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Jeremy Kerley important cog for Jets

Receiver Jeremy Kerley is more than just an option for the New York Jets, even though he can run that, too.

Against the Raiders, Kerley caught all five balls sent his way for 38 yards. In two games this season, Kerley has eight catches for 60 yards, which doesn’t count the touchdown that was nullified by offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg’s timeout.

During the four years the former TCU wide has played, he has been used primarily as a slot receiver, eventually becoming the most veteran receiver with the Jets. At times over the years, the former high school quarterback has taken the snap.

"I don’t classify myself as just a slot guy or an inside receiver, or a third-down receiver," Kerley said. "I’m an every-play receiver. I’m a Whenever-you-need-me-I’m-there receiver. I tell Geno (Smith) that, I tell Marty that."

Kerley’s versatility is something his teammates recognize.

"His talent level he can be a big-time playmaker for us," offensive lineman Willie Colon said.

This season, the Jets have a new wide receiving group. After parting ways with Santonio Holmes and Stephen Hill, the Jets brought in Eric Decker and drafted a few young players to develop.

"I think with the guys who have been here the last two years -- me David (Nelson), Greg (Salas), our second year being with Marty, second offseason, second year with Geno, -- our timing, our chemistry is getting better," Kerley said.

There is an understanding that no one player can carry the entire load, though on Monday night against Chicago, Kerley could have a larger role than usual if Decker (hamstring) is limited.

"Nobody is trying to overstep, no one is trying to be 'that guy.'"

Kerley is incredibly reliable -- and a clean receiver. Decker was the only receiver who contributed to the 11-penalty game against the Raiders. Kerley can be a steady short-distance receiver or, as he proved in Green Bay, make it to the end zone to catch the jump ball.

One thing he won’t do is showboat after he gets in the end zone.

"That’s not me, I’d rather go out there and make 50-40 whatever plays and they say, 'well, they’ve got to throw me the ball.'"

Maybe his lack of self-promotion after a great play keeps him from getting more of a spotlight, but it’s also why his teammates have so much respect for Kerley.

"Some guys aren’t going to hit their chest and talk about their type of game," Colon said. "He’s one of those guys that has motivation inside. What motivated him is just going out and doing his job well. I respect that a lot about him. I’ve seen receivers who are so Hollywood and tweet this and "look at me here" and want to stunt after a touchdown. He’s like 'Hey, thank you,' and runs to the bench. And I appreciate that."