It happened during the second half of the Met Life Bowl against the Giants Monday night, while both clubs rolled their backups out onto the field to fight for the Snoopy trophy and their own jobs, rookie Jeremy Kerley took direct snaps from center. With it came the official end of an era once spearheaded by former big play Jet Brad Smith. The former TCU wide receiver has now become the heir apparent to Smith as the pilot of the Jets new Wildcat formation.
The speedy Kerley moved well from the position, slashing quickly for positive yardage, tossing pitches to RB Joe McKnight, even completing his only pass attempt. A third option of the play design that Jets fans had often hoped would be employed by the former college QB Smith during his time in New York.
The current version of the Jets Wildcat presents the club with a new super speed package should Kerley and McKnight be the personnel implemented for it. Given the way the Jets stalled on offense Monday for much of the first half, this up tempo change of pace may become a welcome addition.
Smith made big plays both out of the Wildcat and in the return game consistently throughout his Jets career. Kerley who also has lined both as WR, returner, and now Wildcat QB and has shown elusiveness, but has yet to put together big plays so far this summer. His ability to do so in 2011 will make the loss of Smith, a momentum changing player, much easier to swallow once the games start counting in September.