Florham Park, N.J.– For Jermey Kerley last night started out as a regular Tuesday night in the life of an NFL rookie, but around 10:00 p.m. all that changed when he went on Twitter. Today Kerley told a group of reporters huddled around his locker room that he found out about the Derrick Mason trade from Twitter, just like everyone else. He didn’t believe it at first he saying, “You can’t believe everything on Twitter,” but approximately 30 minutes later Kerley received confirmation on not only the trade, but also on the faith the Jets brass has in him when GM Mike Tannenbaum called the talented young rookie to tell him of his promotion.
Tannenbaum informed Kerley that Mason had in fact been traded and then asked if he was ready to step up as the Jets slot receiver, to which Kerley simply said, “Definitely.”
“Camp was tough and I got through that and I feel like it helped me out.” Kerley told the reporters today, “I’m definitely ready.”
There’s a lot of speculating and hypothesizing going on about what sparked the trade, but Rex Ryan and Tannenbaum both stressed it had nothing do to with comments Mason made to the media or him supposedly voicing complaints about the Jets stagnant offense to coach Ryan. They said it was about a lack of production and more importantly the emergence of Kerley.
It’s not only the fans and the media that are confused by exactly why Mason is gone. As a reporter was asking Brandon Moore if the trade sends a message to other players who may or may not be underperforming Moore stopped the reporter and said, “I mean I don’t know if he’s gone because he wasn’t producing.” But when the reporters told Moore that that was the reason Tannenbaum gave in his press conference Moore said, “Okay. So what was the question.”
“I don’t think he’s gone because we’re 2-3. I don’t know why he’s gone, I’m just trying to focus on Miami and what’s going forward.” Moore said after the question was repeated to him, “I think Kerley’s going to do a good job, even in camp I thought he was one of the guys that really stood out. It didn’t show up in games because he’s got to get the ball of course, but I thought he was the guy that really stood out in camp and I’m really looking forward to seeing what he’s going to do on offense.
“I mean you can see it, (with him) making catches, being where he’s supposed to be. His work ethic, his attitude, going around the building, you know you feel like he’s a good player.”
With the offense struggling it’s hardly a surprise that the Jets would look to shake things up and try to bring a different dynamic into this offense and that dynamic is speed.
“Obviously, (there is his) speed, with the package where he’s coming in for the quarterback and all that stuff. He does a great job with that and that was really most of his role in the first three games.” Dustin Keller said, “Now I think we get to see a little bit more of him. He is definitely a big speed guy, but Derrick Mason is by no means a slow guy. I think everybody is going to be surprised by how productive he is going to be.”
While most of the players in the locker room said they have been in the business far too long for anything to surprise them anymore, Kerley admitted he was surprised, but like everyone else he said he understands this is just a part of the business. When Jetsinsider talked to Kerley in training camp about the signing of Mason, Kerley was excited about the opportunity to learn from “Mr. Mason” and he remains thankful that he got to spend the time he did with him.
Kerley called Mason a “teacher on and off the field” and said Mason, “definitely helped me out on my game.” But whatever the reasoning, Mason is out, shipped to Houston and Kerley is in and he is excited and ready to embrace this opportunity.
“Definitely (I’m excited). I mean not a lot of people can say they not only played, but started in the NFL.” Kerley said, “So I’m definitely excited.”
His new role isn’t all Kerley is excited for though, as he explained to reporters that he had a touchdown dance planned in his head for his first touchdown, but one’s mind has a funny way of playing tricks on itself.
“If you seen it, I kind of froze up in the end zone and I had a great little dance I wanted to do and all that. I caught the ball and my mind went blank.” Kerley said, “Guess that was a welcome to the NFL.”
What was the dance? A reporter asked.
“That’s for next time.” Kerley said. “I can’t tell you.”
It is indeed Kerley’s turn and he’s ready to accept the challenge thrust upon him and on Monday night he gets his first chance to show instead of tell.
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