Could TE Dustin Keller’s Days in a New York Jets Uniform Be Numbered?

Dustin Keller New York Jets Tight End


I try to be an optimistic when it comes to the New York Jets.

Under head coach Rex Ryan, the Jets have been relatively successful, compared to many of the other teams in the league. They haven’t reached their ultimate goal yet, which of course is a Super Bowl championship.

I’m pretty confident that Ryan will get there one day. He’s a terrific football coach and the Jets have a pretty good core to build upon going forward.

I hiring of ex-Miami Dolphins head coach Tony Sparano as the new Jets offensive coordinator,and new offensive line coach Dave DeGuglielmo should give the Jets some added toughness on offense in 2012.

The Jets offensive line had a down year by their standards in 2011, especially in pass protection, but they could certainly improve as a run-blocking unit as well.

To be truly dominant at the line of scrimmage, you ideally need at least one tight end who’s physical enough to take on blockers and give a good push at the point of attack.

Quite frankly, I don’t know if there’s a tight end on the Jets roster who’s capable of that.

I’m not enamored with Dustin Keller, the 2008 first-rounder who’s a pretty solid receiver but nothing special in my eyes.

Pro Football Focus rated him as the 7th worst run blocker in the NFL in 2011, and I shudder to think that there were actually six players worse than him.

When I watch Keller, I don’t see a guy who I trust to make a big play in a big spot. I don’t see a guy who’s particular tough, as a blocker or as a receiver.

I see a guy who seems to underwhelm me every time the ball is thrown his way. He’s got pretty good hands, but is he a gamebreaker that defenses have to plan around? Certainly not.

He’s not very explosive and he’s not a very good route-runner. He’s been one of Mark Sanchez’s top targets though, so that probably counts for something.

However, I imagine that if Keller returns to the team in 2012, it very much could be his last. He can be a free agent after the 2012 season if the Jets let him walk.

He’s more of a wide receiver than a tight end, and he’s only slightly above average, at best. Maybe fellow fans will disagree with me, but I just don’t see the toughness the Jets want coming from a guy like Keller.

I hesitate to call anybody “soft,” but I don’t know what you call a tight end who can’t block and seems to disappear after he takes one big hit.

The Jets have a bunch of holes they need to fill on both sides of the ball, and upgrading the tight end spot is on the backburner for now. But it’s only a matter of time, in my opinion.

If the Jets don’t see a marked improvement from Keller, especially as a blocker, in 2012, he very much could be suiting up elsewhere sooner rather than later. I won’t miss him.

Jon Presser is’s New York Jets Lead Columnist
Follow him on Twitter @metsjetsnets88 and Google Plus
Contact him at

Around the Web

  • Yemi

    You’re an idiot… sorry to say.. I dare you to call him soft to his face.. it’s easy to sit behind a desk and type, especially when you’ve NEVER stepped foot on a field to play organized football.
    The Guy is athletic, and provides another dimension to the Jets offense when he is featured. Did you not see how he played in the first 2-3 games of the season? But you don’t think he’s good, or solid? in the words of Floyd Mayweather, “You don’t know Shhhh about Football”.

    Look at Houston, they have Owen Daniels( not a solid blocker) and Joel Dressen(former Jet). They use them both, and design plays to maximize the skillsets of their BEST players.

    That’s the mark of a “Good/Great” coach, someone that can get the Best out of Good players, and design their offense to fit the skill set of their top players..
    Look at Bill Bellichick, and what Harbaugh is doing in SF. Erick Mangini traded John Abraham, and Jonathan Vilma because he didn’t “Think” they could fit his system… Guess what two areas the Jets Defense has struggled in since they left? (Pass Rush, and Cover Linebackers)… He also traded Winslow & Edwards when he got to Cleveland… guess what area they ar crying about now? (No offensive weapons).

    Rex Ryan Traded his BEST Safety in Kerry Rhodes(You NY fans don’t know talent, just scream *get rid of him* when a player has a down year).. Guess what additional area the Jets got killed in in 2011, and now are looking to in the draft.. “Cover Safeties”..

    Please go sit down with this “Trade Keller* talk…smh

    • Jon Presser

      What does my athletic ability or your athletic ability have to do with the players on the roster? What does a fourth-year tight end have to do with a defensive end, a linebacker and a safety that used to play for the team? I’d love to hear a good counterargument. None of your rambling, incoherent rant has anything to do with the fact that Dustin Keller is simply not good enough for this team.

  • Pingback: 2012 NFL Free Agency: New York Jets Should Target TE Martellus Bennett : New York Jets

  • Pingback: New York Jets 2011 Season in a Nutshell: Dustin Keller's "Strip Six" : New York Jets

  • Pingback: Dustin Keller: New York Jets Should Tag-and-Trade Starting Tight End