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WR Riley’s Familiar with Tebow, Mile-High Air

Posted by Andrew LeRay on November 16, 2011 – 1:05 pm

With the availability of Jeremy Kerley (knee) and Patrick Turner (kidney) still unknown, the Jets’ receiving corps could be at less than full strength heading into Thursday night’s game in Denver. If neither is available, the Jets will turn to recent signee and former Broncos WR Eron Riley.

Riley was a member of the Denver practice squad before being signed to the Jets’ active roster on Oct. 19. An undrafted free agent out of Duke in 2009, he has also spent time on Baltimore’s and Carolina’s practice squads. He has yet to play in a regular-season NFL game.

“Whether I play five, 10 or 50 snaps on offense — even if I’m not playing at all — I’m going to do my best, and do what I have to do to help the Jets get a win by any means possible,” said Riley.

Since arriving in the New York area, he has seen limited work with QB Mark Sanchez in practice and has played on the scout team during special teams drills.

At 6’3” and 207 pounds, Riley is a long, rangy receiver, similar in stature to Turner or a young WR Plaxico Burress. He characterizes himself as a deep threat, a stretch-the-field type of receiver.

“If it were up to me, that’s what I would do every time,” he said. “Obviously, I can’t do that. I’m trying to get better at the other things that I’m not so good at doing. I’ve been working after practice on things that need to be polished up to help me become a complete receiver.”

His propensity for “going long” has helped him in the past. He finished his collegiate career as one of Duke’s all-time leading receivers with 144 receptions for 2,413 yards (16.8-yard average) and 22 touchdowns in 40 games. And in three NFL preseasons (two with the Ravens, last year with the Broncos), he had 11 catches for 292 yards (26.5 average) and three TDs.

In a Denver preseason game this summer, Riley caught three passes for 144 yards and a touchdown against the Arizona Cardinals. Two of those passes originated from the arm of current Broncos starting QB Tim Tebow. While Tebow has found himself squarely underneath the national media microscope for his unorthodox mechanics and nontraditional approach to the position, Riley says everyone needs to just calm down.

“He’s a fighter. He’s going to go down swinging,” said Riley. “Most people say he can’t throw the ball or whatever, but he’s going to make up for it some other way. He was a proven winner since before I met him and now that I’ve seen him.”

Last week, Tebow attempted only eight passes, completing two en route to the 17-10 victory at Kansas City. The Broncos ran the ball an astounding 55 times in the game, which surprised Riley.

“They have become a more run-oriented team,” he said. “They’re running the ball a whole lot more, especially since I was there.”

No matter what is said about the young Broncos signalcaller, Tebow has Riley’s respect.

“He’s a quarterback. He might not throw the perfect ball all the time, but what quarterback does? It’s going to get to you at the end of the day,” he said. “Receivers get paid to catch balls, whether they’re ugly balls or good balls.”

Ahead of Riley’s return trip to the Rockies, he shared his experiences of playing in the mile-high thin air.

“The altitude is a big difference,” he said. “When I first got there, it took me several days to get used to it. But with the adrenaline of the game, the guys will get used to it real quick. They’ll be OK once kickoff gets going.”

Thin air, thick air or no air, Riley won’t even notice, if he suits up for his first NFL game on Thursday night.

Injury Update

Kerley and RB LaDainian Tomlinson have been ruled out for Thursday night’s game, as both will stay home to rest their knees.  TE Shawn Nelson (illness) and S Brodney Pool (knee) round out the group of Jets that did not make the trip.

Turner is listed as probable for Thursday after recovering from his kidney injury.  In addition to Turner, 13 other Jets are listed as probable, including CB Darrelle Revis (knee).  Check out the Injury Report under the Team tab at the top of your page for the fully updated list.

Looking at the injury situation for the Broncos, the running back position has been a focus all week.  RB Knowshon Moreno, a Belford, NJ native, suffered an ACL tear on Sunday and is out for the season.  RB Willis McGahee (hamstring) is questionable for Thursday.  Six other Broncos have been listed as probable, including S Brian Dawkins (ankle), and the team’s leading tackler LB Wesley Woodyard (knee).


