Jets TE Chris Herndon heading into 2nd season with more confidence
By Luke Easterling
The New York Jets have a talented pass-catcher in tight end Chris Herndon, and he’s ready to make an even bigger impact in his second NFL season.
This offseason, the Jets have added some dynamic playmakers on offense, headlined by star running back Le’Veon Bell. Other veterans like slot receiver Jamison Crowder and running back Ty Montgomery should also bring more flair to the Gang Green offense in 2019.
But there’s returning player who could end up playing a huge role this season: Second-year tight end Chris Herndon.
After showing flashes of brilliance as a rookie last season, Herndon is heading into his second NFL season a much more confident player, according to Jets tight end coach John Dunn (via team reporter Ethan Greenberg):
I think he’s a more confident player. Even from just getting here, before practicing and speaking with him and talking with him, just his confidence [is different]. He had a good year last year. And I think for him, the more he can understand defenses and not only what we’re doing, but what the opposing team is doing, now he can maximize his skillset. So that’s where I think he’s taken his biggest leap.
Herndon’s physical skills are obvious, but he’s put in tons of work this offseason to improve his game in other ways. He understands the importance of the mental aspect of the NFL game, and has been sharpening his skills in the classroom:
I feel like it’s very important. You could have all the skill in the world, but if you don’t know what to do, you’re not really going to get much playing time. Period. Before you can get out there and make plays, you have to know where to be and that’s probably the most important part. The athleticism and running comes easy.
Herndon made an immediate impact for the Jets as a rookie, appearing in all 16 games. He finished his first NFL season with 39 receptions for 502 yards and four touchdowns, averaging just shy of 13 yards per catch.
With the weapons the Jets added this offseason, Herndon may not see a huge increase in targets in 2019, but he should have more room to make plays as opposing defenses are focused on stopping players like Bell and No. 1 wide receiver Robby Anderson.
Don’t be surprised if Herndon’s preparation this offseason translates to bigger numbers this fall.