jimmer, we’ll never know if Edwards woulda kept his cool if we’d re-signed him but he’s definitely losing it now. Without getting too personal about these guys, I can’t help but think about the story that ran on this site last yr about Holmes’ young son and his surgery. I’d think that responsibility to someone like that can’t help but ground a young player a little, especially one who’s already gotten tossed from a team for disciplinary reasons. By contrast, the idea that BE is still even hanging with his crew at a time like this astounds me. How could he not just lock himself in the house until he’s got a new deal?

  26. By IRA on Aug 4, 2011 | Reply

    Very sorry to hear that D. Mason will proabaly become a Jet today. Nothing against him he is an excellent WR and put very good #’s last year. I am sorry only because it appears that would make J-Co expendable. It kills me to say that but i understand its a business. My speculation is that mason would sign for about 1-1.2 or so and they would save about 600,000 to 800,00 if they were to trade J-Co.
    I can only hope that they keep both. How great would that be? Imagine Holmes,Plax,J-Co,Mason and Kerley. That could be one of the top 3 WR groups in the NFL.
    Reality is J-Co might not be a Jet. How i hope i am wrong. I guess with the money they would save they could then bring back Digs.

  27. By Tom Spicer on Aug 4, 2011 | Reply

    I like Leonhard but I think Pool & Smith should be the starters at saftey Smith is a run stopper & a big hitter & Pool is the best cover saftey we have. Leonhard is not really great at anything & his role was to teach the secondary the D they all know it now. So Rex play the best players its all about winning the whole thing now put aside your friendships & go with the guys with the best ability.

  28. By Jet Fan Since '64 Tom on Aug 4, 2011 | Reply

    Ira, Cimini says Jets save $900,000 if they lose J-Co’s $1.8 mil and sign Mason at the vets min of $900,000. With that “little” money at stake, I have to believe that the last 3 yrs’ injuries have told the Jets something about J-Co’s durability. Might be different if we were rebuilding but we never are, it’s SB now or bust. Spicer, I’m with you on Leonhard, Pool, and Smith, I like Leonhard but it sure seemed like we got better coverage and just as good tackling out of the other 2 guys late last yr. Hooray for PIT’s Ryan Clark for calling out the obvious corruption of letting Goodell have sole disciplinary power over the players, and I bet he’s also right about Goodell’s Pop Warner fantasies in making himself such a visible part of the game.

  29. By IRA on Aug 4, 2011 | Reply

    Leonhard was not great at anything? I would compare Leonhard to Bill Bradley who played for the Knicks. Wasn’t the most gifted athlete or had great size for his position. But his smarts were off the charts and what it meant for the team and the same holds true for Leonhard.

  30. By Tim on Aug 4, 2011 | Reply

    **********(Everyone loves COTCHERY!!!!!

    COTCHERY has been a great and (VERY DEPENDABLE) receiver for the JETS.

    ALL the JETS fans I know LOVE COTCHERY and want him to STAY with the JETS!

    JETS fans will be VERY UNHAPPY if the JETS let COTCHERY go!!!)********************

  31. By wayne on Aug 4, 2011 | Reply

    What’s the chance someone’s gonna take a WR physically unable to perform from the Jets when there are perfectly healthy quality guys on the market? Chad ruined some good receivers. J-Co being one.

  32. By wayne on Aug 4, 2011 | Reply

    Derrick Mason will not fill the void……This team needs someone to stretch defenses………..And it ain’t Asomugha. You can call him now or you can call him later…..But you better not call too late…………………..I complained on this sight last year about Rex rushing Pace back too soon and low and behold, Rex was surprised that Pace was injured and was down to 20% of his capacity. Rex’s credibility meter continues to dip……At least this year he didn’t make his annual declaration(he hinted)…..Growth or meal of crow? Play the game……..

  33. By GaryC on Aug 4, 2011 | Reply

    jet fan tom, why is it you think the love of rex theory is in effect with ellis,who is going to pay that for a 34 year old defensive end.his skills have diminished,he probably isn’t getting a lot of offers,sorry, there probably aren’t a lot of suitors, as for derrick mason,dont we have enough ravens,I would rather have cotchery,and again are age goes up even further.are there any aarp representatives hanging out at jets camp,

  34. By Penn Jester on Aug 4, 2011 | Reply

    Is Mason really an upgrade to Cotchery – I don’t think so. J. Co is relatively young and last year was the only time that his injuries were apparent. Keep him, plus I think he only costs them 1.8 mil (at least that’s what I read).

  35. By IRA on Aug 4, 2011 | Reply

    Gary, Its too early to tell. This week has been like a mini-camp. The real stuff will start soon. Next week and the 1st two preseason games will be the test for a lot of the kids trying to make the team. My gut tells me Dixon has the edge over Gilbert right now.
    Ref J-co like he said he thought Chad would be here forever. Its a cold hard business. Too bad!

  36. By russ on Aug 4, 2011 | Reply

    Kerley replaces Cotchery..I get it now…ty

  37. By Jet Fan Since '64 Tom on Aug 4, 2011 | Reply

    Russ, Kerley replaces Cotchery was always part of the plan, it just probably won’t happen this yr. No reason Kerley couldn’t eventually return kicks, punts, and play in the slot now and then. GaryC, I just wonder if some of the guys who have returned or signed re-worked deals aren’t factoring in Rex, Plax sure sounds like he did. That doesn’t mean that guys with few options, like S. Ellis, aren’t going to re-sign partly because of Rex, too. Penn, you’re forgetting J-Co missed games in the middle of the season 2 yrs in a row and is now starting out this yr PUP. wayne, right now Holmes is our main stretch-the-field guy and we’ll see how Plax does in that department.

  38. By Row on Aug 4, 2011 | Reply

    The Harvin comparison is absurd. Harvin could run circles around Kerley. In football, speed kills. As for the defense, there is no reason we shouldn’t at least bring in Atogwe. We draft gap smashers on the DL so I expect a huge uptick in sacks from the linebackers. Safety will be a liability. If Poole gets more playing time, there will be more interceptions. How is the new RB? What #?

  39. By NC on Aug 4, 2011 | Reply

    I don’t know what the Jets are doing with their receivers, but they need more of them. What happens if Burress or Holmes get hurt? Kerley’s a rookie. Mason’s 60 years old. Sign Braylon Edward’s for a year if it’s at all possible, personal problems be damned. And bring someone else in too (wr or a receiving tight end).

  40. By Jet Fan Since '64 Tom on Aug 5, 2011 | Reply

    Row, the idea is Kerley is a Harvin-type player, not that he’s Harvin — that much is obvious, he’s never missed games because of migraines. Go read Cimini’s reports on Kerley, including what Sanchez and Schotty say about him, then tell me what you think. NC, I’m all for more depth at WR but like I’m saying on another story, turns out the Jets management isn’t the bad guy. Turns out J-Co didn’t like being #3 last yr and immediately asked for a trade, but we didn’t see him as a starter anymore. Considering what kind of points we scored when he was perfectly healthy and our #1 with Stuckey #2, I’m not sure he’s a starter either. And by the way, he failed his physical on Thursday. Nothing against J-Co but there’s obviously more to all this.

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