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STS*: Baker Ready to Provide Field Position If Called On

Posted by Randy Lange on December 10, 2011 – 10:55 am

Field position is always so important on special teams, and Josh Baker contributed two chunks of yards to the Jets’ FP in Sunday’s conquest of the Redskins.

“What was that, my second kickoff return?” Baker asked me about his 29-yard runback to set the table around midfield for the first of the Jets’ three fourth-quarter touchdown drives. “I’m no longer a rookie. I’m a vet.”

Actually, it was his third. Baker, the undrafted free agent TE, has now touched the ball four times as a pro and positive yardage has always happened. Three of the touches have been kickoff returns. He took a pop-fly kickoff from the Dolphins 16 yards to the Jets 34 in his first appearance in the green and white. Two weeks later he ran a short kick by the Patriots 15 yards, also to the Jets 34.

Having gotten his feet wet, he was ready to put his stamp on the contest at FedEx.

“Going into the game, if they’ve shown that they’ve popped it up before, even one time throughout the season, then it’s brought to our attention and we will practice it,” Baker said. “There’ll be a rep or two just because we know they’ve done it before, and I believe the Redskins had done it before.”

Having just taken their last lead at 16-13, the ‘Skins were playing it safe, or so they thought, in keeping it away from Antonio Cromartie, who had dropped into the end zone in place of the sore-elbowed Joe McKnight for Graham Gano’s kick. The ball flew high and short to the Jets 20, where Shake-‘n’-Bake was waiting for it.

“I think when you have a weapon like Joe McKnight or Cro back there deep, it does make teams think about doing different things,” head coach Rex Ryan said. “And obviously with Baker, if you kick it to the 20, we’re in business. Mike Westhoff and I had a plan, anticipating something like this, and when it happens, you have to make it happen and that’s exactly what Baker did.”

The only thing Baker didn’t make happen was a missed tackle by the kicker. Gano took him down by the Redskins bench at the Jets 49.

“I just saw the hole and hit it. I wish I’d have made a move on the kicker. It was near the sideline but I’ve got to make him miss.”

Did he get grief from his teammates over that tackle?

“Not as much as from my parents. My dad, I got a few comments from him. He’s my No. 1 hater,” Baker said, assuring that his father, Kevin, gave him the business in a loving way.

Above, we said Baker provided two chunks of yardage. The first one most people probably never saw because CBS’ long camera shot of T.J. Conley’s second-quarter punt swung immediately away from the line of scrimmage to Brandon Banks’ fair catch didn’t stay at the line of scrimmage. But you can see a quick view of the Jets’ right wingman on the punt protect team for some reason being thrown to the ground by Washington third-year LB Rob Jackson, in plain view of ref John Parry’s crew.

That wingman was Baker. Instead of the Redskins getting field position similar to the spot that Baker gave the Jets two quarters later, at their 49, they started at their 39.

Who’s to say if that was a big reason for the ‘Skins moving 8 yards and then punting, and then the Jets moving 57 yards to Nick Folk’s first field goal? But every yard helps.

And perhaps the Jets are forcing Sunday’s foe, the Chiefs at MetLife Stadium, to pick their poison. Last week Ryan Succop and the Chiefs faced Devin Hester and the Bears. On their two kickoffs in their 10-3 win, the Chiefs gave up a return to the CHI-34 and had a kickoff out of bounds.

If Baker is called on to provide a similar short field this week, he’s veteran-ready.

*Special Teams Saturday.

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Posted in Randy Lange | 16 Comments »

16 Responses to “STS*: Baker Ready to Provide Field Position If Called On”

  1. By sal on Dec 10, 2011 | Reply

    Who? Well lets see if he can catch it regularly!

  2. By Karan on Dec 10, 2011 | Reply

    I like this kid Baker, they should really establish him in the 3-tight end set, I mean, if they want to call those plays again, it worked pretty good against the Cowboys when we used Cumberland.

  3. By Tom Spicer on Dec 10, 2011 | Reply

    We have had a special teams turnover in 5 straight games. Kerley muffed 2 punts, Cromartie 1 & McKnight muffed a punt 7 fumbled a kickoff. This has to stop we are giving the other team th ball pretty much in the red zone to start.

  4. By wayne on Dec 10, 2011 | Reply

    As easy an oppty for a win as there’s been all season and for the rest of it. Next!

  5. By Jet Fan Since '64 Tom on Dec 11, 2011 | Reply

    With McKnight inactive, I’m anxious to see Powell at RB. Rex was very high on this guy (as was Arte Olde School), so let’s see what he’s got.

