Tommy Bohanon emerging as Jets’ starting fullback

Tommy Bohanon adds a potent weapon as a pass catcher to the West Coast offense. Credit: Getty Images
Tommy Bohanon adds a potent weapon as a pass catcher to the West Coast offense.
Credit: Getty Images

Even before he was drafted by the Jets, Tommy Bohanon was getting advice from an NFL executive on how to develop into a better player. He always stood there humbly, willing to listen and learn. It was a good move on his part as it turns out that executive is now his boss — Jets general manager John Idzik.

Bohanon counts Brad Idzik, the son of the Jets general manager, as not just a teammate in college at Wake Forest but also as a friend. The two are so close that Brad was at his NFL Draft party this past April and he chuckles when he remembers receiving a call from the Jets and talking with John Idzik about being drafted while his son stood just feet away.

During his senior year, Bohanon got advice from the elder Idzik, who at that time was an executive with the Seahawks. The two used to bump into each other from time to time and Bohanon was always keen to listen to whatever advice was offered. He took advantage of his friendship with Brad to continue to grow as a player.

“He could definitely tell me a few pointers here or there if he saw something he liked or if I did something that I needed to improve,” Bohanon told Metro. “He was very rarely there because he was at Seattle. When he would be there he’d say, ‘Hey, if you’re doing this, you can work on these things and stuff like that.’

“It’s definitely a special thing to play for a great guy like Mr. Idzik.”

Bohanon was not only drafted by the Jets but looks likely to emerge from preseason as their starting fullback.

He says his head isn’t spinning, but an awful lot has come quickly for Bohanon, who has supplanted Lex Hilliard atop the depth chart.

“Lex is a great player and we have a great running back room all together so it is surprising,” Bohanon said. “I’m very grateful to be in this position, [to] come in and play a lot in the preseason and everything.”

One part of his game that is emerging is his blocking, something that is a surprise to many people. Wake Forest often operated out of the spread offense which emphasizes more of a pass-catching role for the fullback. But on Saturday night in the second preseason game, Bohanon repeatedly picked up on his blocking assignments to great effect. He even delivered a crushing hit or two.

Early in Monday’s practice session, Bohanon picked up on a blitzing Calvin Pace, leveraging his pads and standing up the veteran outside linebacker. Pace was stopped dead in his tracks, unable to get at quarterback Geno Smith. It is the product again of Bohanon showing a willingness to listen and learn.

Either before or after practice, Bohanon will spend 15 minutes, and sometimes up to a half-hour, working with running back coach Anthony Lynn in a piece of equipment known as the training chute. While it looks like a trampoline, the training chute’s value comes when a player is under it. Bohanon has to squat down to run under it all the while keeping the proper pad level. If he stands up his helmet will hit the top of the equipment. When he emerges from under it – and the training chute can be set-up for a run as short as just a couple of yards up to 15 yards – Bohanon will either hit a blocking sled or have to sidestep a series of cones.

It helps teach him how to keep his pad level right as he gets ready to hit.

“I definitely think it is something that people don’t appreciate as much because of playing at Wake and being in the spread a lot. But I feel that’s something that I’ve been working on and it has progressed very well,” Bohanon said.

“First you have to have great pad level and have to have great technique and that’s nine-tenths [of blocking]. The other one-tenth is having the want to do it and going in there and putting your head in there and wanting to knock the other guy over.”

Follow Jets beat writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Federal mediator joins Met Opera labor talks as…

Unions representing the orchestra and chorus of the Met Opera agreed to have a federal mediator join labor talks on Thursday as a threatened lockout loomed.

Local

Winning $7 million New York lottery ticket sold…

The only $7 million winning New York Lottery ticket for Monday's Cash4Life drawing was sold at a Queens 7-Eleven, officials said on Tuesday.

Local

Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.

International

Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…

Movies

Review: 'Guardians of the Galaxy' is a refreshingly…

Marvel is sitting so high on a cash mountain that it's now thrown $170 million at the relatively obscure and very silly title "Guardians of the Galaxy."

Movies

Review: 'Get on Up' is a war between…

James Brown finally gets his own boring biopic with "Get on Up," but the Godfather of Soul puts up a good fight against the usual cliches.

Movies

Review: 'Child of God' finds director James Franco…

James Franco's 11th directed feature is a noble but sloppy adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's "Child of God," about a feral mountain man (Scott Haze).

Movies

Review: Alex Gibney's Fela Kuti doc 'Finding Fela'…

Prolific documentarian Alex Gibney takes on Afrobeat god Fela Kuti in "Finding Fela," but fails to capture his unique essence.

MLB

Yankees land Stephen Drew, Martin Prado at trade…

Yankees land Stephen Drew, Martin Prado at trade deadline

College

Playing the Field: Valentine's Day coupling edition

  It’s Valentine’s Day, a day created by Hallmark to make couples spend loads and loads of money on candy, flowers and gourmet dinners. Or…

MLB

Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.

NFL

Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.

Career

What do you wear to a career fair?…

Getting that gig starts with presenting the most polished and memorable version of yourself, so refer to our expert fashion advice.

Style

Editors pick: Margiela's finger armor ring

These cool rings from Maison Martin Margiela are designed to overlap over the finger, covering each joint like armor.

Style

Givenchy champions diversity

Riccardo Tisci's uses a variety of ethnically diverse ladies for his spring campaign including Erykah Badu.

Wellbeing

Don't settle for the hotel fitness center with…

Travelers who want to skip the hotel fitness center in favor of local gyms that may offer better equipment, classes and amenities can turn to…