Florham Park NJ - Life is different for everyone and the NFL experience is no different. Some players get drafted with their spot on the roster secure for years, even decades, some players scratch and claw just to make a team, some fight and fight just to be released. Some of the players who got released this weekend had their dreams die forever, others like Braedon Bowman get another chance with a new team.
"It was kind of crazy because I didn't really find out until kind of last minute yesterday," Bowman told JetsInsider about his emotions throughout yesterday. "(I'm) thinking I'm going to be on the practice squad down in Jacksonville then getting the call up here and basically going back to the Jacksonville hotel, packing my stuff and getting on the plane. It was kind of a crazy trip last night, but it's good. I like it."
And yesterday was just the beginning of the crazy as it started all over again today and will continue throughout the week.
"(I got to New Jersey ) Last night at about 10:30. Went to the hotel last night and then got here at 7 am, started doing my physical, got x-rays and stuff just to make sure I was good and got out on the field," Bowman said. "So, I haven't even met most of the players yet, a few of them here and there on the field."
Bowman said he started as a receiver in college before transferring to South Alabama where they moved him to tight end. He said the receiver part of being a tight end comes naturally to him but admits he still has to develop and perfect his blocking. During his time with the Jaguars Bowman lined up as a tight end, H-back and fullback and one would imagine that was what appealed to Todd Bowles, Chan Gailey and Mike Maccagnan so much about the young tight end, because those three love them some versatility.
"Yeah, you want to try and do it (use players in multiple ways), keep defenses off-balance," Bowles said. "Everybody tries to do it, but you have to get one of those guys that can actually do it to make sure you do that."
So can Bowman actually do it?
"Yeah, I kind of did a little bit of everything in 11 (one tight end) and 12 (two tight end) personnel sets," Bowman said. "Just being wherever I can (be) used, in the pass game and the run game."
The balance and versatility is what the coaching staff is looking for and Bowman knows that if he's going to stick with the Jets he's going to show he can contribute as both a blocker and a receiver.
"Yeah, I think that's going to be the number one thing," Bowman said. "Showing that I can block and catch passes in the pass game as well. So, just being a dual threat is really what you need."
Bowman said "footwork, hand placement in the run game and obviously learning the new playbook" are the things he most has to work on to improve his game. Ah yes, the playbook. That part will be critical, very critical. Only one problem for Bowman, as of 2 pm today he still hadn't seen the actual playbook.
After being asked when he got the playbook Bowman told JetsInsider, "Not yet. I just got cleared (to be activated on the roster) about 10 minutes into practice, so I had to wait and run out there (to do scout team)... Yeah, I'm trying to be a sponge and absorb everything up."
So today was about getting activated, doing some scout team reps and slowly starting to introduce himself to his new teammates, but it's safe to say the rest of the week will be filled with extra homework.
"Oh yeah, tomorrow's an off day (so) I'll be up here by myself in the film room watching as much as I can." Bowman said. "Writing down as much as I can and trying to learn this playbook as fast as possible."
Chris Nimbley is the editor-in-chief of JetsInsider.com/NYJScout.com. He can be reached on Twitter (@cnimbley), or via email (firstname.lastname@example.org)