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Monday, August 3, 2009
Scott compares Keller to NFL's elite tight ends


Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham

New York Jets linebacker Bart Scott has opinions.

On Monday, a reporter asked him about second-year tight end Dustin Keller.

Scott suggested Keller is on the verge of becoming a star.

"I played against some pretty good tight ends," said Scott, a career Baltimore Raven before joining the Jets as a free agent. "Todd Heap was a tremendous athlete, great leaper.

"I would compare Dustin Keller to Kellen Winslow, and that's very high praise because other than Antonio Gates, I always knew Kellen Winslow was probably the best route-running tight end in the league.

"I think Dustin is well on his way to overcome that."

Keller, the 30th overall draft pick last year, got off to a slow start last year. Although two were for touchdowns, he had seven catches through his first six games, but then Brett Favre started to find him in late October. In a six-game span, Keller caught 33 passes for 370 yards and a touchdown.

Favre was going to Keller in clutch situations, too. In their thrilling Week 11 overtime victory over the New England Patriots in Gillette Stadium, Keller caught six passes for 55 yards -- and five of them for first downs -- in the fourth quarter and sudden death.

On the winning drive, Keller picked up three first downs, including a 16-yard gain to convert a third-and-15 situation.

Scott is impressed by how polished Keller already is.

"It's speed and sloppy route running," Scott said. "You have to be precise with your route running. You can be faster than somebody, but if you waste steps getting out of your break, it allows the defensive player to recover.

"[Keller] is crisp out of his break. He catches the ball at its highest point. I think he's a very athletic player."