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Jets change punt returners to protect Jim Leonhard

Jeremy Kerley AP

So why did the Jets install rookie receiver Jeremy Kerley as the top kickoff and punt returner for 2011?

“He’s the best one,” coach Rex Ryan said Friday, via comments distributed by the team.

As to punts, however, Kerley was the best in large because because Rex Ryan opted to keep safety Jim Leonhard on the sidelines.

“I’m not going to have Jim [Leonhard] do it, coming off the injury that he had,” Ryan said, referring to a broken leg Leonhard suffered in practice prior to last season’s blowout loss to the Patriots.  “He wants to, but we drafted this young man to be a returner.  He’s exactly what we thought we were getting.  [Coach Mike Westhoff] really likes him and if Westy thinks he’s our best, then that’s what we’ll do.  Jim Leonhard, I don’t think that’s good business right there.”

Kerley also is in the mix to fill the Wildcat role in the team’s offense, given the defection of Brad Smith to Buffalo.  Other candidates are LaDainian Tomlinson and Joe McKnight.

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13 Responses to “Jets change punt returners to protect Jim Leonhard”
  1. semperfi24 says: Aug 12, 2011 9:43 PM

    Are the Jets going to change QB’s to protect high school girls from Sanchez?

  2. highpowered350 says: Aug 12, 2011 9:56 PM

    If Westhoff is ok with it im ok with it.

  3. drgfri says: Aug 12, 2011 10:08 PM

    Rex did sole sole searching and he just plain thinks the kid has the best feet of the bunch!

  4. rectumnearlykilledem says: Aug 12, 2011 10:57 PM

    The real question America wants to know….who is going to replace the coach on the sideline assigned to tripping opposing players?

  5. jetsuperbowl says: Aug 12, 2011 10:59 PM

    I can return punts for the jets and we would be successful. That’s how good mike westoff is

  6. tfbuckfutter says: Aug 12, 2011 11:10 PM

    Jim Leonhard’s role is now to tackle the kicker before he gets the kickoff off.

    There’s no rule that says you CAN’T do that. Just that you can’t look like you’re trying to do it.

  7. promin1 says: Aug 12, 2011 11:29 PM

    jets suck

  8. nyjetsfootball says: Aug 12, 2011 11:59 PM

    look wht westhoff did to brad smith.. just saying that was all coaching

  9. axespray says: Aug 13, 2011 2:53 AM

    lol @ old L.T. returning kicks….

    I don’t doubt the dude’s heart and work ethic, but that’s a pretty brutal job for an old runningback.

  10. dlk47823 says: Aug 13, 2011 3:08 AM

    Jeremy kerley was Ncaa special teams player of the year, 2 years in a row. The Jets know what they’re doing…

  11. richm2256 says: Aug 13, 2011 7:18 AM

    “The Jets know what they’re doing”

    Yeah, it’s reflected in the number of Lombardi trophies they’ve added to their display case the last 42 years.

  12. RexCanCoach says: Aug 13, 2011 7:36 AM

    You gotta love the balls by Westhof and Rex Ryan backing him up. Giving starting job to a rookie can be a dangerous move.

    It’s too bad the other NFL coaches pale in comparison to Rex. Every day I thank God I am a Jets fan, thank him for Rex and for Revis.

    PS – Pittsburgh still sucks

  13. monropoobah says: Aug 13, 2011 9:15 AM

    richm2256 says:
    Aug 13, 2011 7:18 AM
    “The Jets know what they’re doing”

    Yeah, it’s reflected in the number of Lombardi trophies they’ve added to their display case the last 42 years.
    ———————————————–
    it’s been a LONG time since the jets won a super bowl. 42 tears is correct! currently, they have a general manager and coach combo who haven’t been around for all of those 42 years. ” the jets know what they’re doing” refers only to the people who are there now and not those dead or retired.
    therefore, given the obvious football acumen indicated by the statement (and the supporting intelligent commentary; and your lack thereof), you’re not too bright.

    “blurg blurg, feet, dirty sanchez, jests, 6 and 10 (woops, that’s what you all said LAST year.)

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