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Joe McKnight moving to cornerback

Jets running back Joe McKnight talks to the

Jets running back Joe McKnight talks to the media after the team's offseason workout at their practice facility in Florham Park, N.J. (May 10, 2012) Credit: Joe Epstein

Joe McKnight finally will see the field more – just not at running back.

Rex Ryan said Wednesday that the Jets’ third-year player will see “a ton” of time at cornerback in light of losing All Pro defensive back Darrelle Revis (torn ACL) for the season.

McKnight, who lost his third-down role to second-year back Bilal Powell, still will have a role on offense. But the team also is “teaching” him how to play corner, the coach said.

“Not quite a full-time capacity,” Ryan explained, “but he’s going to be over there a ton. In the meetings and everything else.”

McKnight almost was a cornerback at USC, but his college coach, Pete Carroll, thought he had all the necessary skills to be a running back.

Ryan believes the opposite still is true as well.

“He’s got the speed, size, athleticism, ball skills – everything you look for in a corner,” the Jets coach said. “And so, I don’t think there’s any reason not to think that Joe McKnight couldn’t be a corner.

“It’s just going to take time obviously. But I think with (secondary coach) Dennis Thurman and with Jimmy O (assistant defensive backs coach Jim O’Neill) over there, I think we’ve got great teachers of the game and I think it’ll be interesting.

“But I definitely would not bet against Joe McKnight becoming a good corner.”  

McKnight -- drafted 112th overall in the fourth round by the Jets in 2010 -- was a high school cornerback and was also used as a defensive back in emergency situations by the Jets.

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