Keller Sees Big Things Ahead For Sanchez

Jets tight-end Dustin Keller was a key part of the offense during Sunday's comeback win over Detroit, including a late leaping grab.

In Week 9 Dustin Keller returned to form, hauling in four receptions for 59 yards in the Jets' 23-20 escape from Detroit. Gang Green's fourth year tight end deflected any personal glory, instead he offered praise and admiration for quarterback Mark Sanchez. Keller spoke adoringly of Sanchez, citing his willingness to step into a leadership role and ability to propel the team to victory.

"Mark's been playing very well this season, it's a big step up from last year," exclaimed Keller. "I think he's improved a lot. Offensive coordinator Schottenheimer put a lot of emphasis on finishing games. Obviously we want to start fast, but finishing games is something that we didn't do as well in the past. There are still some strides we can make, but right now, we're in a pretty decent position as far as how we're playing in the end of games."

This is the second time in the Jets last three games that Sanchez has orchestrated fourth quarter heroics.

Three weeks ago, before the bye, Sanchez marched the team down the field for a comeback win over Denver. On Sunday, the Jets had two scoring drives late in the game to force it into overtime. Then, Sanchez carried the team to victory there.

Keller expounded on Sanchez's ability to orchestrate the two minute offense, hinting that practicing against the Jets stingy defense helps the offense in its preparations the past few weeks. Keller admits that Sanchez may not have been as equipped to direct the two minute offense during his rookie campaign.

"We face the best defense in the NFL every day in practice, a lot of times in the two minute drill," remarked Keller. "Especially this week in particular, we had some really good drives against them. Mark did a great job with all of his checks and reads in the two minute offense. When you go two minute offense you get a better feel for the game, {you} get up there moving the ball fast, and you get to see the coverage. As compared to last year, he's done a lot better job reading those things."

Keller emphasized the importance of the offensive unit getting off to a strong start. New York staggered out of the gate the past two games, leaning heavily on their defense to keep them in contention. The Jets would rather not be the "heart-attack" offense this week against Cleveland.

"I think a lot of these games we've been fortunate enough that the defense has stepped up and played as well as they have,' Keller stated. "I think we've finished well the last couple of games, but we started off pretty slow. If we can get off to a good start and play a good first half we can make it a lot easier on ourselves."

Keller was adamant that not a single player or coach doubted the Jets chances of making Sunday's comeback a reality.

"Everybody believed we could make that comeback, Keller proclaimed. It was definitely exhausting but we knew we were capable of doing it."


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