FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — Finally healthy, Jace Amaro expects big things this season.
“I plan on getting involved at lot this season,” the Jets tight end said Wednesday on Day 2 of OTAs.
After suffering a season-ending shoulder injury in the first game of the 2015 preseason, Amaro is determined to prove his worth in Chan Gailey’s offense.
That might be harder than it sounds, though.
The tight end group, which also lost Zach Sudfeld (ACL) in training camp, was practically a non-factor last year, totaling only eight catches. And in Todd Bowles’ first year as coach, Amaro was on the sideline nursing an injury.
The time away from the field was difficult, he admitted. But he has returned to the field with renewed commitment to earning his keep.
“I’ve really only played one year,” said Amaro, a second-round draft pick in 2014. “This is a big year for me . . . And I know that we [the tight ends] plan on getting more involved this season. I plan on getting involved a lot this season.
“So it takes a lot of practice, a lot of reps, catching the ball, doing the right things, getting open. and I think that’s one of the things I can do extremely well.”
Asked to assess Amaro’s role, Bowles said: “He’s competing for a spot like everybody else. He missed a year. I haven’t seen him play yet. My first year, he was out. So getting him back healthy, it’ll be interesting to see what he does.
“He’s still an H [back]. He can play some Y, but he’s still an H. Just gotta see him out there healthy.”
Physically, Amaro feels good. “I’m ready to go this year,” he said.
After spending his rookie year in Marty Mornhinweg’s system, the former Texas Tech star said he’s finally comfortable in his second year under Gailey.
“Going from college and then going to Marty’s system and then going to Chan’s system, it was a big turnaround for me learning a new system every single year,” said Amaro, who in 2013 set an FBS record for receiving yards by a tight end with 1,352 on 106 receptions.
“But now I feel really comfortable. I know the whole playbook inside out, I feel really good about the plays. It took me a second last year to really get it going last year, like everybody else.”