Cortland, NY – Who are the top three receivers for the Jets? Well the three that came to mind for Mark Sanchez while addressing the media were Santonio Holmes, Braylon Edwards, and Clyde Gates. That third one might come as a surprise to those who haven’t been following camp, but the third-year wide receiver has garnered plenty of praise to so far.
“I’ve been pleased with Gates,” said Rex Ryan. “Obviously he has been making some great plays. When you are crossing the goal line with the ball, you have a tendency to notice the guy. So he’s doing a tremendous job.”
Gates had 16 receptions for 224 yards last season, his first with the Jets after getting drafted by the Dolphins in 2011.
This season the expectations weren’t much higher. That is until he badly beat Kyle Wilson on a deep route to start camp. He’s been turning heads ever since.
“Most track guys or guys that are super fast aren’t route runners,” said Ryan. “I think Clyde is a route runner. I saw it last year. I thought he really improved last year. And with that speed he has, the number one thing – well, you’re going to press him at the line. Well, if you miss him, you’re in trouble.”
“I’m honing in on all the receivers routes and knowing what I’m doing,” added Gates. “I feel like I’m in real good shape so it’s a nice thing to go, go, and keep going and stay together mentally even when you’re tired.”
Another thing helping the Texas native is his familiarity with the team.
“It helps us to get to know each other and get on the same page,” said Gates. “Knowing what this guy is going to do and knowing what this teammate is going to do. I think that helps a lot.”
Along with Gates, Stephen Hill and Jeremy Kerley are fighting for that third spot. All three have shown promise so far in camp, and could go a long way to shoring up a big weakness for the Jets at receiver.
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