Thursday, October 11, 2012

Sanchez: Return of Keller 'huge' for Jets' offense


The New York Jets' offense took a big hit when quarterback Mark Sanchez's favorite target, tight end Dustin Keller, was injured Week 1 against the Buffalo Bills.

But at 2-3 and not totally out of the picture, Gang Green will likely get Keller back into the equation just in time to face the Indianapolis Colts.

"It's huge. That's great news," Sanchez told reporters Wednesday. "He looked good in practice today."

Not only does Keller's return give Sanchez the comfort of having his go-to pass-catcher at his disposal, but the fourth-year signal-caller created a little chemistry with backup tight end Jeff Cumberland during Keller's absence, creating a possible two-pronged receiving tight end tandem for Sanchez to work with.

Cumberland caught Sanchez's lone touchdown pass in the Jets' loss to the Houston Texans. Cumberland had a pass bounce off his hands for the game-clinching interception late in the fourth quarter, but Sanchez thinks the experience he got as the No. 1 receiving tight end is invaluable.

"The good thing about this situation is what it’s given a guy like Jeff [Cumberland], for example, Jeff Cumberland has had a chance to play a lot more than he’s used to, to play a little different role than he’s used to," Sanchez said. "It’s made him such a better player.

"Now, Dustin Keller coming back, just makes that tight end rhythm even more dynamic. I don’t really focus on the challenges (of injuries), I just think it can only help us get better, help me get better. It takes work. It takes time, but that’s what this is all about."

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