Jets coaches and fans have high hopes for Jace Amaro after a wildly productive junior season at Texas Tech. Amaro caughtJace Amaro has underwhelmed in camp, can he turn it around before week 1?
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106 passes for the Red Raiders last season and is expected to contribute to Gang Green's offense right out of the gate. In recent practices, however, teammates and coaches have been visibly frustrated with Amaro. He has struggled to execute the playbook as well as dropping a large number of passes.
Amaro has been drawing criticism from QB Geno Smith and offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg for his route running. Both were seen yelling at him in recent practices. According to the NY Post, Mornhinweg said “His expectations are high and so are ours for Jace. His challenge is, [and] he’s going to be a fine player, how quick he can get that thing done." That thing, of course is referring to Amaro coming to grips with the team's playbook.
The majority of Amaro's work in college came split off from the offensive line. Texas Tech ran a fairly simplistic offense and Amaro was able to concentrate on the receiving game. With the Jets, he is being asked to learn to play more often as an in-line tight end and of course work on his blocking skills. Blocking was not at all the deciding factor for the Jets drafting Amaro in the second round, but at the pro level everyone needs to contribute in that phase of the game. It was, in large part, failure in the blocking game that landed hyped rookie Montee Ball on the bench in Denver last season. Of course Amaro will work to avoid the same fate, as a spot in the starting lineup should be his to lose.
The coaches are obviously trying to get Amaro work in the preseason as he was featured on 42 snaps in the Jets' preseason opener Thursday. He garnered a team-high five targets in the game but came away with only two catches for 18 yards. The young tight end figures to be featured heavily throughout the preseason as the coaching staff attempts to get him on the same page with quarterback Geno Smith. All indications from the coaching staff are that Amaro has an excellent work ethic, which means he will no doubt catch on at some point. But will it happen before the start ofthe regular season?
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