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53 Responses to “WR Riley’s Familiar with Tebow, Mile-High Air”

  1. By STAYLOADED on Nov 16, 2011 | Reply

    That’s great and all, but you still need a QB to get the balls down field, or if he could see that far

  2. By logan on Nov 16, 2011 | Reply

    Tebow put the fannies in the seats. He is about as rough and unpolished a Q/B as I have ever seen but he is tough and he has guts. I wish he had been our backup. That kid ever learns how to throw the ball watch out

  3. By worrell on Nov 16, 2011 | Reply

    The Jets need to man up and destroy the teams that they play from now on, i’am tired of the upper teams like New England punching us in our mouth like a step brother! what is it that they need? better play calling, protection for Mark Sanchez! what? needles to say i was embarrassed on sunday while having my jersey on all green and white i had to suck it up and agreed that we got “PUNKED” in our own home, ok i’am trying to let it go so we lost the battle with “NEW ENGLAND” as long as we can win the war i’am cool with that (playoffs) come on JETS it’s put up or shut up time!!!!!

  4. By scjoe on Nov 16, 2011 | Reply

    64, from previous post..I hear ya, but don’t agree 100%. Much of what happened Sunday night was due to critical mistakes, physical and mental, offensively and defensively, by players and by coaches. That in part led up to that meltdown. Fortunately many of those mistakes are correctable. That said, do we have the personal on this roster right now to win a SB? Probably not. But there have been other SB winners you can make that statement for. I agree with you on Rex and his talking, but that in itself don’t lose football games. I agree with you on MS. I believe along with his other shortcomings his lack of pocket presence will bring him down.

  5. By Tom Spicer on Nov 16, 2011 | Reply

    LT OUT, Pool OUT, Kerley OUT & Turner OUT. Who is our 3rd & 4th WR for this game? Letting Braylon & Cotchery go where great ideas.

  6. By kleckofan on Nov 16, 2011 | Reply

    DT/NT on the dive back, DE/LB on Tebow, CB/S on the RB/pitchman; no mystery to defending the option attack.. If everyone stays patient, knows their assignment and tackles well, this should be a less than 14 pt game for the Defense. Question is: can Schotty and Sanchez score w/o Kerley and LT against an above average defense? Miller and Dumervil will definitely be in our backfield. They are not big so the ground game should be successful.

  7. By scjoe on Nov 16, 2011 | Reply

    Spicer, per a recent conversation we had about who says what about MS. Here is a quote I copied and pasted from the staff at NFL Network.
    Mark Sanchez has taken his share of heat for the Jets’ struggles this season. Some believe he’s holding the team back. In one heated moment, his own coach even said Sanchez made the “stupidest” play in football history. (NFL Network 11/15/2011)

  8. By Tom Spicer on Nov 16, 2011 | Reply

    Looking at the standings the Jets are in big trouble. Pats, Bills, Ravens, Bengals & Texans all only have 2 AFC loses. The Steelers only have 3 AFC loses. The Titans & Raiders have 4 AFC loses just like we do we basically we lose every tie breaker there is.

  9. By JETS ALL THE WAY!!! on Nov 16, 2011 | Reply

    this has nothing to do with this article but in the upcoming offseason the jets should go after desean jackson if the eagles dont give him a new contract, if the jets were to acquire him then we would stretch the field so much more and finally have something defenses need to worry about, instead of just short passes and running plays and also in the offseason get rid of our OffensiveCoordinator and get someone whos good at designing great offensive plays!!

  10. By Billie Billie on Nov 16, 2011 | Reply

    God how easily we forget that in his first 2 years MS took us to the AFC championship 2 years in row and has won 4 post season games on the road and won 2 of those games with less than 39 minutes left in the game. NO other QB has ever done that not even your Bradey or your Payton. Before last week MS had a HIGHER QB RATING than Eli. Give him a break. Its an entire team effort which includes hanging onto a punt return. You learn that in peewee football.

