The Jets planned to keep receiver Brad Smith if they weren’t able to land Nnamdi Asomugha. They weren’t able to land Asomugha, but Smith chose not to wait around, signing instead with the Bills.
Now, if the Jets plan to keep using the Wildcat package on offense, they need someone else to run it.
Coach Rex Ryan told reporters on Tuesday that the Jets have several in-house candidates for the assignment.
“I think we have three candidates for [the Wildcat],” Ryan said, “three good candidates. Will they be as good as Brad? I don’t know about that. Brad was a really special athlete. I’m going to say it for the last time until we play Buffalo. [He] was the only guy at the time in college football who rushed for over 4,000 yards and passed for over 8,000 yards.
“He was ideal in that role, for sure, but I think [LaDainian Tomlinson], he’s thrown touchdowns. All you have to do is ask my brother [Rob Ryan], because he threw a bunch against him, so he can do it certainly. Then, Joe McKnight is an explosive athlete like Brad. I think he’d be good in that role. Then, [Jeremy] Kerley did that in college, so I think we have three guys.”
The question becomes which one of the trio ends up being the best one — and whether any of them can do it well enough to justify its continuation. We’ve got a feeling that, no matter how effective Tomlinson, McKnight (pictured), and/or Kerley will be, the Jets will keep the Wildcat if for no reason other than to show the Bills and Brad Smith that the Jets can do it without him.