Jul 24, 2014; Cortland, NY, USA; New York Jets tight end Jace Amaro (88) makes a catch during training camp at SUNY Cortland. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports
With the New York Jets fresh off of their first organized team activities, tight end Jace Amaro joins Boy Green of The Jet Press to talk about his rehab, last season’s finale and more.
The New York Jets started their offseason programs this week and are one step closer to the regular season. Last season, the Jets struggled mightily at the tight end position and are looking to improve in 2016.
Tight end Jace Amaro decided to sit down and talk with me about his ongoing rehab, the horrible end to last season and why the third year will be the charm for the Texas Tech product.
Let’s get right to it, here’s my exclusive interview with #88 himself.
Next: 13. Amaro talks about start of OTAs
13. Amaro talks about start of OTAs
The Jets started their OTA’s today and it runs through June 9th. Outside of the Jets’ minicamp, OTA’s are the last opportunity for the players to be around each other.
It’s a dangerous time for the players who quite literally have a little over a month of vacation time without any football responsibilities. Then the Jets will reconvene for training camp at their facilities at the end of July.
This is an all important year two under head coach Todd Bowles and general manager Mike Maccagnan. They must continue to build a winning culture fresh off of a 10-6 campaign.
This is also the first time that Amaro was back on a football field doing football activities since his injury last season.
Next: 12. Amaro discusses rehab process
12. Amaro discusses rehab process
Amaro is entering his third season with the Jets and he has a lot to prove. In his first season, he showed a lot of promise.
During his rookie campaign, he caught 38 passes for 345 yards and two touchdowns. Then in 2015, he missed the entire season after suffering a shoulder injury (torn labrum).
Entering 2016, Amaro has to prove that he can be the answer for the Jets at the tight end position. Amaro revealed that he’s 100% recovered from the injury and ran around with no issues.
It was an emotional season last year for Amaro having to sit out and watch from the sidelines.
Next: 11. Amaro reveals emotions about sitting out last season
11. Amaro reveals emotions about sitting out last season
“It was extremely tough” Amaro said in our one-on-one interview and revealed that he’s been dealing with injuries throughout his career. Torn ACL in high school, a lacerated spleen in college, and now the torn labrum last season.
Something I took away from the interview was the fact that Amaro took advantage of his injury. Since he couldn’t be on the field learning, he took the time to watch extra film.
Amaro has also had more time to assimilate himself into the new playbook and he considered the injury bittersweet from that perspective. Amaro feels much better prepared for the 2016 season now that he’s had time to digest the playbook.
Bowles has instilled a level of faith in Amaro and he said that has made him feel more comfortable with the coaching staff and his teammates. Look for Amaro to play a lot looser in the Jets’ new look offense.
Next: 10. Jace reveals his belief in new regime
10. Jace reveals his belief in new regime
It’d be easy for a player who’s in a new regime that didn’t draft him to turn in and give up. Amaro knows that the Jets need him now more than ever.
Bowles and Maccagnan have no ties to Amaro. Which means that his leash is much shorter than it would’ve been had Rex Ryan and John Idzik survived.
This is a make or break season for Amaro and because the Jets have limited options at the position. Amaro should have an ample amount of opportunities to prove his worth.
One of the leading story-lines entering last season was Amaro and Ryan exchanging verbal jabs in training camp and early in the preseason. Amaro finally cleared the table with Ryan, or did he?
Next: 9. Amaro vs. Ryan has the beef been settled?
9. Amaro vs. Ryan has the beef been settled?
Amaro was coy with his answer, as he should be since nothing good can come from bashing his former coach. It just makes my job easier if he decides to rip Ryan.
Amaro was respectful saying he was honored by Ryan giving him this opportunity and would never forget it. Amaro didn’t want to comment on the matter any further.
For those of you that forgot, Ryan was angry at Amaro for saying the Jets lacked accountability in 2014. Amaro addresses his own accountability later in this interview when it comes to his own deficiencies.
Did the Jets subconsciously give Amaro a vote of confidence? We discuss that very topic coming up.
Next: 8. Did the Jets subconsciously give a vote of confidence?
8. Did the Jets subconsciously give a vote of confidence?
But by neglecting to do anything significant at the position, did the Jets give a vote of confidence to their third year player? Is this regime confident in Amaro’s abilities?
Or perhaps is that more a tell tale sign of the available market on the tight end position? We may never know the answer to that question but Amaro said he’s going to continue to work hard.
Amaro didn’t shy away from the early criticisms of his game. We talked about the durability issues earlier and Amaro struggled to consistently catch the football.