  11. By Jet Fan Since '64 Tom on Nov 16, 2011 | Reply

    scjoe, the word is out among all but the most in-denial fans that Sanchez as the future is being re-evaluated. This is not rocket science. Even Ira, who’ll defend the lowliest Jet to the death, once acknowledged that the 3rd yr is key, as we all know it is. No one is going to watch the Jets go backwards this yr without considering some kind of move, MS stumbling like this next yr will be disastrous. And Spicer, you having some kind of delayed reaction to reality? Yeah, we needed to beat BAL, beat NE at least once, and of course beat OAK. Ever occur to you that we mighta been able to do all that if we’d had a team that can score anything in the 1st half? (I admit, having a backup C woulda helped in that regard.)

  12. By Tom Spicer on Nov 16, 2011 | Reply

    SCjoe, My response to that is this “Rex is saying Mark taking a time out when in his head set either Matt Cavangh or Schotty told him to take a time out is the dumbest play in the history of football.” Well Rex before you want to throw someone under the bus for taking a time out WHEN HE WAS TOLD TO. Worry about your so called great D who cant stop anyone. Stop running your mouth & coach focus on the fact that your D is bad & you are SUPPOSED to be a great D coach.

  13. By Another Tom on Nov 16, 2011 | Reply

    that “stupid” time out that allowed Brady an additional 20 seconds was irrelevant..They only needed a minute to score..I hope We can out coach Denver. Thats the bottom line. We were thoroughly dominated by NE due to coaching and a masterful game plan, thats what I saw. They played “rope a dope” with us…

  14. By GaryC on Nov 16, 2011 | Reply

    jet fan tom,this guy Riley sounds like another Clowney, he can really do it in the preseason,again don’t know to many top football talents who have come out of Duke,this isn’t the Hardwood.

  15. By Another Tom on Nov 16, 2011 | Reply

    Our game plan vs. Buffalo was our best so far and fortunately the Bills did not make adjustments..no such luck vs. Belichek and NE. Belichek was smiling on the sidelines as the game ended..obviously He gets much satisfaction from beating us badly..just as Slauson suggested..maybe thats why NE looked so sloppy in their previous games ..they were already preparing for their super bowl vs. the Jets..

  16. By Another Tom on Nov 16, 2011 | Reply

    Our collective coaching staff seems to be out of Sync this year, as compared to the 2 previous seasons for whatever reasons..special teams has been the most consistent. I am most disappointed that our Defense has been very sub par..Our inability to pressure the QB is killing us

  17. By carl on Nov 16, 2011 | Reply

    Where’s the Beef? The Jets dont have any beef on eiter side of the line!! If any quarterback has a clean pocket to sit in they will ripp you to shreds! Go Jets!!!

  18. By Bruno Z on Nov 16, 2011 | Reply

    I live in Australia a thousand miles away and even I can see MS doesn’t get not enough protection.
    Too many mistakes.
    Going up just before the main break and kicking the ball out of bounds – weak.
    Should’ve kick the ball in play and made the statement – We’re here to win.
    Simply the Pats wanted it more, they had more guts.

  19. By Bruno Z on Nov 16, 2011 | Reply

    Another Tom, agree with ” Our inability to pressure the QB is killing us.” Every other team we play against it sems that the opposing QB has enough time to some gardening before throwing the ball.

  20. By GaryC on Nov 16, 2011 | Reply

    maybe joe piscarzek handing off to Csonka was the dumbest play in history,C’mon Rex, thought you were a historian.

  21. By Karan on Nov 16, 2011 | Reply

    We still have a lot of weapons for this game, Holmes, Burress, Keller, McKnight, Mulligan, Baker, Greene, Conner, Riley and Turner if he’s able to make it.

  22. By fred on Nov 16, 2011 | Reply

    how about Mark Gastineau’s roughing Bernie Kosar for dumbest play in history or Eric Barton commiting the same foul yrs later. Sanchez’ gaffe would not even make a Jets top 10 dumbest plays in team history

  23. By Karan on Nov 16, 2011 | Reply

    The D is playing inconsistent at times. They’ll be outstanding for like 2-3 weeks and just stink against a team like NE. I still believe the Jets will have revenge against the patriots in the playoffs.

  24. By ArtSoCal on Nov 16, 2011 | Reply

    High altitude (thin air) and a short turnaround could be significant concerns here. I hope not!

