36° Good Morning
36° Good Morning

Jace Amaro says Jets had tardiness issue under Rex Ryan

Rex Ryan shouts to his team during the

Rex Ryan shouts to his team during the first half of a game against the Carolina Panthers. (Dec. 15, 2013) Credit: AP

Apparently, Geno Smith wasn't the only Jet who couldn't tell time last season.

According to tight end Jace Amaro, the team had "an issue" with tardiness and lacked accountability in 2014, Rex Ryan's final season with the Jets.

Asked during a Sirius XM NFL radio interview Monday to describe new coach Todd Bowles' demeanor and message to the team on their first day of voluntary workouts, Amaro said: "He came in telling us that he expects to win.

"He's not really playing around with everybody being late. We had an issue with that last year. I think guys just weren't accountable last year as much they could be. And I think that's the biggest thing."

"He's making sure that everyone's going to be 100 percent in or you're not going to be on the team, so that's really going to filter out toward the guys," added Amaro, a second-round 2014 pick. ". . . He just wants to win."

Like Ryan, Bowles is known for his strong defensive mind. But unlike his predecessor, Bowles has also developed a reputation as a no-nonsense kind of guy.

Ryan always embraced his reputation as being a players' coach, and during his six years as Jets head coach he made no apologies for his style.

During a Dec. 4 interview with Newsday, Ryan shot down the assumption that his players lack discipline. "Sometimes people throw that term around like you're soft or something. It's the exact opposite," said Ryan, now the head coach of the Bills. "A players' coach, to me, is somebody that cares about his players, someone that tries to give our guys an opportunity to be successful.

". . . My team is disciplined. It's not shown making a public spectacle out of somebody. That's not my style. I'll never do that," he said, referring to Bill Belichick sending home Darrelle Revis for arriving late to a Patriots practice last season. "But will discipline be in place if I think a fine is appropriate? Absolutely. It just might not have that outward appearance because I don't bench somebody."

Ryan also was quick to point out that he fined Revis during their time together. "Believe me . . . he was fined," he said of his former shutdown corner.

Ryan, however, chose not to bench quarterback Smith for being late to a 10-minute meeting the night before the Jets were blown out in Week 5 by the Chargers in San Diego. Former Jets secondary coach Tim McDonald later benched rookie safety Calvin Pryor in Week 10 against the Steelers because of his consistent lateness.

Ryan refused to confirm the identities of the disciplined players or the fines they incurred during the December interview. But the ex-Jets coach said that he announced their names and individual infractions twice a week at team meetings.

"And it could be our best player," he said. "I'll let them know who's done what. So that's never swept under the carpet."

That might have been true. But nevertheless, Amaro said he believes tardiness and a lack of accountability were big issues during their 4-12 season.

New York Sports