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NY Jets: Jeremy Ruckert meets childhood idol at MetLife

Jeremy Ruckert, New York Jets, Houston Texans
Jeremy Ruckert, New York Jets, Houston Texans, Getty Images

Jeremy Ruckert grew up a New York Jets fan and got a chance to meet his favorite player

Some of the New York Jets‘ youngest players were born in this century. One of them grew up a fan of his current team, which means his childhood idol might be the same as many other Jets fans of that age.

Jeremy Ruckert‘s Jets fandom was immortalized on draft night when his dad, Bill Ruckert, led the family in the “J-E-T-S Jets Jets Jets!” chant. The 2022 third-round pick had a quiet rookie season. He has received more opportunities this season, playing 267 offensive snaps through 13 games.

Ruckert played a season-high 33 offensive snaps in the Jets’ 30-6 rout of the Texans. He tied his high in receptions (3) and posted his best yardage total (37) with a 19-yard reception that was his second-longest this season.

Before the game, though, Ruckert received another thrill: he met his childhood idol, Chad Pennington.

The Jets selected Pennington at No. 18 in the 2000 draft. He spent eight seasons in green. His best year came in 2002 when he completed 68.9% of his passes for 3,120 yards, 22 touchdowns, six interceptions, and a 104.2 passer rating in 12 starts. He also won Comeback Player of the Year honors in 2006. That season, he returned from shoulder surgery to lead the Jets to the playoffs.

Ultimately, Pennington’s career was largely about what could have been. His arm strength was sapped by multiple shoulder injuries, perhaps leaving much of his potential unmet. Still, No. 10 was a pro’s pro, a revered Jets player, and a deserving idol for any Jets fan of that era.

Incidentally, Pennington continues to create his own football memories, this time as a high school coach.

Ruckert, meanwhile, will continue to serve as the Jets’ second tight end and try to build more of a role as a receiver in the season’s final games.

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Jim G
6 months ago

Your article last week about what the Jets needed to do to beat CJ Stroud was 100% spot on. If this was the first time I saw him play I would have thought “What is everyone talking about with this guy? He’s no rookie of the year!”

To the occasional poster who questions how much you know about football, last week’s article should put an end to that discussion.

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