  25. By Ablity on Nov 16, 2011 | Reply

    if Greene does not get atleast 30 carrys we will lose

  26. By worrell on Nov 16, 2011 | Reply

    All these comments are so valid i’am in total agreement with you guys, we need a offensive cooderanotar who can make better play calling than what we currently have, it’s most of the time predictable and boring, the defence apart from Revis and a few of the front line guys are inadequate, when are we going to pressure the QB? really!! my gosh all the teams in the NFL if you give them that much time to find their recievers they will, why can’t we have that much time to throw the ball? and oh what’s going on with the groung and pound? look to me as if we need a better O line to make room for the fellas in the back field. come on man! it’s due time for us to kick some but like green bay, i like that style of offense, come on JETS!!!!

  27. By Rick on Nov 16, 2011 | Reply

    Jets dont need to Worry about the Raiders because they will win the West Division,hence we are not competing with them for a wild card spot. If the Jets can take care of their business they will be ok as far as playoffs are concerned. Im interested to see this guy Riley at WR this week,I expect to see McKnight get alot of touches but he is better when they throw it to him….After they threw him a couple of nice completions a few weeks ago now he has gotten nothing, Rex says he`s one of the most explosive guys in the league so WHY doesnt he get the touches on offense especially in the passing game, Shotty is missing the boat on this one.

  28. By Jet Fan Since '64 Tom on Nov 17, 2011 | Reply

    Like with Clowney, GaryC, we’ll never find out if this guy can do it in the regular season if we don’t play him during it, so I look forward to seeing what he can do. Besides, along the lines of what scjoe said to Spicer about Collinsworth’s comment on how rarely we throw downfield to any consequence, any day I can read the words “stretch the field” with respect to a WR on the Jets site is a good one. Karan, as many of us and an army of sportswriters have said, NO D is gonna hold on forever when it’s teamed up with an O that NEVER EVEN LEADS THE OTHER TEAM 7-0 IN THE 1ST QUARTER! Stop depending on the D to do everything and cutting the O all the breaks, no O players in the league will want to play here if that becomes a Jets trademark.

  29. By jetfan1 on Nov 17, 2011 | Reply

    J-E-T-S …..JETS JETS JETS!

  30. By STAYLOADED on Nov 17, 2011 | Reply

    Really, you guys just don’t get it. As long as we have a QB that can’t survey the field or throw bullets on target,an Offense that can’t protect, A Defense that can’t get to the QB or cover tight ends. it is hopeless. If the Jets let the Bronco’s score more than 14 point tonight that is sad or let Tebow score even worst.
    Oh Yea,I would really love to see a hurry up Offense tonight, good drives keep it going fast, no time for Defense replacements and a couple of scores in the 1st quarter. From here on in all Wins or back to drawing board.
    Good Luck

  31. By Frank on Nov 17, 2011 | Reply

    Spicer!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! No one told Sanchise-Not to take a TO. Sanchise-Not heard the coaches talking among themselves about taking a time out! Which leads me to point out anothe Sanchise-Not weakness which is his situational awareness. The TO not with standing he also badly muffed his line calls. When the QB lines up he surveys the D calls the “mike” and checks the line to see if he has enough blockers. On a few of the spread plays there weren’t enough blockers and he should have called the RB or TE back to block and he did not!!!!!! Additionally when the pressure was coming from the outside he did not step up in the pocket were it was safe…the reason he is too short to see over the linemen or he is afraid of being trapped inside

  32. By Gregory Beaumont on Nov 17, 2011 | Reply

    I say put up or shut up. We need to roll some heads. Tell Sanchez, Rex, or Scotty if they don’t win they are threw. No sense of urgency. The team has become a joke. We did not even compete with NE. Its ok to lose, but we should at least be competitive. NO, we just rolled over. If it continues it is time to put someone out.

