Keller expects Mark will lead players' meeting during Jets offseason program
Published: Thursday, April 12, 2012, 9:15 PM Updated: Thursday, April 12, 2012, 9:21 PM
By Jenny Vrentas/The Star-Ledger
Dustin Keller was one of a handful of Jets teammates to work out together in Orlando, Fla., this week.
NEW YORK -- Tight end Dustin Keller said Jets players haven’t yet formally planned a players’ meeting to set the tone when the offseason program begins next week -- but he expects one to happen, and he expects quarterback Mark Sanchez to lead it.
“Mark runs the offense, is the leader of the offense,” Keller said this evening at the NFL’s new pop-up store at Sixth Avenue and 41st Street, where a Ladies Shopping Night was held. “And that’s not going to change.”
The Jets are coming off a disappointing 8-8 season in which they missed the playoffs for the first time under coach Rex Ryan. Last season was also marked by locker-room discord that became public, and Keller said a meeting would make sense to get all the players on the same page.
“I’m sure it will happen, to kind of just set some goals, where we want to be,” Keller said. “And just let everybody know that each and every one of us has to be accountable this year, and there’s going to be no loose ends.”
Keller was among the Jets offensive leaders who put in early work this week
toward a more successful 2012 season. Receiver Santonio Holmes invited a handful of teammates, including Keller, Sanchez and Patrick Turner to the ESPN Wide World of Sports in Orlando, where he trains in the offseason with his long-time trainer Tom Shaw.
The teammates did speed work, lifted and spent five hours together at Universal Studios Wednesday. But most importantly, they put in early throwing work with Sanchez. Keller said Sanchez directed his receivers on “newer routes, not stuff that we typically run” -- the fruits of offseason meetings with former Dolphins quarterback Chad Pennington to learn new offensive coordinator Tony Sparano’s system.
“We’re not going to be starting from the beginning when we first get into these offseason workouts,” Keller said. “We know where we want to be, it’s not just going to be everybody running around with their heads cut off. We’re going to have Mark leading the way. A lot of us know what to do. Between me and Patrick Turner and Santonio, we can kind of lead the way for the other guys, even though we don’t quite know the offense yet.”
Keller said the Jets plan to do the “Jets West” camp in Sanchez’s native California again, in June or July.