Friday marked our second of four days at Jets training camp in Cortland, New York. Here’s some impressions from what I saw on offense today.
Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.com
Please stop worrying about rookie tight end Jace Amaro
Today Amaro addressed the media after practice and fielded a number of questions. I had one that I really cared about getting an answer to, which was “how much of what your role on a play is contingent on what you read from the defense?”
Amaro’s response was instantaneous and that on “every play” that is in fact the case.
This only plays into our assumption that Amaro is taking on the “F” receiver role for this offense, which this year will be a new wrinkle thanks to Amaro and his skill set. We’ve written extensively about the F receiver and 12 packages, but the simple version is that Amaro represents the pivot point for this offense when he’s on the field. It will be his job to read what the defense is set up for and to react accordingly and run the right route or take on the right responsibility according to the defense.
Amaro comes from a role at Texas Tech where he was deployed in a dead-simple spread offense and had little distinction in his role based on situational football. Doing what he is now being asked to do for Marty Mornhinweg is the antithesis of what he did at Texas Tech. We fully expect that he will adjust in time, but worry that early overanalyzing of his plays and missteps on his part or someone else’s (which was the case on his bobbled pass today) might not get him off on the right foot with folks who follow the team.
As a blocker, he got a long way to refine his technique. There were plays on some edge sealing blocks where his hands were out of position which could bring flags.
Amaro is going to be productive for this team in time, but TE is a role that can take at least a year or two to reach peak productivity for young players.
Listen in on part of the Amaro group interview:
Geno and Vick’s deep passes are fun to watch
After watching Mark Sanchez and some of the Jets quarterbacks in training camp in years past it has been fun to watch the strength and accuracy with which the duo can throw deep passes. The ease with which Vick throws a deep pass is a thing of beauty and yesterday Rex Ryan waxed about Vick’s abilities. “It’s amazing how God touches people differently and certainly he gave this young man (Vick) so much ability, and he does things. That ball is going 50 yards and it’s like ‘what?'” Geno is no slouch either. Smith was one of the league’s better deep passers as a rookie and that might only get better with a second year in the offense. Often in year’s past receivers would be slowing down for passes or moving back to the ball … I will say I’ve not seen a lot of that so far in the two days of training camp.
The Hill has eyes
I get the sense that Stephen Hill understands what is at stake this summer. He knows that with the addition of a number of players in both free agency and through the draft, the team is making other plans. Hill had a good day at camp showing off some good footwork in practice and bringing a physicality and swagger on the field that I don’t remember from him in the past at camp. He had a few plays with defensive backs in hand fights where he was able to push through them or bowl over them. It was refreshing from a guy who is 6’4 and has about 20-30 pounds on most of the guys he is facing. He’s got the size … is he going to use it?
Full disclosure, Corey and I discussed this today on the podcast. I mentioned Kanye’s ‘I’m not a shark I’m a blowfish’ line in his recent GQ article and I think that some of that is what’s going on with Hill. Of course as soon as I said it, Corey wants to now call Hill “Heesus” in homage to Kanye.
Keep an eye on the right side of the line
Four years ago, the offensive line was the unquestioned leaders of this team from a production and attitude perspective.
We all get that teams change year-to-year, but this group of lineman seems to have a long way to go to get to a point where they are all in sync. Today there were some plays where the right side of the line got bowled over or work around the edge that could be problematic if the group can get some things cleaned up. Giacomini’s size and reach is impressive, but there were some missteps I noticed today that could benefit from having Willie Colon coach him through. These could clean up quickly once Colon returns to the field.
Also, the second team struggled at times with protection and sealing off their blocks. It is something that regularly happens with backup linemen but while there’s a number of promising players in the backup unit, there’s a high number of players who will be fighting for a finite number of roster spots so I hope their play gets better in the coming days.
- Shaq Evans had a better day, looking more sure-handed and showing nice athleticism to track and catch passes over his shoulder deep. He did drop a short screen pass though.
- Sheldon Richardson had a play where he bowled through the line on the right off the snap and Vick hit the afterburners to evade Richardon who would have had a sure sack otherwise. Richardson laughed and couldn’t believe how quick Vick vanished.
- QB Tajh Boyd has had some issues with his ball placement today, throwing some passes off the mark.
- Geno’s footwork looks much better than it did a year ago at this time
- Saunders saw time with the first punt unit again, Evans seemed to be the third guy in the group with Jacoby Ford seeing some reps