Jets Q&A: Jeremy Kerley was Jets' best quarterback

Jeremy Kerley of the Jets leaps for and

Jeremy Kerley of the Jets leaps for and misses a Mark Sanchez pass in the second quarter. (Nov. 22, 2012) (Credit: David Pokress)

Will there now be a four-way quarterback controversy?

Jeremy Kerley dusted off his high school quarterbacking skills and showed Jets fans how good the Wildcat can be under offensive coordinator Tony Sparano. The slot receiver took a direct snap in the first quarter and lofted a sky-high pass downfield to Clyde Gates for a 42-yard gain to the 11-yard line, setting up a touchdown.

It was the second pass of Kerley's NFL career; he completed a 41-yarder to tight end Matthew Mulligan last Jan. 1.

Rex Ryan said he chose to use the receiver in the Wildcat because "we knew [the Chargers] 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."

Ryan clearly wasn't interested in giving Tim Tebow an opportunity. The Jets have used the backup quarterback sparingly this season and not at all in that role Sunday.

Tebow, of course, was polite as ever when pressed about his inaction. "I was just hoping [using Kerley in the Wildcat] was going to be successful and work -- and it did," he said.

Kerley is no stranger to being a signal-caller. As a high school quarterback in Hutto, Texas, Kerley was named the district MVP as a junior after leading his team to the state final. But he admitted he wasn't too sure his underthrown, high-arcing pass would make it to Gates.

All he could think of at the time was "please get down there fast," he said with a laugh. "Man, I seen the heavens. It just hung up on me. That's rare for me. Usually I'm on point 100 percent. It just hung up a little bit."

What did Greg McElroy say about his first NFL start?

The second-year quarterback had his big day overshadowed by 11 sacks. But McElroy shouldered the blame for holding on to the football too long.

"I have to do a better job of getting the ball out," he said. "I have to do a better job of getting on the same page with the wide receivers and being able to anticipate some more throws. I just have to continue to try to improve."

Ryan said McElroy will start the season finale in Buffalo.

"When he wasn't on his back, I thought he did some good things," he said dryly. "He had a couple of nice throws. I thought he was poised beyond belief taking the kind of heat he was under."

McElroy was 14-for-24 passing for 185 yards.

 

Did Tebow or Mark Sanchez express any frustration about not playing?

Both quarterbacks praised McElroy, but their terse responses to the current quarterback situation showed they're not happy.

"I believe in my God-given ability to play this game of football," Tebow said. "And I feel like I could play it for a long time and I'm looking forward to playing it some more."

Said Sanchez: "I feel like I'm a starting quarterback in the NFL. I know I've done it at the highest level, under the toughest kind of pressure and scrutiny, in the playoffs, in the regular season. I know I can do it."

 

Are the Jets healthy?

Not quite. Cornerback Ellis Lankster (concussion) and receiver Chaz Schilens (knee) left and did not return. No updates were given after the game.

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