Next: 7. Amaro was brutally honest when evaluating himself
7. Amaro was brutally honest when evaluating himself
“Everything negative opens the door for me to be better” Amaro said. It was frustrating as a fan to see Amaro as he said, dropping the easy passes but finding ways to catch the difficult ones.
Amaro said some of the main reasons for his struggle was his inexperience as a rookie. Also the domino effect of a tough 2014 season in which the Jets finished 4-12.
He’s 10 times better than his rookie season and Amaro says he has never worked harder in his life. Especially over the past two years trying to improve his game.
Amaro dropped quite possibly the biggest bomb in the interview on the next slide. Let me preface to say he’s not cool with being just a situational player.
Next: 6. Jace Amaro won't be a situational player in 2016
— Paul Andrew Esden Jr (@BoyGreen25) May 24, 2016
6. Jace Amaro won’t be a situational player in 2016
There are a lot of questions unanswered with Amaro, what will his role be in the offense? Traditional tight end, flexed out or maybe even an H-back?
Early on Amaro played as a situational player in 2015 and Amaro thinks with the current state of the tight end position that he can be a three down player. He doesn’t want the offense to be predictable.
For example, oh Amaro is in the game, this is a passing down etc. Amaro also revealed that he is more than just a receiving tight end.
Amaro’s biggest statement was that he doesn’t plan on being a situational player. He plans on winning the starting tight end job and never looking back.
Next: 5. Amaro addresses franchise low at tight end
5. Amaro addresses franchise low at tight end
The Jets had one of the worst tight end seasons statistically in NFL history last season. The Jets had franchise lows in receptions, yards and touchdowns.
Was trust a factor? Or perhaps the injuries changed the Jets plans when Zach Sudfeld and Amaro went down with season ending injuries?
The Jets need to attack the middle of defenses, which will open the doors for wide receivers Eric Decker and Brandon Marshall. In the past, offensive coordinator Chan Gailey has implemented double tight end look more times than not.
It’s going to be a different story this year says Amaro when it comes to the ineptitude of the tight end position. It apparently started on the first day of Jets OTA’s and Amaro said guys were running around and catching a ton of footballs.
Next: 4. The Jets want to have a top-5 offense, Amaro can help
4. The Jets want to have a top-5 offense, Amaro can help
Amaro’s teammate Eric Decker made some interesting comments when the Jets kicked off their offseason programs. He said the Jets should have a top five offense next season.
One way the Jets can make that happen is getting the tight ends more involved. Decker reiterated those comments in his answer to the media.
If the Jets had even a halfway reliable weapon across the middle, this offense would instantly be 10 times better. So many teams forced the Jets to throw to the middle of the field and they failed.
The Jets had their chance to win and get into the NFL Playoffs during their Week 17 matchup and they failed. I asked Amaro if they use last season as motivation.
Next: 3. Amaro on regular season finale
3. Amaro on regular season finale
I’ve talked with several coaches and players of the Jets and asked them all the same question. Do the Jets use Week 17 as motivation for next season?
The answer may surprise you, but it has been four or five months now and he said the team has moved past it. Being that close to the playoffs and not making it always stings.
Amaro addressed the tougher schedule next season and said it’ll be tough for the Jets in 2016. It’ll take a lot longer for Jets fans than a few months for that to be scrubbed out of our memories.
Before we ended the interview, I wanted to give Amaro the opportunity to address all the Jets fans who took the time to listen in to the program. Amaro had some interesting things to say when he was put on the hot seat.
Next: 2. Amaro's message to Jets fans
2. Amaro’s message to Jets fans
Amaro knows he didn’t play his best during his rookie campaign and he knows he can play better. He said he’s willing to do whatever it takes to be the best he can be.
Amaro has a chip on his shoulder from all the naysayers and everyone who is doubting the Jets now that is only fueling him to push the envelope. Amaro is ready for a big season and he has a desire to win the coaches over and plans on building some chemistry with the quarterbacks.
If the Jets are going to have a successful season at the tight end position, all their eggs rest in Amaro’s basket. Davis is nothing more than a marginal blocking tight end and Sudfeld has potential but is recovering from an injury.
Amaro is a wonderful young talent and he was an excellent interview. We wrap up this article with some final thoughts from Amaro.
Next: 1. Amaro's final thoughts
1. Amaro’s final thoughts
We wish Amaro all the best in his return from a torn labrum and we wish him well going into his third season with the Jets. Amaro is a former second-round draft pick of the Jets and is looking to bounce back after a tough injury last season.
If you’d like to hear this interview in its entirety you can do so at espncny.com in our audio vault. We also love to hear feedback from the fans so feel free to leave your thoughts below!