Kerley Commendably Stepping Into New Role

There was a great article by Connor Orr yesterday in the Star-Ledger about the strides that Jeremy Kerley is making at the receiver position for the Jets, now that he’s been thrust into a starting role with the season-ending injury of Santonio Holmes.

[...] Kerley has been rotating from the slot, his natural position, back to the outside to pick up some of Holmes’ routes. He has gone from having an “ocean of room,” a descriptor Sparano uses to paint a picture of the slot position, to having no margin for error.

Lal said that Holmes was the best natural route-runner among the receivers, the closest he had to the “clinic” tapes he hoped to develop, which could have helped motivate Kerley to make a change.

“He’s been really good that way and we’ve been able to move him around in a lot of spots, so that’s been helpful,” Sparano said. “I really think Jeremy, with the more playing time he gets, he’s obviously getting a lot better at what he’s doing. I think there’s a big difference because playing inside and then playing outside during the course of the game, there really is a big difference.”

Kerley has watched tape on Jerry Rice, another smaller wide receiver who played the outside, and has kept in touch with Holmes throughout the rehabbing process for advice

Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.com

It’s not been optimal, but Kerley truly is making the best of the opportunity.  Santonio’s inability to demand coverages is making it slightly more difficult for Kerley, but Kerley is still playing well …even if he didn’t have a great statistical game in the team’s last outing.  Defenses are beginning to key on Kerley, especially after his game against the Patriots.  Even so, the Jets are going to need to see the continued boost in place from guys like Schilens and Gates to help the squad.  The better the unit can play as a whole, the easier it will be for the passing game to get on track.