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Keller- Needs To Play More

#1 User is offline   CJBallar01 Icon

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Posted 18 September 2008 - 10:16 AM

Rookie TE Dustin Keller having trouble connecting with Brett Favre
BY RICH CIMINI
DAILY NEWS SPORTS WRITER

Wednesday, September 17th 2008, 10:07 AM

Simmons/News Brett Favre and Dustin Keller haven't been able to connect as the rookie tight end has just one catch in the Jets' first two games.

It was one of the feel-good moments in the preseason, Dustin Keller catching his first touchdown as a pro and later receiving the football as a souvenir, autographed, from the legend who threw it. "He's got tremendous talent," Brett Favre said that night of the rookie tight end. "I hope he has a lot more of those."

That informal ball presentation was their last significant hook-up.

In two games, Keller has had only one pass thrown in his direction, a 19-yard completion in the fourth quarter of Sunday's loss to the Patriots. He was an afterthought in the game - used in only 14 of 49 plays - and that's hard to believe, considering the playmaking ability he showed in the preseason and the state of the offense.

The Jets wanted Keller so badly that they traded back into the first round, selecting him 30th, but they've failed to integrate him into the offense. Maybe it's the coaches' fault or maybe Keller isn't ready for an expanded role. Whatever it is, they need to get him up to speed because of his speed.

He's a wide receiver in a tight end's body, a matchup nightmare for any defense that covers him with an in-the-box safety or a linebacker. That is what the Jets told us in the summer, but they're letting a potential weapon collect dust in the gun rack.

On Monday, Eric Mangini hinted that Keller still is prone to mental mistakes. He lumped the other top draft picks, linebacker Vernon Gholston and cornerback Dwight Lowery, into the same category.

"You know, there is some growth with these young guys," Mangini said.

Fair enough, but if a rookie has a unique skill set, he should be on the field. Lowery is starting and playing well. Keller should be more involved.

Against the Patriots, Keller was deployed primarily with three wide receivers and one back. If the Jets use him more in the base package, splitting him out wide, it should create the desired matchup.

Next up: the Chargers (0-2), a made-to-order opponent for Keller. The Chargers can't cover anybody (597 passing yards allowed), least of all tight ends. In the season opener, the Panthers' Dante Rosario made seven receptions for 96 yards, including the game-winning grab as time expired. The Broncos' Tony Scheffler ripped them for six catches, 64 yards and two touchdowns.

Historically, it takes time for tight ends to develop. Of the 12 first-rounders since 2000, the only impact rookie was former Giant Jeremy Shockey, who made the Pro Bowl in 2002. It's a tough position to master because of the varied responsibilities, but the Jets should let Keller do what he does best: Catch and run.



Pat on the back

On Monday, Bill Belichick had some nice things to say about the Jets, especially their defense. That he provided unsolicited praise for his former team is a rarity but he singled out several players and raved about NT Kris Jenkins.

"Jenkins is a force in there," Belichick said. "There is no doubt about it."

Jenkins was so dominant that he made his predecessor, Dewayne Robertson, look like a jayvee nose tackle. Jenkins recorded six solo tackles, one sack, two tackles-for-loss and disrupted countless other plays.

After two games, the Jets are allowing only 3.1 yards per rush (fifth in the league), down from 4.2 in 2007. So far, Jenkins is worth his weight in gold - all 360 pounds - and that's no bullion.

Stuckey on you

Brett Favre's most reliable target? Try WR Chansi Stuckey, who began the season with no career receptions. Favre has attempted seven passes to Stuckey, resulting in six completions - including three third-down conversions and a celebrated fourth-down prayer in Miami....Has anybody seen WR Brad Smith? He's still looking for his first catch.

Gholston just a ghost after disappearing act

Vernon Gholston's only memorable moment against the Patriots came when he wasn't supposed to be on the field, resulting in a 12-men-on-the-field penalty.

