Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Rex on Jets' Kerley: 'This is the guy we expected'


Jeremy Kerley was in Rex Ryan's doghouse over the summer, as he missed most of training camp and preseason with a hamstring injury, and Ryan reportedly questioned Kerley's commitment both on and off the field.

Well, look at him now.

Through seven weeks, Kerley leads the Jets with 25 receptions for 435 yards. He's also hauled in two touchdowns while returning a punt for another, and he's coming off a career day against the New England Patriots Sunday that saw the second-year wideout catch seven passes for 120 yards.

"I was down on Kerley because he wasn’t out there. I expected more," Ryan told reporters Monday. "This is what I expected from Kerley."

Kerley came out of the gate on fire with a receiving and return touchdown in the team's season-opening blowout victory over the Buffalo Bills, and he's stepped up admirably in bolstering the Jets' depleted receiving corps that lost its best offensive playmaker in Santonio Holmes for the season to injury Week 4.

While Kerley is still in the slot and didn't replace Holmes on the outside, he's had a major impact in Holmes' absence and is providing matchup problems with receiving tight end Dustin Keller back on the field.

"When I was down on him, challenging him, I wanted to see that he would get our offense down mentally," Ryan said. "He’s a smart kid but I was disappointed with him that I’d see mental mistakes and that’s not him."

"I was just down on the fact that he wasn’t out there and I think that’s it. But Jeremy, that’s exactly what we expect, I think all of us did. Going into last year, the way he took off at the end of last season and now the way he’s approaching it now, I think is the guy that we expected."

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