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Kerley Fries: Jeremy’s knack for YAC will lead to big 2014

The seasoned treats always make for a good combo.Jeremy Kerley?s ability to make plays and ?fry? defenders after he gets the ball in his hands, is impressive and under-appreciated. With the free agent acquisitions of Eric Decker and Chris Johnson, and with the draft ahead, it?s easy and understandable to forget anything positive on offense [?]

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Jeremy Kerley’s ability to make plays and ‘fry’ defenders after he gets the ball in his hands, is impressive and under-appreciated

With the free agent acquisitions of Eric Decker and Chris Johnson, and with the draft ahead, it’s easy and understandable to forget anything positive on offense for 2013 or prior. However, in the haystack that was the Jets ’13 offseason—bland being the key word here—wide receiver Jeremy Kerley was the needle against opposing defenses, demonstrating an ability to make important plays when they’re needed.

No help in the slot…JK

Above you will see three great catches/runs for different reasons.

The first play (Pats at Jets) shows Kerley running a great route, shaking off his defender in stride, and then completing a catch with enough space for a first down. After getting the first down, he makes another defender miss, thus gaining an additional five or so yards. Kerley is extremely adapt at this—freeing himself just beyond the line of scrimmage and slipping through for extra yards.  

The second (Jets at Falcons [1]), shows of JK’s ability to run smooth routes, again freeing up space, but here he is able to break a tackle en route to a diving score. Kerley shows great awareness to position his body and the ball, in just the right way to surpass two defenders to the end zone.

The last (Jets at Falcons [2]), is seen in-motion again, in a botched screen play to Kerley. There’s at least one blown assignment by the offensive line to provide blocking for him. It appears to be more than one, but without seeing the playbook, it’s hard to know for sure. Regardless, he is able to juke out a Falcon defender, who has a great angle to make a tackle and push through for a first down.

What I like most about this play, is that even when his protection fails him, he trusts his o-line to recover, following their blocks to the pass the sticks.

These are just three examples of many that I saw reviewing 2013-14 game tape. Kerley is one of the more consistent players on the team, if not of all slot NFL receivers. Statistically, JK’s YAC of 4.2, in 2013, doesn’t jump off the page, but it’s how he has gotten those yards—through smart plays with a lackluster cast—that really defines him. For his career, Kerley has an average of 4.7 yards after catch. 

The Next Step

It’ll be very important for Jeremy Kerley to not only take advantage of perhaps more room to run, with a better supporting cast of receivers, but to also stay on the field. Wile starting all 16 games in 2012, Kerley played in 12 games in 2013.

Perhaps the more featured role last season, including spending a good chuck of time on the outside, was a little rough on the smaller receiver (5’9″, 188 lbs). Hopefully for the Jets, added weapons mean less defensive pressure on Kerley, and a chance to remain healthy.

There’s no ‘shortness’ of confidence with Kerley, though, as he sees opportunity in front of him.

That might be some wishful thinking, but Kerley definitely can, and has proven he can, play a big role on this team.

Published with permission from One Jet at a Time.

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