With starting tight end Jeff Cumberland out with an injury, New York Jets second round pick Jace Amaro got an extended opportunity against the Cincinnati Bengals this past Saturday. We took a second look at the game with a focus on Amaro, grading out his plays right here:
Few words on grading: This is a subjective and inevitably somewhat flawed process. Without truly knowing each player’s assignment, it is somewhat unfair to assign a grade on each play. However, for the most part you can get a feel of roughly what Amaro’s job was supposed to be and if he completed it or not. I’m sure on a few of these plays there is room for dispute but ultimately this is supposed to provide a close approximation of how well he played.
- Y - 20 plays. The traditional spot for a tight end. In-line, off the tackle and in a three-point stance.
- F - 13 plays. The “move” tight end. H-Back. Lined up off the line or tight in the slot and upright in a standard receiver position.
- FB - 1 play. In a shotgun play, the Jets used Amaro next to the quarterback in a traditional fullback alignment.
- X - 1 play. Split end. The wide receiver on the weak side of the formation on the line of scrimmage.
- Z - 1 play. Flanker. The wide receiver on the strong side of the formation off the line of scrimmage. (The Jets used Amaro here on their two point conversion attempt).
Action/Plus-Minus/Grade - Action describes what he did on the play. (+) is for when he completes his assignment in a notably good way. 0 means he did his job. (-) means he did something negative when attempting to complete his assignment. The grade provides a short explanation. I had Amaro at 12 +s, 13 0s, and 11 -s.
Run Blocking: They asked Amaro to do this on 13 of his 36 plays and considering how he was used in college, he held up pretty well. Here are two examples of him effectively doing his job and even picking up a knockdown in the second GIF. On the first play, he is kicking out #59 on the near side of the screen. On the second play, he is on the far side knocking the defensive end down.
Amaro consistently struggled in two situations with run blocking. When the Jets ran sweeps or toss to his side and when he was asked to find a man on the second level of the defense. Here he tries to get up to the linebacker but has poor technique, allowing the backer to easily shed his block and get involved in the tackle.
Pass Blocking: He was assigned pass protection 5 times and did a solid job. Again, this wasn’t anything “spectacular” but he was able to execute keeping his man off the quarterback as shown below.
Route Running: You can get a look at two of Amaro’s catches here. He had a third grab, when he did a good job of selling a block, releasing to the flat and getting upfield for a nice gain. As for the rest of his routes, outside of two “out” routes that he was bumped off balance on by the linebackers, he executed well. He has a good ability to find the soft spots in a zone, an important trait for any young receiver and showed strong vertical speed when given the opportunity.
Overall: This game should be a nice learning experience for Amaro since he received extended work at the “Y” position and spent a little over half his plays blocking. When Jeff Cumberland is back, Amaro is likely to see more time at the “F” or lined up as a receiver but the potential is there for him to develop into a competent blocker when called upon.