CORTLAND, N.Y. -- New York Jets rookie tight end Jace Amaro was called out Saturday by coach Rex Ryan, who wants Amaro to be more aggressive going after passes. Looking back at his first game, Amaro agreed.
“He’s right. He drafted me because he knows I can make plays on the ball, and that’s what he wants me to do," the second-round pick said Sunday. "There’s really no excuse for it. He’s absolutely right. I just have to go out there and play better.”
Amaro caught two passes for 18 yards in the preseason opener, but he should have finished with four receptions, according to Ryan. Amaro said if Ryan is “willing to give me the ball in space and wants me to get the ball and touch the ball, you have to make sure you do it, especially when the head coach is calling you out like that.”
In response to Ryan suggesting Amaro watch tapes of Hall of Fame tight end Mike Ditka, Amaro admitted he didn't watch a lot of NFL growing up. He pointed to Wes Welker and Michael Crabtree, both of whom attended Texas Tech, as players he studied as a kid.
“They’ve shown me stuff from a route-running standpoint that I’ve taken into my game, so I feel good about what they’ve shown me,” said Amaro, who caught 106 passes for Texas Tech last season.
Other than being more aggressive, Amaro believes he played well against the Indianapolis Colts and that things are finally starting to click, claiming he “didn’t make any mental errors” and performed well in run blocking situations.
“A lot of these guys have been with it for one or two years already, so you just have to pick it up and pick it up quick,” he said. “I feel like it’s finally clicking for me. I know what to do on every single play, so right now I feel pretty good about it.”