NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Jace Amaro might end up wanting this one back some day.
A few days after Rex Ryan said Amaro could benefit from watching tape of Pro Football Hall of Famer Mike Ditka, the Jets’ rookie tight end basically dissed his head coach to the NY Post.
“I’m not going back 30 years to see how Ditka played,” Amaro told the newspaper on Monday after practice at SUNY Cortland. “I know the way he played and the kind of character he is.”
While it seems like the coaching staff has been gushing about everyone at training camp, Amaro hasn’t received the same love. The former standout at Texas Tech dealt with a knee problem early and has since struggled at times adapting to the complexity of the playbook.
Amaro had two catches for 18 yards during the Jets’ 13-10 preseason win over the Indianapolis Colts last Thursday. Two days later, Ryan said it would do Amaro some good to watch how Ditka handled himself and learn how to use all of his 6-foot-5, 265-pound frame.
“Give him tapes of Mike Ditka or something and say, ‘This is how we want you to play,’” Ryan said. “Recognize you’re a big guy. You need to be a bully out there. When that ball’s thrown up, you’ve got to go catch it. I don’t care where it is.”
Ditka helped turn tight end into more of an offensive threat position during the 1960s, using his speed and strength to amass 427 receptions during a 12-year NFL career, played with the Chicago Bears, Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys.
Amaro had 106 receptions, 1,352 yards and seven touchdowns in 13 games during his final season at Texas Tech and as a result the Jets used a second-round pick on him and have high expectations. They hope he can start to become a weapon during his rookie season.
But so far he seems like he wants to do things his way.
“You don’t really want to look into it too much,” Amaro said of the comparison between himself and Ditka. “You want to be your own player. You don’t want to (imitate) anyone else who has played. I want to be the guy who someone decades from now says, ‘That guy plays like Amaro.’”
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