  33. By Clarke W. Griswald on Nov 17, 2011 | Reply

    We’re used to stale offense, but watching E. Smith get burned by Gronk, all day, in mancoverage, was brutal. I understand Gronk is a freak and hard for any team to handle, but Smith was clearly out matched and Rex/Pettine did not have an answer for that, which scares me. Tight ends have been murdering the Jets, all season long. How are other teams stopping tight ends? We should ask Dustin Keller, as he has been negated out of game plans, by many a defense. Sanchez frightens me when he throws, even the completions scare me a lot of the time. This is a very negative post, I know. I still have faith and understand that anything is possible, but sitting at 5-4 and swept by New England is not exactly how I envisioned year 3 of theRex/Sanchez era

  34. By Tom Spicer on Nov 17, 2011 | Reply

    Frank, He has 3 inches on Brees so the to short stuff is garbage. The O line is not good PERIOD END OF STORY! 4 or more sacks in half your games GARBAGE!

  35. By Clarke W. Griswald on Nov 17, 2011 | Reply

    On 2nd and 6 the Jets run a five wide set, with an empty backfield, pause. It was at this point in time that I started losing my mind. Thinking, why in the world, on 2nd and 6, would you not try to exploit play action? Or even just a straight up run play? Especially being a team like the Jets, it’s early in the game and a dude like Shonn Greene needs at least 20 carries to be effective. Anyway unpause and Hunter and D’brick both get beat like a couple of bongos, Sanchez takes a sack turning it into 3rd and about a million, to which we run the patented draw play to Tomlinson up the gut, to establish, somewhat decent punting position, for the most over utilized, under qualified punter in the league.

  36. By Tom Spicer on Nov 17, 2011 | Reply

    Todays New York Post page 72 Wayne Hunter says it is not realistic for him to block for more than 5 seconds. REALLY! Wayne HELLO it takes at least 3 seconds to hike the ball & for the QB to drop back. So in your mind the QB has 2 seconds to get rid of the ball. If that is your mindset I dont even want you playing in the game. Good O lines stone wall the D line & they dont get near the QB. I watch Brady, Rodgers & others drop back & you can count to 15 mississippi & no one is in within 5 yards of them.

  37. By logan on Nov 17, 2011 | Reply

    This season has hurt so much becuase of the expectations we all had. One game from the Super Bowl last year, huge last two wins on the road. Then at the start of this season Ryan saying this is the year, Boy Rookie finally grown up,big new W/R going to start throwing more and on and on….Well it didn’t work out that way never count your chickens……

  38. By Jet Fan Since '64 Tom on Nov 17, 2011 | Reply

    Great stuff, Frank and Gregory Beaumont.

  39. By scjoe on Nov 17, 2011 | Reply

    Funniest post of the day goes to Fred… “Sanchez gaffe would not even make the Jets top ten dumbest plays in team history” I have been a Jet fan long enough to roll on the floor after hearing that one. Good one Fred.

  40. By Bruno Z on Nov 17, 2011 | Reply

    It looks from afar as Australia that everyone from coaches, players, etc are not on the same page.
    They looked confused and frustrated.

    Totally agree Worrell.

  41. By wayne on Nov 17, 2011 | Reply

    This is suppose to be a gimme game…..Don’t think so…..Got to be some hangover from NE…….The mile high air and constant pounding from Broncs run game will make this tough one….Jets have also shown lack of discipline all year so expect them to make mistakes from fatigue. It will be close, but firepower on Jets side should carry the day……..UNLESS THERE ARE SOME HUMONGOUS MISTAKES.

  42. By GaryC on Nov 17, 2011 | Reply

    it will be scary tonight if the broncos decide to run a wishbone, with bart scott’s lack of lateral pursuit I can see some of their running backs going right past him and pace also.do we have the wide pitches anymore in the offense like when Washington was on the team, like maybe tonight,have mulligan block down and swing Ferguson as the lead blocker on the sweep with McKnight.Is this shottys swan song tonight.we’ll know soon enough.

  43. By davetharave on Nov 17, 2011 | Reply

    I’ve been saying all season, Joe McKnight is ready to take more snaps in the backfield, well now it looks like he will and we’ll see if he can put up another game like at Buffalo LAST season or if he’s not ready to assume the backup RB slot. I think he is ready and we’ll be pleasantly surprised at the new dimension he brings to the running game.

