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Patrick Turner: The New Jeff Cumberland?

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OAKLAND, CA - SEPTEMBER 25:  Patrick Turner #88 of the New York Jets misses a pass as Joe Porter #28 of the Oakland Raiders defends at O.co Coliseum on September 25, 2011 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA - SEPTEMBER 25: Patrick Turner #88 of the New York Jets misses a pass as Joe Porter #28 of the Oakland Raiders defends at O.co Coliseum on September 25, 2011 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
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Some assume Josh Baker will take on Jeff Cumberland's role of second receiving tight end. This is entirely possible. One thing I noticed against Oakland, though, was that the Jets seemed to use Patrick Turner in Cumberland's role once Jeff left with the injury that will keep him out the rest of the season. Although he was not in line at the tight end spot, the Jets snapped the ball with him close to the line and used him as a blocker at many spots during the game, and he did a decent job.

Turner has a big frame for a receiver at 6'5" and 220 pounds. He is not very fast for a receiver and is in fact slower than Cumberland, but slow for a receiver can be fast for a tight end. I wonder whether the Jets will consider using him as something of a hybrid to help run blocking. Just having him in the game could force the defense to go smaller, and he could help as a run blocker as he did Sunday. If the defense does not respect him as a receiver, Patrick can certainly create a matchup problem against a linebacker. We are probably not talking about a game changer, but it could help the Jets out a few plays each week.

I have long been dubious on Turner's potential as a receiver. Maybe a different role could suit his strengths.