Dustin Keller Says He Will Make the Pro Bowl in 2012


June 14, 2012; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets tight end Dustin Keller (81) during minicamp at the Atlantic Health Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-US PRESSWIRE

Rex Ryan has decided against the guarantees this year, but that doesn’t mean that his team is lacking in confidence.

Dustin Keller has been hoping for a new contract, though he has yet to receive one. The Jets have typically extended the contracts of their young core players, but that has not been the case for Dustin. The theory is that they want to see how Keller performs in the new offense.

Keller is pretty sure about how he is going to perform:

“I definitely feel that I’m a Pro Bowl tight end,” Keller told the Daily News. “And I feel that will happen this year.” “I’m in my prime right now,” Keller, 27, said. “This is going to be my best year yet… I will be a huge part of this offense.”

Tony Sparano has used a lot of tight end play in the past, tight ends don’t often light it up under his system. Even as a play caller with the Cowboys in 2006, Jason Witten recorded 754 yards and one touchdown.

Keller is a perfectionist, both on the practice field and in the class room. He has been working with his tight ends coach, Mike Devlin on his run blocking, and assistant tight ends coach , Lance Taylor, on his route running.

“We view him as an all-around tight end, not just a guy that can stretch the field,” Taylor said. “We want him to wear a lot of different hats. He definitely has the ability in this offense to be huge as a Pro Bowl caliber player.”

Despite improving his game, and staying loyal to the organization, the team has not gone forward with extension talks, and Dustin is not thrilled about it:

“It’s absolutely discouraging,” Keller said of not getting an extension. “But it’s not something that’s going to affect me. It’s not going to affect my play. But if I’m a part of this team’s future and they want me to be a part of the future, I would really appreciate if they showed that and signed me to a deal that would keep me around here a little longer, at this point like they usually do with their first-rounders.”

Personally, I think they should get the extension done with Dustin, just to give Mark Sanchez the comfortability of having his favorite target under contract. They don’t seem to agree, I just hope he doesn’t get away, as he can be a special player.