FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) Jace Amaro is unfazed by Rex Ryan’s recent criticisms.
The New York tight end angered Ryan, now the Buffalo Bills’ coach, by saying in an interview on SiriusXM Radio this month that the Jets lacked accountability last season because of several issues with tardiness. Ryan, fired by the Jets after a 4-12 finish, vehemently denied Amaro’s comments in an interview with Sports Illustrated.
The coach recently reiterated his stance on WFAN Radio by saying the tight end ”totally misspoke.”
”I guess it’s just one of those things,” Amaro said Tuesday before the Jets’ first voluntary minicamp practice. ”I’m not really sure what you want me to say. That’s the way he is, I guess. I didn’t take it as any insult.”
Ryan declared in his interview with WFAN that Amaro is ”going to be accountable for his comments” when the teams play this season.
Amaro took the high road when asked if he’s looking forward to the two games against the Bills – in Week 10 at home and Week 17 at Buffalo – because Ryan is apparently planning to make sure the tight end is not a factor for the Jets.
”Well, it’ll open it up for a lot of other guys,” Amaro said, smiling. ”The bottom line is we want to win. I don’t think anybody is really worried about what happened last year. We just have to be better than we were last year, and I think that’s what everyone is expecting.”
Amaro insisted he intended the comments to be directed at the players, not the coaches specifically. Jets guard Willie Colon recently concurred with Amaro, saying player tardiness ”was an issue” last season.
”I had no intention of attacking anybody, especially Rex,” Amaro said. ”I have the utmost respect for the guy. He gave me a chance to play in this league before anyone else, so that’s an everlasting thank you to him.”
Amaro, a second-round draft pick out of Texas Tech last season, tied for second on the team with 38 catches for 345 yards and two touchdowns. He’s looking forward to working in offensive coordinator Chan Gailey’s system, which he compared to the one in which he played in college. Amaro also praised new coach Todd Bowles’ approach.
”It just feels like he’s a lot more intact,” Amaro said. ”He feels like he’s ready to go as a first-year (coach). I think there’s a lot of energy around here. He expects a lot of us. He wants to win right away.”
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