Re: The Jets......(A thread of laughs!)
posted at 8/14/2014 6:43 PM EDT
In response to NYC's comment:
I watched several Texas Tech games last year and Amaro stood out as a reliable pass catcher with good hands HOWEVER he reminded me more of a large slot receiver than a true TE. He showed little to no blocking ability or toughness.
I think it is normal he is overwhelmed by the playbook but his know it all attitude is disconcerting. I understand why teams stayed away from him despite his numbers; teams don't normally take a slot guy with a 2nd round pick and his toughness is yet to be proven in the NFL where he will have to deal with LB's his size.
I'm glad that you like the guy.
CORTLAND — It’s not too soon for the Jets to tell Jace Amaro to get his act together.
While the big tight end is a rookie and it’s only the middle of August, Amaro is too important to their hopes this season for the Jets to let him keep practicing and playing in what too often seems like a disinterested fog.
The Jets thought they were getting the 6-foot-5, 265-pound matchup nightmare who set an NCAA record for tight ends last year with 106 catches for 1,352 yards.
What they’ve gotten so far instead is a guy with unreliable hands who comes off as both passive and overwhelmed by the transition from the Big 12 to the NFL.
The Jets were hoping for their own version of Rob Gronkowski, but that seems like a pipe dream if Amaro keeps up this aimless pace.
Rex Ryan tried to send the message nicely last weekend after a couple of halfhearted displays in the preseason opener, saying Amaro should go watch old tapes of Mike Ditka to see what a tight end can do when you marry desire with Amaro’s skill set.
But Amaro brashly dismissed Ryan’s suggestion Monday, telling The Post “I’m not going back 30 years to see how Ditka played” because Amaro’s ultimate goal is to be imitated and not do any imitating himself.
As well as being a poor student of NFL history (Ditka’s Hall of Fame playing career with the Bears, Eagles and Cowboys ended in 1972), Amaro showed poor form in brushing off his well-meaning coach.
And where is that attitude on the field?
Amaro was kicked out of Texas Tech’s bowl game two years ago for throwing a punch, but he hasn’t shown much fight in practice or in the first preseason game when the ball is in the air or he’s expected to block someone.
Amaro’s poor blocking — incongruous to his huge frame — was no secret. It’s the main reason the Jets were able to get him in the second round and why two other tight ends, Eric Ebron and Austin Seferian-Jenkins, were taken ahead of him in the draft despite Amaro’s record numbers.
The Jets were willing to accept Amaro’s blocking deficiencies because he can line up all over the field and they had visions of him posting Gronkowski-like receiving numbers in an offense that has lacked weapons for far too long.
Amaro could still do all that, obviously, but the early returns are disconcerting.
It became even more worrisome Tuesday when the incumbent tight end, Jeff Cumberland, left practice with what the Jets later said was tightness in his Achilles tendon. Not what the Jets wanted to hear about a player who recently tore his other Achilles.
If Cumberland is out for any significant length of time, tight end could be an even bigger black hole than it was last season and for what seems like forever with the Jets unless Amaro gets his head on straight.
The trio of Cumberland, Kellen Winslow Jr. and Zach Sudfield combined for 62 catches for 849 yards and six touchdowns last year. Three tight ends around the league had more catches than that by themselves in 2013, while five tight ends singularly posted more yards.
So it’s not as if Amaro has a high bar to climb, and the 138 catches he had in just 2 ¹/₂ college seasons shows he has the talent to be the reliable outlet Geno Smith desperately needs.
Offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg indicated Tuesday Amaro’s biggest problem has been learning the playbook, saying “smoke was coming out of [his] ears and eyeballs” early in camp.
That’s positive, because familiarity comes with time and Amaro is considered a sharp guy.
But the Jets’ public soft pedal with Amaro should stop. It’s not too early for some tough love.