  44. By jetken on Nov 17, 2011 | Reply

    I agree with most of your points. All the Jet fans seem to be upset about 1 thing or another, including me. This is the team they have this year and its not going to change. That being said if we don”t get some of these problems corrected we won”t be watching our favorite team in the post season. The o-line needs to play much better.Mark can”t do his job when he has no time to throw or is on his back.And Rex where is this number 1 defense you have been promising us for three years? Maybe Pettine isn’t the right guy for the job. We clearly have the players on offense to be explosive, Dustin Keller should be an all pro every year. Our special teams is the best in the league.

  45. By jim on Nov 17, 2011 | Reply

    Great posts on here. I think MS is fine; he’s good enough to win a super bowl with…we’ve won more playoff games with him than Ken O’Brien, Boomer, and O’Donnell combined and he’s in his third year. Bottom line: the Jets do not have a defensive line that can pressure the opposing QB. this is killing us. Secondly, the jets cannot protect their QB. this is killing us. The problem is it just doesn’t look like we have the personal to fix those two problems….

  46. By GaryC on Nov 17, 2011 | Reply

    why don’t you have a moving pocket for sanchez like the chiefs use to have for Lenny Dawson,Sanchez is mobile enough,jets offensive line is athletic enough,change it up a little, what do you have to lose.

  47. By wayne on Nov 17, 2011 | Reply

    A word…………………………..WOW……………………. Let the hammering begin..

  48. By dave on Nov 17, 2011 | Reply

    Thats it I am done. That was the worst called game I have ever witnessed. Pettine was horrible. Schottenheimer was worse. Slauson is terrible. Smith is worse. Please take them all out back and you know what to do. Terrible!!!

  49. By Danny on Nov 17, 2011 | Reply

    We have become a Joke. Revis pulled a REX and talked smack and we lose to the lowly Broncos. What a DISGRACE. I gotta chalk it up to SAME OLD JETS. I’m thru with them. They make me sickkkkkkkkkkk

  50. By jetfan1 on Nov 18, 2011 | Reply

    THIS OFFENSE IS ………?

  51. By Jet Fan Since '64 Tom on Nov 18, 2011 | Reply

    By halftime I was pretty sure we’d lose and that a Sanchez pick 6 would play a role. All the usual signs were there: Failure to take advantage of field position, mostly limp short passing, inaccurate throws when it counts (the missed TDs to Holmes and Keller were absurd), and few pts scored. You simply can’t put your D in the position where allowing 10 pts is a sin but at least unlike last yr with the 10-6 MIA loss, Rex didn’t scold the D. This team’s going nowhere if it’s lucky enough to make the playoffs, it would be better off losing a lot of games, drafting higher, and thinking seriously about retooling for next yr. The order of heads that could roll still goes Schotty (who’d be gone tomorrow if it mattered for this yr), MS, and Rex.

  52. By Jet Fan Since '64 Tom on Nov 18, 2011 | Reply

    McKnight’s fumble was bad and Powell got lucky on his, but I don’t wanna hear that these were major factors. You have to be able to win with your backups and it’s ludicrous that 10 games in, those 2 guys looked closer to rookie RBs than backups. I don’t know why we don’t seem to know how to work many of our young players in like other teams do. Also absurd to take 10 games to throw a screen to the speedy McKnight. Shaking it up for Manning or Campbell next yr is starting to look better to me ’cause anyone who thinks either of those guys wouldn’t put big pts on the board with Holmes, Plax, Kerley, and Keller is on another planet. Sanchez is not only regressing on skills but on smarts, his 2-minute drills in both halves were embarrassing.

  53. By Jet Fan Since '64 Tom on Nov 18, 2011 | Reply

    JETS ALL THE WAY, that’s a really intriguing idea about getting DeSean Jackson, Plax could be the #3-#4. Starting DeSean, Holmes, and Kerley would give us a smallish team of WRs but the speed of those 3 would be something we’ve almost never had. Problem is pretty soon the Jets are gonna have to make a major statement to NFL players that they’re interested in scoring pts and just firing Schotty might not be enough with the way Sanchez is leading (or failing to) and throwing (too often badly). A new OC and some serious competition at QB might be needed to show folks we’re serious about throwing the ball. At this pt one has to wonder if many of our better players on O and D will either split or fade by the time MS matures — if he ever does.

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