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Jeremy Kerley: Jets’ coaches didn’t use me, Lions will

New York Jets v New England Patriots Getty Images

New Lions receiver Jeremy Kerley is coming off a season in which he had career lows in catches (16), yards (152) and yards per catch (9.5). But Kerley says while his numbers declined last year, his ability has not.

Kerley says the reason his production went in the tank is that the Jets’ new coaching staff made clear they didn’t have much use for him in the offense.

I didn’t get to actually play. That was the main reason,” Kerley told MLive. “New coaching staff came in, they already knew the guys they wanted to play. They already had their scheme going, and they wanted bigger receivers.”

Kerley was buried so deep on the depth chart that he caught passes in only five games, and four of those were when Jets receiver Quincy Enunwa was suspended.

In the Lions’ offense, however, Kerley thinks he’s going to have a lot of opportunities to get the ball in his hands.

“They sling the ball everywhere, so you always need a handful of receivers,” Kerley said. “Everyone’s going to get a chance to get balls in the scheme they have, and help the team put up points. So along with that, they have a West Coast schematic kind of plan, and I think that fits my skill set.”

Kerley also returns punts, and the Lions have made a point of improving their special teams this offseason. Kerley may be a better fit for the Lions than he was for the Jets.

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18 Responses to “Jeremy Kerley: Jets’ coaches didn’t use me, Lions will”
  1. nehxas13 says: Mar 28, 2016 6:12 AM

    He’s completely right and neither sides are in the wrong or anything. I don’t believe he is saying this with any malice.

    Chan Gailey seemed to prefer larger receivers and Kerley, at 5’9, isn’t that. When he was called upon throughout the season he performed well and I believe he already solidified himself as an NFL receiver the previous three years.

    He’ll show how good he really is this year and cash in next year. I wish him nothing but luck and as a new Michigan resident that just moved here from CT I can’t wait to watch him every Sunday.

    – Jets fan

  2. smithopher says: Mar 28, 2016 6:50 AM

    Yeah as a jets fan having watched him play a bit, I have to say this guy is talented and it’s a shame the Jets put him aside the way they did. Good luck in Detroit man

  3. ee00ee says: Mar 28, 2016 7:15 AM

    Enbrace the opportunity Kerley!

  4. pastabelly says: Mar 28, 2016 7:26 AM

    Not Kerley’s fault, but he should understand that the Jets have Decker and Marshall. That’s the main reason he had only 16 catches.

  5. rutherforddabrave says: Mar 28, 2016 8:13 AM

    Anytime a guy publicly complains that a coach isn’t using him correctly, you have to at least consider that the player just isn’t that good as he thinks he is.

  6. intrafinesse says: Mar 28, 2016 8:21 AM

    If Kerley is able to produce, then the Jets coaches misused an asset.
    But if he’s blah, then maybe the Jets coaches were right.

  7. atthemurph says: Mar 28, 2016 8:22 AM

    Burn bridges on the way out. Perfect fit for the Lions.

  8. tunechi90 says: Mar 28, 2016 8:37 AM

    Kerley is a solid slot receiver who was a steal in the 5th round for the Jets.

    Love the way he plays, although his size was going against him, it was his practice mentality that got him a bit buried on the depth chart.

    He is a gamer on Sundays though, Lions are getting a good player who plays well in big games. Averaged 70 yards a game vs. Pats and 0.5 TDs.

  9. davebarnes21 says: Mar 28, 2016 8:39 AM

    jets are the jets!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. ohand16 says: Mar 28, 2016 8:43 AM

    He should be an adequate replacement for that guy that retired

  11. robadat says: Mar 28, 2016 9:10 AM

    Kerley’s problem with the Jets is simply that Gailey moved Decker into the slot position after they picked up Marshall. Kerley is a pretty good slot reciever but Decker is clearly a better fit in the slot due to his size.

    Good luck to Kerley in Detroit, he should see a lot more action there and return to having decent numbers. He’ll set himself up for a nice contract next year with a return to form in Detroit’s offensive schemes that will utilize him.

  12. jetfan74 says: Mar 28, 2016 9:27 AM

    I hope they don’t think “fair catch” Kerley is going to improve their ST. If so, they thought wrong. As a slot guy he’s one of the best guys you could get, but he’s right, they just didn’t use him. Good luck to him and I wish him the best!

  13. simplegodfather says: Mar 28, 2016 1:06 PM

    Kerley is awesome receiver, but he cannot, will not ever play on special team… He just can’t.. Fair catch,

    However, good luck in Detriot =)

  14. bubbybrister/shovelpass says: Mar 28, 2016 1:49 PM

    I remember ,last week, when Hackenberg pretty much said this same thing about his college coach, and PFT slammed him for saying it at the combines.
    In both instances, it is/was the truth…So I am fine with it…

  15. jmikulas66 says: Mar 28, 2016 3:05 PM

    Hopefully our return game improves now that he is gone and off to Detroit. I was certainly tired of seeing him fair catch it, 5 yard return it or a fumble it and he definitely was no Wayne Chrebet. No big loss for us and good luck in the D.

  16. rbstern1 says: Mar 28, 2016 3:43 PM

    I always liked Kerley, but the Jets improved greatly on offense vs. the prior year, and one of the changes required to get that result was him getting fewer reps. Not his fault. They had a new staff and scheme, and they played it well without needing a lot of production from him. Same thing with the TE position: Those guys got drastically reduced targets.

    Kerley can be a solid, 30 to 40 receptions slot receiver in the right offense. Hope the Lions are the right fit for him and he does well.

  17. jetsjetsjetsnow says: Mar 28, 2016 4:47 PM

    Jeremy had a few good years there where he was a playmaking contributor, but over the last 2 seasons its hard to play someone who is injured every other game…. And lets face it Bilal Powell had you beat out on dependability on both playmaking and staying healthy. I think those comments directed at the coaching staff are disengenuous to what the situation had been. Wish you the best of luck in Detroit…!

  18. michaele11111 says: Mar 29, 2016 8:08 AM

    Don Corleone: Jeremy, Jeremy, It’s just business. We took the family in a different direction. Just move on and be glad we let you move. Consider the alternatives.

    Kerley: Unnnn, errr, thank you Don. I will never forget how kind you have been to me.

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