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Rex Ryan: New York Jets' Jeremy Kerley must 'step up'


Everyone wants a Victor Cruz. Perhaps no one more so than the New York Jets, who watched the New York Giants receiver effectively end their season last December with his 99-yard touchdown reception at the Meadowlands.

The Jets didn't sign a veteran wideout to play alongside Santonio Holmes this season, instead hoping their in-house candidates could emerge the way Cruz did for the Giants.

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Jeremy Kerley is supposed to be one of those guys, but Rex Ryan hasn't been impressed to this point. Kerley's struggled to pick up Tony Sparano's new offense, and now is shut down for up to a week with a minor hamstring injury.

"Jeremy needs to step it up," Ryan said, via The New York Daily News. "Quite honestly I was a little disappointed in him in the offseason."

"He's got to pick up this new system. You got to put the time in it."

Ryan was highly reticent to call out Jets players in his first three seasons as coach, adding an extra level of sting to the Kerley comments. Earlier in the week, he was similarly candid in dismissing comments by Holmes about the Jets' two-quarterback approach.

Ryan resolved during the offseason to take a more hands-on approach. His public comments about Holmes, and now Kerley, are evidence of Ryan's subtle, but notable, attitude adjustment.