Florham Park N.J. - Tommy Bohanon plays the game of football, he has since he was five years old. Yet - in more ways than one - Bohanon is football's equivalent to the prototypical baseball utility player. It is someone who can come off the bench, be plugged into any position or game situation, and provide a solid impact. Since Bohanon was drafted in the seventh-round of the 2013 NFL Draft, he has relished his role as a versatile fullback that can change a game by doing the "little things."
"I pride myself on being very versatile," said the Wake Forest product. "If that's what I am asked to do, I'll be dynamic."
With Chan Gailey as offensive coordinator, the Jets offense has multiple looks with a vast amount of options. They will be able to do many different things with the amount of personnel groups on the roster. That is where Bohanon enters play. While he is listed as a fullback on the Jets depth chart, there were instances during training camp where the 6'1", 247-pounder took snaps as a running back, receiver, and run-blocker. He insists his comfort level with the playbook is night and day compared to his first year under Coach Gailey.
"Coach Gailey is doing a great job giving the offense multiple looks," said Bohanon. "I'm very comfortable being able to do different things. It's our second year in the offense so we know the ins and outs. We know what's expected of us."
Having a player like Bohanon in the offensive backfield gives the Jets a sharper edge. Technically, he is another weapon for Ryan Fitzpatrick. But, the fullback has proved he can handle a heavy workload. With veteran running back Matt Forte still rehabbing his hamstring injury as well as Khiry Robinson and Romar Morris still getting to game speed, Bohanon had a few extra reps during training camp in addition to his reliable role for the quarterbacks during the two-minute-drill.
"I'll do anything that's asked of me," said the fullback who is entering his fourth professional season. "I'm going to be asked to do a lot of different things. My main job is lead blocking obviously, but I'm going to be asked to run routes and run the ball alittle bit as well."
In 2015, Bohanon played in all 16 games but had four catches for 56 yards. It was a stark contrast to Bohanon's rookie season in 2013 when he totaled 11 catches for 69 yards while carrying the ball another 17 times for 62 yards. He missed the majority of 2014 with a broken collarbone. While the fullback position is a shadow of what it used to be in the league, Bohanon sees that as a challenge to prove himself as an offensive and special teams threat - something that former Jets fullback Tony Richardson is helping him with.
"I have a great relationship with [Richardson]," said Bohanon. "He's out here a lot. I met him in my rookie year and we've kept in contact since. I've asked him some questions and we've talked a little bit about the position. He's definitely a big help whenever I ask him anything."
Bohanon will continue to focus on the hard work needed as a blocker in both the offensive and special teams unit. That is what he has done since he was drafted. But, he insists he will be ready whenever Todd Bowles may call.
"I can be in different positions on any given day and get plugged into a bunch of different places. I feel like the utility guy of special teams," said Bohanon. "And as far as offense goes, last year at this time we were learning; now, we know it and will build on it."
Joe Barone is a staff writer for JetsInsider.com/NYJScout.com. He can be reached on Twitter (@28JoeBarone), or via email (firstname.lastname@example.org).null