Jets begin seeing return on investment

Now in his fourth season, Anthony Becht is beginning to show why the Jets selected him in the first round of the 2000 NFL draft. <p>

"Anthony is a guy that goes out and performs," said Jets backup quarterback Vinny Testaverde. "He goes about his daily routine. He works hard and comes prepared every day. I am glad to see that he is getting some recognition because he deserves it. He is a good player."

Becht is currently the Jets fifth leading receiver on the active roster with 27 catches.

His 270 receiving yards rank him fourth and his three touchdowns put him only behind wide receiver Santana Moss (10), and running back LaMont Jordan (4).

The fourth-year tight end is currently on pace to break his career mark for receptions and yards in a season. He is averaging over two catches and exactly 24.5 yards receiving per game.

If these numbers were spread over a 16-game season, he would finish with 39 receptions for 392 yards, breaking his previous career high of 36 catches and 321 yards, which he recorded in 2001.

"I think [Becht] has really improved as the season has progressed," said Jets' tight ends coach Dick Curl. "We ask him to do a lot of things, and he has made strides. His role has expanded and hopefully it will continue to expand in this offense.

"He has become a little more of a factor with the pass game which has helped us out."

One of the reasons Becht has been playing a more significant role in the passing game lately is because teams are determined not to let Moss and the other wide-outs beat them.

Against Jacksonville, Becht was used more frequently because the Jaguars played a Cover Two zone, in an attempt to keep the Jets wide receivers out of their rhythm. This strategy created holes in the middle of the field.

Becht took this opportunity and made the most of it, as he registered five receptions for a career high 63 receiving yards. The five receptions tied his previous career mark.

"It was just one of those games where they took away those outside guys and the middle opened up a little bit," said Becht. "I was able to get a little running room when I got the ball.

"The fact that they did [take away the outside guys], they basically said ‘Let someone else beat us.' And I was able to get some open areas and make some plays."

Curl, also sees the importance of having a pass catching tight end when teams attempt to take away the Jets' receivers using the Cover Two zone.

"What happens with Cover Two is you have to have someone get into the middle of the field, and usually that helps to have the tight end in there," said Curl. "[Becht] becomes very important to us when we are starting to go against people that want to be a two-deep team."

Before the Jacksonville game, Becht knew he might take on more of a role in the offense because of something a fellow teammate told him during the week.

"Vinny [Testaverde] said earlier in the week that you could have a big game, the way [Jacksonville] plays their defense. So you have to be ready," Becht recalled [Testaverde] as saying.

The Titans, whom the Jets play on Monday night are not strictly a Cover Two defense, however, it is in their arsenal.

Once again Becht might be called upon to take a little heat off the Jet receivers.

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