FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- So now what happens at tight end for the New York Jets?
On paper, it's bleak. With Jace Amaro (shoulder surgery) lost for the season, their only experienced players are Jeff Cumberland and Kellen Davis, neither of whom is a receiving threat. Ordinarily, this would be cause for alarm, but the Jets might be able to skirt disaster because Chan Gailey's passing offense isn't tight end-based.
If Gailey leans toward the system he used as the Buffalo Bills' coach from 2010 to 2012, the Jets will be all about the wide receivers. In those three seasons (covering 2,989 offensive snaps), he employed a four-receiver package a league-high 586 times, according to ESPN Stats & Information. He used three receivers for 1,669 snaps, fifth in the league. He used two tight ends for only 341 snaps, 32nd in the NFL.
If the preseason is an indication, Gailey appears to be taking the same approach. Only five of the Jets' 51 completions have gone to tight ends, including only one to Cumberland.
The emergence of Quincy Enunwa as a potential contributor also could be a factor in the overall strategy. It might be a stretch to say he's a hybrid wide receiver/tight end, but he has the size (6-foot-2, 225 pounds) and blocking skills to handle some tight-end responsibilities. This is one of the reasons why they're smitten with him, dropping Jeremy Kerley on the receiver depth chart.
Todd Bowles called Enunwa a "tweener," saying he could create a matchup advantage.
"It gives the opposition a problem as to what they're going to play, base or sub," Bowles said. "If it's sub, he can go ahead and block some of the smaller guys. If it's base, hopefully he can outrun some of the bigger guys. He's kind of an interesting guy that can do both."
Truth be told, the Jets weren't sure how to use Amaro, who doesn't block a lick. Acknowledging his deficiency as a blocker, they started calling him an H-Back, saying they planned to move him around the formation. It sounded great, except he doesn't have the speed and acceleration of the new-age tight ends you see across the NFL. You get the feeling the new regime considers him a square peg in an offense filled with round holes.
No doubt, general manager Mike Maccagnan will be searching for a tight end over the next few days, but it probably won't be a high-profile addition. One player to watch is Joseph Fauria of the Detroit Lions. The Lions just acquired Tim Wright in a trade, dropping Fauria to fourth on the depth chart. As a rookie in 2013, he showed promise, scoring seven touchdowns on 18 receptions.
Bottom line: Because of the way they play offense, the Jets can survive the loss of Amaro.