Monday, June 17, 2013

Jets' wideouts need to find their hands by camp


The New York Jets' offense was an absolute disaster last season, and 2013 could be more of the same if the wide receivers don't get it together.

By all accounts, including the coaches', Gang Green's wideouts had a major case of the dropsies at minicamp last week, something head coach Rex Ryan clearly was discouraged with. (photo: Pedro Cambra, Flickr)

"You're an NFL player," Ryan told the media last week. "Catch the football."

In 2012, a never-ending turnstile of pass-catchers was the result of an injury-plagued campaign for the receiver corps, which was further exaggerated by awful quarterbacking.

Jeremy Kerley was exceptional most of the year, and rookie Stephen Hill got off to a stellar start in the season-opener. However, Hill was inconsistent for the remainder of the season when he wasn't hurt, and No. 1 wideout Santonio Holmes' campaign was cut way short after he suffered a season-ending injury at the end of September.

Holmes has yet to practice this offseason, and Hill and Kerley both missed time in OTAs with ailments of their own. When Hill and Kerley were on the practice field recently, they boasted questionable hands, as did most in the group.

"You’re paid to catch the football. We expect it caught," Ryan said. "When the ball is there, catch the ball. You know for us, you should be surprised if anybody ever drops a ball, when (last Tuesday), I was surprised when we caught it."

The Jets have yet to name a Week 1 starter at quarterback, as incumbent Mark Sanchez and rookie Geno Smith are jockeying for position atop the depth chart. Neither player is running away with the job, and they're apparently not getting much help from their route-runners. That will need to change by the time New York reports to camp in Cortland July 25.

"... we’ll have to try to fix that one way or the other," Ryan said. "If that’s with other players, so be it. If that’s guys stepping up and focusing and concentrating more, doing something that should be natural to them, that’s a possibility also."

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