- Jane McManus, Reporter & Columnist, espnW.com
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FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- You don’t want to stand out the way rookie tight end Jace Amaro did in Wednesday’s organized team activity. He had a number of ugly drops and looked lost at times in the offense, something New York Jets coach Rex Ryan didn’t have to be prompted to address in his post-practice news conference.
“All you’ve got to do is look at Jace,” Ryan said. “Jace had like three drops today. And I’m like wait a second, he did catch 106 balls right? But, he had three drops and that’s where clearly a guy is thinking so much that all of a sudden you lose the focus on what Job 1 is: catch the football.”
At 6-foot-5 and 265 pounds, Amaro is a bigger receiving tight end than the Jets have had in the past. He left after his junior year at Texas Tech, and the Jets nabbed him in the second round of the draft. There is a lot of promise in that frame, but Amaro sat at his locker after practice and had disappointment etched on his face.
“It’s been fun out there, but I have to make sure I get better,” Amaro said. “Today, just have to make sure you’re getting better at routes. I’m just overthinking a little too much on the plays and stuff like that.”
As annoyed as Ryan was with Amaro’s performance, he was able to put it into context. It’s not like the Jets are preparing for the first game of the season -- it’s June. This is the time to make mistakes.
“It wasn’t a good thing, but, he’s really been looking good until today,” Ryan said. “There (are) moments with each guy and you can say some real positive things and then you’ve got some with growing pains.”
That didn’t take the sting out for Amaro.
“I have high standards,” Amaro said. “I could have stayed and just been comfortable for one more year, but I chose not to and I’m ready for the challenge.”