Aug 7, 2014; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets tight endJace Amaro
(88) makes a catch during warmups before the start of a game against the Indianapolis Colts at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Fans are excited about the upcoming season for the New York Jets. They are expecting a lot from this team and they just may get it. The Jets’ roster is looking very good early on this season, but they will need some guys to step up and deliver in a big way if they hope to go far this season.
In my opinion the two guys that need to step up the most is Quinton Coples and Jace Amaro. Both of these guys have the opportunity to aid their side of the football. They both are key pieces to a developing team, and any progression seen from these two will be a welcomed development.
These are two young talented athletic guys who could make a huge difference this year. They have an opportunity to become stars, they will just have to find their niche. Let’s take a look.
Next: Quinton Coples
(9) is pressured by New York Jets outside linebacker Quinton Coples during the game at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports” width=”850″ height=”646″ /> Nov 3, 2013; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) is pressured by New York Jets outside linebacker Quinton Coples during the game at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports
Coples has been nothing short of a disappointment for many Jet fans. Drafted in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft, Coples came with big expectations. He was a prolific pass rusher in college and all indications had him doing much the same at the NFL level. To date, that has never truly happened with Coples providing little pressure on opposing QB’s.
Coples has had his struggles, there is no denying that, but he has also made some huge adjustments to his game since arriving in NYC. Slowed by injury in his initial campaign and changed from a hands in the dirt lineman to a stand up outside linebacker, Coples has plugged along trying to find his place.
He hasn’t been terrible rushing the passer as we’ve seen flashes of the talent that made him a first round selection. His sack totals have slowly grown despite the position changes as 2012 saw Copes recording 5.5 sacks, followed by 4.5 in 2013 and culminating into 6.5 sacks last year. He’s done well against the run but at times has looked embarrassingly lost in coverage.
The Jets exercised his option year on his contract for next season. Coples will need to step up his game this year however if he desires to remain a Jet into the future. It is expected that Todd Bowles will use Coples as a lineman and at outside linebacker, having him split time between the two positions. It may benefit Coples since his natural position has grown pretty crowded since he arrived but the move back to the line should benefit him largely.
The knock on Coples has always been his inconsistent motor. He was highly criticized before being drafted for taking plays off and not giving 100% every time. Former head coach Rex Ryan noted the same problem in his second year, when the coach called him out in the media.
It has come time for Coples to become a bigger and more consistent contributor to the Jets. He needs to mature and take the next step in his development no matter where Bolwes decides to play him. It is crucial for the Jets to bring more pressure on opposing quarterbacks this year and create turnovers as his talents can insure that will happen. Time for Coples to prove his worth as the time is at hand to yield results.
Next: Jace Amaro
(43) during the first half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports” width=”850″ height=”576″ /> Oct 12, 2014; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets tight end Jace Amaro (88) scores a touchdown defended by Denver Broncos strong safety T.J. Ward (43) during the first half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports
Amaro was drafted in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft as a highly touted TE. Amaro came to the Jets measuring out at an impressive 6’5″/265 lbs. He played his collegiate football for Texas Tech, where he won unanimous All American honors and set the record for Divison I single season for receptions by a tight end. Amaro was seen by many as a late first rounder in the draft, but fortunately for the Jets he hung around into the second round.
Amaro had a huge transition to make to the pros last year. Texas Tech did not play a pro style offense and Amaro spent much of his time lined up in a wide receiver position more often then in a tight end set. Amaro would need to make some major adjustments to have an impact in his rookie season. He was invisible at times last year, but still managed to lead all rookie tight ends in 2014.
Amaro will need to improve his blocking to stay on the field to play a bigger part. Not asked to block much at the college level, Amaro was knocked for his blocking game pre draft. That critique proved to be spot on as Amaro looked like a turn style for blitzing linebackers and safeties. To his credit, Amaro’s blocking and hands slowly came around during the course of last season.
It is imperative for him to step up and help in the blitz pick ups. The Jets have questions along the offensive line currently and blocking tight ends can go along way to protecting the qyarterback. He will also need to be more proficient in the passing game as well. A few less drops and a better route tree should go a long way into making Amaro the player the Jets hoped for.
These two guys are on my radar. I will be following them through camp and plan to follow up on their development in an article to come later this spring. The Jets have a good supply of young talented payers they hope will step up for them this year. While neither is in any danger of being cut, this is a season the Jets need for them to have a break out year!
Can they get it done? What’s your take? Let us know in the comments section below! Let’s Talk Jet Football!