Cortland, NY: One offseason addition to the New York Jets roster was former Oakland Raider wide receiver Chaz Schilens. After playing in only 13 games in 2009 and 2010, Schilens stayed healthy last season catching 23 passes in 15 games.
Schilens, who stands tall at 6′4″ and weights 225 pounds, is a large target that can stretch the field with rookie wide receiver Stephen Hill. Today at practice he showed he doesn’t mind catching balls in the middle of the field either. The Jets have plenty of versatility at the wide receiver position, where Sparano can create various packages and formations that present the best matchups for the Jets offense.
“I think everyone just has something different to offer, everyone has something they do really well and I think it can present some different matchups,” said Schilens. “Stephen’s [Hill] going to be playing a lot, Jeremy [Kerley] is going to be playing a lot, Santonio [Holmes] has his position so we all have something to offer and no matter what its going to be something good.”
Jets fans should expect to see Schilens more than originally expected if Kerley doesn’t live up to year two expectations, which are off to a slow start. Ryan said he was “a little disappointed” in Kerley this offseason in relation to Kerley picking up Sparano’s new offense. Ryan’s public cry of Kerley needing to “step it up” should be enough of a wake-up call.
Ryan went on to praise Schilens saying, “The best thing he does is when the pads come on. He is a physical player; he’s one of the top blockers as a receiver in the NFL kind of like a Braylon Edwards.” Ryan mentioned how special teams coach Mike Westoff, who isn’t one to throw around positive claims, spotted Schilens physicality. Ryan then chimed in on parts of Schilens skill set saying, “He’s done a nice job catching the football, he’s made some deep catches and, obviously, he’s a big target. I don’t know how tall he is, 6′4″, 6′5″, a big target that runs fast, those are positives.”
With or without Kerley’s success, Ryan discussed the variations in which the wide receivers will line up. “You can put Tone [Holmes] anywhere. He can do it. And we’ve got guys pushing for those things. If that was the case, you can put Chaz [Schilens] outside. You can put Patrick Turner outside. There are different things (that can be done).”
However the snaps are divided among the wide receivers, expect Schilens to be in the mix often.
Schilens also has the—insert one of a million words here (however your feelings are towards him)—task of being roommates with Tim Tebow.
“He is just really down to earth and just cool,” said Schilens. When trying to pry information about a possible Tebow flaw, he responded as you would imagine. “Honestly, you’re not going to find anything,” said Schilens. “He loves to workout, loves to work, he’s on top of everything and is a real enjoyable guy, always upbeat always positive.”
The soft-spoken Schilens will have a larger impact than his gentle demeanor suggests.