Jeremy Kerley had a breakout rookie season last year for the Jets, stepping up and surprising after Derrick Mason’s dramatic exit left. Kerley demonstrated nice chemistry with Mark Sanchez and came up with several big plays in key moments, leaving expectations high for the receiver heading into his second year.
But Kerley has been struggling to learn Tony Sparano’s new offense, and Rex Ryan told the media today he is a little disappointed.
Jeremy needs to step it up because, quite honestly, I was a little disappointed in Jeremy in the offseason. He’s got to pick up the system, this new system. You got to put the time in.
Of little help to Kerley is the fact that he will be now sidelined for the next or so with a hamstring injury. Unfortunately, he also missed the majority of OTAs for the same reason, which might explain, in part, why he is so behind.
The question is, is Kerley struggling to pick up the offense only because his nagging hamstring problems have kept him off the field? Ryan told the media that Kerley has previously demonstrated an excellent work ethic, and I would venture to guess the injury is the biggest factor here.
But hamstring injuries are very tricky, and the team needs to handle Kerley’s injury delicately. They also need to move ahead and make plans in the event Kerley is not healthy enough to play regularly and/or he is unable to pick up the offense. Rex assured the media that a plan is already in motion, presenting the idea of Santonio Holmes playing in the slot should Kerley not be ready to suit up.
Holmes was extremely effective in the slot in Pittsburgh, and regardless of how Kerley progresses, this is worth consideration. Keeping Holmes happy and getting the most out of him is also a high priority, and I think he could potentially do the most damage playing here.
Furthermore, Rex and the coaches seem highly impressed with both Schilens and Hill (then again, it’s rare they don’t offer glowing reviews), and provided they are ready to take on the roles on the outside, this would maximize everyone’s abilities.
Either way, sounds like Sparano plans to roll out some very unique unique offensive packages that may or may not include CB Antonio Cromartie playing wide receiver (Wait, what?). Should be interesting.
Here are a few other highlight’s from today’s practice, which was open to the public.
- S LaRon Landry got his first day of practice in with the team. He worked with the second team: Eric Smith and Yeremiah Bell played with the ones.
- The Slauson/Ducasse LG competition is on. So there is that.
- OLB Aaron Maybin was impressive today, with two sacks. Apparently Maybin also spent time playing on Special Teams
- CB Ellis Lankster also had a very impressive showing according to The Jets Blog’s Jake Steinberg and several other sources I spoke to in attendance.
- Per Jake Steinberg, “Joe McKnight was very impressive. John Griffin has great hands out of the backfield. And Bilal Powell looked amazing.”
- Sanchez went 6-for-8 with a sack, Tebow went 3-for-8, also with a sack.
The team will practice in pads on Sunday.
And what would this practice report be without a Tebow story or two? The big headline from today is that Tim Tebow was supposedly “heckled” by Jets fans. Apparently it was all of 5 people, which is hardly a fair representation of the 2,588 that attended.
Sounds like the “heckling” didn’t upset Tebow much; he felt comfortable enough to remove his shirt and run around in the rain. And I’ve got proof, thanks to this video.