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Four Reasons to Like Jeremy Kerley

Posted Apr 8, 2015

Jets GM's 'Kind of Excited' to Watch the 5th-Year WR/PR Operate in the Season Ahead

Count Mike Maccagnan as a Jeremy Kerley fan.

The Jets general manager was asked on Thursday's conference call with Season Ticket Holders about young wide receivers.

"In particular, I do like Kerley a little bit," he said. "I scouted him coming out of college a while ago. I'm kind of excited to see him, seeing how he does going forward."

"It's a great thing when you know the GM is speaking out," Kerley said on a conference call with Jets writers on Monday. "I'm just glad to be in this offense and be a part of this team. And hopefully I can just get going and do some great things for this offense."

More than just offense, Kerley has been productive on many fronts, which has led to a number of Jets and NFL distinctions big and small during his four years. With JK and teammates returning to the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center on Monday for the start of the voluntary offseason strength and conditioning program under Bowles, here are four of my favorite Kerley factoids:

1. Drought-Ending Return

We went into the 2012 season opener against Buffalo with a 119-game drought since our last punt-return TD, by Santana Moss at Pittsburgh in the 2004 playoffs. That dryspell at the time was tied for the longest in the league. But Kerley made it history by cutting loose with his 68-yard punt-return TD 8:58 into the game.

2. Most XL-ent

Entering the 2013 season, Jeremy had been on one heck of a chunk-play stretch. At that time he had been involved in the Jets' last seven 40-yard pass plays. Five of them came on receptions — including two in one game, the 2012 season finale at Buffalo. And two came when JK was the passer out of the Wildcat, to Matt Mulligan in the '12 finale at Miami and to Clyde Gates vs. San Diego late in '13.

Those passes were no surprise to Kerley aficionados who knew that he was the quarterback who led Hutto High to its first Texas state championship game way back in '05.

3. Crunch-Down Kerley

Something about the Patriots brings out the best in Jeremy. At Foxboro in '12, he had seven receptions for 120 yards, his only 100-yard receiving game so far. A year later, he set career marks with eight catches (for 97 yards) and seven first downs in the 30-27 overtime home win over the Pats.

And of those seven first downs, six converted third downs. We can go as far back as the start of the Jets portion of the franchise and say that those six third-down-conversion catches are still the most by any wearer of the green and white in any game from 1963 to present.

4. Big-Time Rusher

Last year Kerley had one of the greatest rushing seasons in NFL history. Really. His 21.5-yard average on four carries was the seventh-highest single-season yards/carry average in NFL history and the second-highest in the last quarter century ... for all players with at least four carries.

Jeremy achieved this on 20- and 18-yard runs in Game 12 against Miami and with the help of a scoring rule by taking a lateral from Geno Smith 37 yards in Game 2 at Green Bay. The receiver of a lateral gets the yardage he gains but no carry, which goes to the player who first had the ball.

These four factoids cover four phases of Kerley's game, over his past three seasons as a Jet. No wonder Mike Mac among others can't wait to see him operate in 2015.



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