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

MAP: New York City Street Closures August 22,…

The Percy Sutton Harlem 5K and NYC Family Health Walk-a-thon and Pakistan Day Parade and Fair will cause traffic delays and street closures in New York City this weekend. Plan…

International

U.N. nuclear inquiry on Iran seen making slow…

The U.N. nuclear watchdog appears to have made only limited progress so far in getting Iran to answer questions about its suspected atomic bomb research, diplomatic sources said on Friday,…

National

Violence-weary Missouri town sees second night of calm

By Nick Carey and Carey GillamFERGUSON Mo. (Reuters) - The violence-weary town of Ferguson, Missouri, saw a second straight evening of relative calm on Thursday…

National

Journalist James Foley's parents, after call with pope,…

The parents of James Foley, the American journalist killed by Islamic State militants in Iraq, on Friday called for prayer and support to free the remaining captives held by Islamic…

Television

Recap: 'The Knick,' Season 1, Episode 3, 'The…

The third episode of Steven Soderbergh's "The Knick" finds Dr. Thackery (Clive Owen) meeting an old flame and other characters embracing self-destruction.

Music

Webcast: Watch Polyphonic Spree live on Sunday Aug.…

Polyphonic Spree singer Tim DeLaughter sits with Metro Music Editor Pat Healy for a chat and then the big band performs live. It begins on Sunday at 9:30 pm

Movies

Matthew Weiner on directing 'Are You Here' and…

"Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner discusses his movie "Are You Here," his history writing comedy and the tiny movie he directed in 1996 you can't see.

Movies

Michael Chiklis on his football past and 'When…

Michael Chiklis remembers playing football in high school and how that prepped him to play a coach in "When the Game Stands Tall."

NFL

3 things we learned about the Giants in…

The Giants claimed the Snoopy trophy in a battle of MetLife Stadium tenants Friday night. But more importantly, the offense finally showed some life in…

NFL

3 things we learned about the Jets in…

The Jets lost the Snoopy Bowl, 35-24, to the Giants, losing the trophy and local bragging rights.

NFL

Fantasy football draft guide: How to draft your…

Many are wondering if we’re entering a new age in fantasy football drafting — one where running backs take a backseat.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Giants storylines to watch

The Giants have plenty to work on as they reach the dress rehearsal preseason game Friday night against the rival Jets.

Wellbeing

Asics is giving away free gear around NYC…

Asics wants to see you on the court - and in the stands for the U.S. Open, which begins Monday - by giving away free…

Sex

Big weddings may lead to long-term happiness

Dreaming of a big wedding? A new study indicates that the longer your guest list, the happier you’ll be in the long run. l A…

Sex

Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…

Wellbeing

Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…