Jets throw Kingsbury into muddled QB mix

Texas Tech star's big college numbers have not yet added up to NFL success

Pro football

November 27, 2005|By NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

NEW YORK -- Everyone is waiting to see if Kliff Kingsbury can do the little things. The fifth quarterback the New York Jets have turned to this season has proved he can sling a football, but it's the footwork and handoffs that he has to show he has down.

At Texas Tech, the Jets' backup quarterback put up gaudy numbers, throwing for more than 12,000 yards and 95 touchdowns in four years. He did it, however, out of the shotgun offense, which has made coaches wary of him in the NFL.

"I guess they have pegged me as pure shooter," Kingsbury said, "but it was a good experience for a quarterback. It was total freedom and it put a lot of pressure on the quarterback, but it was great."

Kingsbury, whom the Jets signed in September, could get a chance to prove wrong that knock on him. The 26-year-old has been moved up to the No. 2 spot behind Brooks Bollinger for tonight's game in East Rutherford, N.J., against the New Orleans Saints. Former Ravens quarterback Vinny Testaverde, the 42-year-old veteran who came out of retirement to play for the Jets, was moved to No. 3 on the depth chart after injuries to his ankle and Achilles' tendon.

"I'd like a chance to play, but hopefully Brooks will be able to play the whole game," Kingsbury said. "But you never know with what's been happening here."

Kingsbury, a sixth-round pick of the New England Patriots in 2003, has impressed with his throwing. At Texas Tech, he became only the third player in college football history to throw for more than 10,000 yards, gain more than 10,000 yards of total offense and complete more than 1,000 passes in a career.

"Kliff does a lot of good things. He is still learning, but I think he has gotten to the point that if and when something happens, hopefully he can take advantage of it," Testaverde said.

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