New York Jets 2013 Breakout Candidate: Jeremy Kerley
There has been plenty of adversity with the New York Jets franchise this offseason. Head coach Rex Ryan’s job was spared and somehow the underachieving Mark Sanchez remains the favorite to be the starting quarterback over rookie Geno Smith. The team has plenty of worries coming into the 2013 season, but wide receiver Jeremy Kerley certainly won’t be one of them.
Injuries and inconsistency plagued the receiving corps for the Jets in 2012 with star pass catcher Santonio Holmes missing the bulk of the season due to a Lisfranc injury that still has both he and the coaching staff concerned as training camp looms. Stephen Hill failed to impress as a rookie last season, and he remains labeled as a one-trick pony in the New York offense.
At just 5-foot-9, 188 pounds, Kerley isn’t going to wow anyone physically, but the former TCU Horned Frog just keeps making plays and finding ways to have an impact on football games with his savvy and quickness. He led the team in receiving by a wide margin last season nearly doubling up the nearest player in receptions. But those 56 catches for 827 yards and two touchdowns could just be scratching the surface on Kerley’s potential coming into 2013.
In regards to the receiver, new offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg told Newsday:
“He’s a natural player. Excellent instincts. Good feel of the game. Certainly, quick and strong for his size. And he is quite versatile. He’s really a good, all-around football player.”
Given that praise, Kerley’s expectations should surprise no one as he wants 2013 to be an even bigger season. He said:
“A thousand receiving yards. Sixty caught balls. And to be a better team player.”
Well then, I might even raise you a handful of catches, sir.
With Holmes still uncertain, Hill still unproven, and tight end Dustin Keller now a Miami Dolphin, the Jets will need to get production in the passing game from somewhere this season. Kerley is the ideal receiver for a West Coast offense like Mornhinweg will be bringing to the Jets this season, so his stats should see a definite boost as a result.