Removed from the nickel package, he appeared in only 12 of 59 defensive snaps and made no tackles. "I wouldn't say it's disappointing," said the linebacker, the sixth pick in this year's draft. "When the starters get tired or hurt and they need me to come in, I try to act as if I'm a starter."

He didn't take his role reduction as a demotion; he said the Jets used a different nickel package, designed specifically for the Patriots.

Gholston is off to a slow start as compared to, say, Patriots rookie LB Jerod Mayo (10th pick this year), who hasn't missed a play in two games.

But Gholston is learning a new position, which is slowing his growth.

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#2 User is offline   The Reverend Icon

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Posted 18 September 2008 - 10:23 AM

QUOTE (CJBallar01 @ Sep 18 2008, 11:16 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
On Monday, Eric Mangini hinted that Keller still is prone to mental mistakes. He lumped the other top draft picks, linebacker Vernon Gholston and cornerback Dwight Lowery, into the same category.

"You know, there is some growth with these young guys," Mangini said.

Fair enough, but if a rookie has a unique skill set, he should be on the field. Lowery is starting and playing well. Keller should be more involved.


Wow. They are absolutely right. How is Keller supposed to grow if he's not on the field, Mangini?
Sal Paolantonio commenting on the difference in the Ryan and Mangini atmospheres in the building:
"It's like going from Alcatraz to Dorney Park."

It is better to destroy than create what is meaningless, so the picture will not be finished.
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Posted 18 September 2008 - 10:32 AM

I'm a little surprised that they are not using Keller more often. He seemed like a player that would step in right away and contribute. I'm not saying he should be in every play but definitely more than he is right now.
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#4 User is offline   CJBallar01 Icon

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Posted 18 September 2008 - 11:04 AM

QUOTE (GreenRebel @ Sep 18 2008, 08:32 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I'm a little surprised that they are not using Keller more often. He seemed like a player that would step in right away and contribute. I'm not saying he should be in every play but definitely more than he is right now.



Exactly
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#5 User is offline   Amen Icon

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Posted 18 September 2008 - 11:54 AM

It's difficult, because between the 20s, some plays seem to be going fairly well. If we increase his growth, we'll ask "Where's Cotchery?"
For all intents and purposes, the team is running the ball well when they're not letting penalties kill drives. And when Favre is in a jam, Cotchery and Stuckey are the first to emerge. There are only but so many plays, y'know?
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#6 User is offline   S-Dubb Icon

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Posted 18 September 2008 - 01:43 PM

I think ball distrubution is lacking. Keller probably has problems with the audibles. Thats usually what it is. Like if he's packaged to run a pattern but the defense is bringing heat (or an overload) to Keller side. Alot of Q.B's will audible to have Keller cancel his route and stay in and block. Because all through mini camp Keller was tearing it up. Schotty is big with TE's (see Antonio Gates) so there is definitely a problem there. Now whethers thats Favres fault for not finding him or it's Kellers fault for not finding the soft spots in the zone, I don't know.

Keller should lining up as a WR in the slot if he's having trouble as a TE right now until he gets comfortable.

Last but not least. I'm buying a Kris Jenkins jersey! biggrin.gif
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#7 User is offline   gmany3k Icon

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Posted 18 September 2008 - 02:51 PM

Farve ain't seeing the whole field until he checks the photos on the side line .its time for Jenkins to host a toast and jelly breakfast with the Offense.
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#8 User is offline   ganggreen_ewok Icon

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Posted 18 September 2008 - 03:37 PM

QUOTE (S-Dubb @ Sep 18 2008, 01:43 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Keller should lining up as a WR in the slot if he's having trouble as a TE right now until he gets comfortable.


And risk having Favre lose his connection with Chansi? How many 4 split out sets will we run a game so we can have Coles, Cotch, chansi and Keller out on the field

View Postganggreen_ewok, on 13 June 2011 - 07:43 PM, said:

"And once again, the meow became a roar"


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