  6. By Tom Spicer on Dec 11, 2011 | Reply

    I am hearing in the New York media that Schotty is taking alot of heat. Well I wanted to say this & I am not even a Schotty fan. The major bulk of the blame needs to go on MR.T. Rex, Schotty & Mark can only play with the cards they have been dealt. MR.T is a numbers guy not a football guy & he has made up for his bad drafts by doing well with trades & in free agency. Well he made no trades this year & he blew it in free agancy. Wayne Hunter is way worse the Damien Woody, Cotchery is way better than Kerley & Braylon is slightly better than Plax ( they are the same except Braylon has the speed to get deep which Palx no longer has). So to me MR.T blew it.

  7. By scjoe on Dec 11, 2011 | Reply

    This is the result of good, accurate QB play, a better then average running game, and a better then average defensive performance. Put those elements together every week and you will be hard to beat.

  8. By Tom Spicer on Dec 11, 2011 | Reply

    Mark, Has 26 TDS in 13 games 21 passing & 5 rushing. Do bad QBS have 26 TDS in 13 games? answer NO. Do bad QBS have 30 TDS in year year? answer NO!

  9. By Tom Spicer on Dec 11, 2011 | Reply

    The Bengals lost & the Titans lost. The Packers are about to crush the Raiders we control our own destiny win our final 3 games & we are in no matter what happens anywhere else!

  10. By Tom Spicer on Dec 11, 2011 | Reply

    Greene is staring to step it up if he can continue to run the ball well & Mark does not turn the ball over we will be very hard to beat.

  11. By Tom Spicer on Dec 11, 2011 | Reply

    Rex is starting Westerman over Mcentyre which is good cause we need his pass rush. But I have noticed something he needs to start Dixon on the D line along with Pouha & Wilkerson. He has been playing really well & he is our best pass rusher out of our down lineman (Pouha, Wilkerson, Devito, Ellis & Rapolti)

  12. By Jet Fan Since '64 Tom on Dec 11, 2011 | Reply

    I won’t overly defend Mr T in this off-season, Spicer, that’s for sure, especially after the fiasco at C. But downplay Moore’s impact and defend Schotty all you want, fact is we suddenly throw screens for big yds to our RBs, something we haven’t done since Leon. Definitely Sanchez’s best game in awhile, maybe all yr, but when Brady, Brees, and Rodgers start bragging about their rushing TDs, I’ll pay a little more attention to you on that score. And I notice Kerley did okay returning punts today despite seemingly half of New York terrified that he might fumble one. Hope Leonhard is back soon but again this highlights how dumb it was to lose Lowery, Coleman, and Digs without adding at least one proven, competent S. (Strickland doesn’t count.)

  13. By Tom Spicer on Dec 12, 2011 | Reply

    I was not downplaying Moore’s impact I love having him with us & I also said I am not a Schotty fan. What I was saying is MR.T did a bad job this past off season.

  14. By Jet Fan Since '64 Tom on Dec 12, 2011 | Reply

    Like I say in the story ahead of this, Spicer, if it turns out that having no backup C cost us the OAK and BAL games and having no backup S costs us any of these last three games, Mr. T may not get a chance to do a bad job for us next off-season.

  15. By Tom Spicer on Dec 12, 2011 | Reply

    Tom 64, Also do Rodgers or Vicks rushing TDS not count? Of course they do at what point are you going to stop dismissing them. If he had 1 or 2 okay but the guy has had at least 3 rushing TDS every year. He has 5 rushing TDS this year. You can not dismiss the fact that he is mobile. That bootleg where he fakes the handoff then runs outside works everytime. Everytime he does it no one is near him. Also the QB draw where he fakes the pass than runs it in works really well. You cant just say 5 rushing TDS whatever it is a weapon.

  16. By Jets Fan Since '64 Tom on Dec 12, 2011 | Reply

    Spicer, in this era and this yr of more injuries and more brutal injuries, you’re about the only guy I know who ever played, watched, or liked football who likes QB TDs. I can see a simple sneak once or twice a yr, but who wants their QB to be a weapon as a rusher? HOU? (Schaub out for yr). KC? (Cassel out for yr). IND? (Manning out for yr). PIT? (Ben R., miraculously not out for yr) And Vick is the worst example you could possibly bring up! If I had a $ for everyone who said he was running too much before he got hurt last yr, I’d never have to buy my own sliders and Bud at the sports bar again. Let our RBs run the ball in at the goal line, including the faster RBs we need (McKnight might be one) who can turn the corner faster than any QB.

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