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Kerley (No Catches) Still Had an Impact vs. SD

Posted Dec 25, 2012

For Jeremy Kerley, Sunday’s loss to San Diego was the first time this season he was held without a catch.

While that statistic surely didn’t help the Green & White, Kerley proved to be impactful in other ways.

The 5”9’, 188-pound WR ran the Wildcat and completed the second pass of his NFL career when he hit Clyde Gates for a 42-yard reception on the Jets’ second offensive series of the game.

No. 11 said he was just hoping the ball would reach Gates quickly, adding of his throw, “I've seen the heavens. It just hung up for me. That’s rare for me.”

Gates said it was nice to have the play executed to near-perfection especially since he and Kerley had practiced it several times last week.

“It was just a well-designed play,” Gates said. “The coaches threw it in a Kerley package. Kerley had a package this week and he made a good throw on the ball and I just tried to play my part and catch it.”

Kerley clearly underthrew his fellow WR, but Gates was able to wait on the ball and haul it in, even as three San Diego defenders were in the area.

“It was a good throw to me,” Gates said with a laugh. “I’ll take it any day.”

Kerley’s other NFL pass completion came at Miami in the 2011 season finale when he connected with TE Matthew Mulligan for 41 yards. His career passing line is now 2-for-2-for 83 yards and a 118.8 rating.

Prior to Sunday, however, the Jets’ main Wildcat packages in 2012 were led by Tim Tebow. Tebow was active versus the Chargers, but head coach Rex Ryan elected to mix it up by running the formation with Kerley.

“I wanted to give Kerley a shot at running some Wildcat things,” Ryan said. “We knew they wouldn’t expect him to throw the ball, and that was the case. We thought we could make some big plays with Kerley throwing the football. It was my decision. I wanted to give him an opportunity to do some of those things.”

“That was part of the game plan,” Gates said. “That was his package. Tim has a package, Kerley has a package. It was Kerley’s package. If Tebow’s name was called, it would have been the same difference.”

The second-year pro also rushed once out of the Wildcat, picking up 2 yards.

“I don’t know the amount of snaps he had out of it,” Ryan said of Kerley’s Wildcat role, “but I thought we created some big opportunities to make plays.”

It was also an efficient day for JK on special teams as he returned a Mike Scifres first-quarter punt 20 yards to the Jets’ 42. Yet he was disappointed the ST unit couldn’t’ put together a better performance for their position coach, Mike Westhoff, who plans to retire following the season after likely coaching in his final game at MetLife Stadium on Sunday.

“I know it’s a bitter one for him,” Kerley said. “We wanted to come out strong. The punt return early in the game kind of killed momentum a little bit.”

Kerley and his Jets teammates were given Monday and today off but will come back Wednesday to gear up for the Buffalo Bills, a divisional foe whom they defeated, 48-28, in their season opener. Kerley returned a punt 68 yards for a TD in that game and he hopes the season will end the same way it started: with a dominating win in which all three of the team’s units are clicking.   

“We’ll bounce back after the holidays,” he said, “and come back stronger.”
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