Morton shocks Bills

When the Jets acquired kick/punt returner Chad Morton in a trade with New Orleans last summer, he looked like stopgap measure until Santana Moss returned from a knee injury. Boy was that perception wrong.

Morton showed with his tour-de-force in Buffalo, he's one of the Jets best weapons. Morton's two-kickoff returns for touchdowns, including one in overtime, spearheaded the Jets in Buffalo.

"He was outstanding," Wayne Chrebet said. "He is starting to write his ticket to the Pro Bowl already. He is the MVP of the game by far."

Both returns were impressive, but the game-winner in the extra session was particularly impressive. For the last 40 yards he outran Bills running back Shawn Bryson to the end zone. What is so amazing about this footrace is that Bryson is the Bills fastest player. He runs the 40 yard dash in 4.35 seconds.

Morton is probably a 4.55 guy, yet on sheer will, he outran Bryson to the end zone. Morton didn't think he was going to make it.

"I knew it was going to be a foot race," Morton said. "I didn't know if I had  enough gas to make it to the end zone. With thirty yards to go, I was thinking at least I would give the team good field position if I got caught. But I made it and got the end zone - game over."

Jets GM Terry Bradway deserves a great deal of credit for making the Morton trade last summer. Offensive coordinator Paul Hackett also deserves kudosfor  pushing the Jets to make the move. Hackett coached Morton at USC and is a big fan.

"We brought Chad in last year for that job, to be a return man, but he got a little knicked last year(high ankle sprain)," Herman Edwards said. "He had an  excellent preseason and training camp (this summer). He's a good football player and that is why we traded for him. We gave up a draft choice for him and it paid off.

"He had a great game. I've never seen that in a game, a guy running a kickoff  back. I've been in pro football 24 years now."

While Morton should have been enjoying his amazing accomplishment in the post-game locker room, he only had one thing on this mind - the deep pass he felt he caught in the third quarter that was overturned by instant replay. Morton is a perfectionist.

"That is all I'm thinking about right now," Morton. "I'm not even thinking about my returns. I'm mad about the reception because I know I caught it. It may have looked like it bounced off the ground, but my hand was underneath. If it hit the ground, it would have popped straight up in the air. I'm more mad about that than anything."

Morton has a lot of ability, and he'd love the opportunity to show what he can do at his natural position of running back.

"It is frustrating," Morton said. "I want to get out there as a running back too. It's unfortunate I'm not getting plays, but we have Curtis Martin."

And the Jets have Chad Morton returning kicks, and if they didn't, they probably would have left Buffalo with a loss.

 

 

 


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