New Jets wide receiver Jermaine Kearse had his first practice with the team today and is eager to hit the ground running. But before he can suit up for the Green & White, the six-year veteran needs to quickly digest offensive coordinator John Morton's scheme.
"Picking up the offense has it's challenges, but I feel like I've been able to get on it," Kearse said. "A lot of it is similar stuff, just changing the names and getting acclimated to that. A lot of it is similar to what I ran in college. Just grind it out and stay in the classroom and study."
Prior to being traded to New York, the 6'1" 209-pounder never played for a team outside of his home state of Washington. The Lakewood, WA native and University of Washington product overlapped with Jets tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins in college. While Seferian-Jenkins is helping Kearse transition to his new team, quarterback Josh McCown plans on spending extra time this week with his new weapon.
Best Images from the Jets' Labor Day Practice
"We're going to do it," McCown said of Kearse learning the playbook in time for Sunday's opener in Buffalo. "Same mantra as the last few weeks, there's no excuses. We're going to get it done and we'll use as much time as we can to give ourselves the best opportunity when we get out there Sunday. So that's on us as players, coaches, to lay the plan out. We'll do a good job of studying it, and he and I will do what we have to do to get the work in to get to know one another. We'll be ready to go Sunday."
Now the elder statesman in the receiver room, Kearse wants to acclimate himself with his teammates as soon as possible.
"He brings veteran leadership," head coach Todd Bowles said. "Obviously he can catch the ball. He has to get up to speed on the offense some so we can find out what he can do more of. We know he's made big catches in big games. He's very intelligent, a good blocker and a good team guy. We just have to see what his favorite routes are, things that we can do with him and get a feel that way."
Chaos of moving and learning a new playbook aside, Kearse is excited about his new opportunity in the Big Apple.
"I try to put on my best game every game," he said. "I just put my best foot forward every chance I get. I have a chip on my shoulder. I'm still hungry and have a lot of things I want to prove. We have a real young receiving corps of guys who I think want to do the same, so I think we'll fit well."