New York Jets 2015 Training Camp: Breaking down fullbacks


Aug 9, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; New York Jets fullback Tommy Bohanon (40) runs with the ball in the first quarter of a preseason game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

What does the fullback position look like for the New York Jets heading into training camp? Fullback is not the most glamorous position on the offensive side of the football. Little coverage is ever given to the position as some rosters no longer have a spot for them. It is a position that could prove important to the Jets this season however.

With questions along the offensive line, especially at offensive tackle, a big blocking fullback could aid in blocking schemes this year. Of course it not exactly clear what offensive coordinator Chan Gailey will do with the position, but the Jets brought in competition for incumbent Tommy Bohanon in the form of J.C. Copeland.

Let’s take a look at the two players the Jets currently have on the roster at the position and see how they size up.

Next: Tommy Bohanon

Sep 14, 2014; Green Bay, WI, USA; New York Jets fullback Tommy Bohanon (40) is defended by Green Bay Packers cornerback Sam Shields (37) during the second half of a game at Lambeau Field. Green Bay won 31-24. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Tommy Bohanon

Tommy Bohanon returns for his third season with the Jets. Bohanon was taken by the Jets in the seventh round of the 2013 NFL Draft. He appeared in all 16 games of his rookie season and started 8 games for the Jets. Bohanon stands 6’1″ and is listed as 247 pounds.

An offensive favorite of former head coach Rex Ryan, Bohanon broke his clavicle in mid September in a game against the Detroit Lions. After the game, Ryan described the loss as a major one for the team. Reportedly, Bohanon played the second half with the injury. John Conner was brought back to finish the season as Bohanon was placed on injured reserve.

Bohanon is a blocking fullback almost exclusively, leading the way for the run game and carrying out assignments in pass protection schemes. His offensive stats are meager, having carried the ball only 18 times over the past two seasons for just 65 yards. In the passing game, Bohanon has been targeted 18 times, posting 13 receptions for 99 career yards.

For those of you into stats, that’s a 7.6 yd average in the passing game, and a 3.6 yard average in the run game. His stats were for just 20 games to be fair. Bohanon has yet to post a touchdown for the Jets. Bohanon is not likely going to excite anyone offensively anytime soon if ever.

He has a fair set of hands and has posted a career long 21-yard reception from Geno Smith in 2013. Bohanon’s game isn’t about that however. He’s been strictly a blocker in most formations since his arrival. Bohanon is a tough kid, hits the line hard and plays full out from start to finish of any given play.

Bohanon may just win the starting spot, but the Jets brought in competition for him this summer. The signing of another fullback may just be to provide competition in camp, but it also may signal that the new coaching staff might be looking for a change.

Next: J.C. Copeland

Sep 21, 2013; Baton Rouge, LA, USA; LSU Tigers fullback J.C. Copeland (44) against the Auburn Tigers during the first half of a game at Tiger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

J.C. Copeland

General manager Mike Maccagnan signed J.C. Copeland to the Jet roster on May 11th of this year. Copeland was signed by the Dallas Cowboys as an undrafted free agent after the 2014 NFL Draft. Copeland was later cut by the Cowboys in August of the same year.

Copeland is listed as 5’11” and 270 pounds. Copeland played his collegiate football for the LSU Tigers. In his junior year (2012) Copeland was named an All-American fullback by Pro Football Weekly. In three years at LSU, Copeland posted 92 yards rushing on 36 attempts, for a 2.6 yard average. In the passing game, he posted just 7 receptions for 85 yards.

He is a thick bodied fullback who played as high as 290 pounds while at LSU. He’s a thumper at the line of scrimmage and excelled along the goal line. Copeland rushed for 7 touchdowns in his final two years at LSU and was invited to play in the 2014 NFLPA Collegiate Bowl. Copeland was named the game’s MVP for putting up two rushing touchdowns for the National Team.

Copeland was brought in for a reason, it’s unclear why at this point, but expect this young man to compete. He played at LSU seeing good competition so he has a pedigree of sorts. Let’s see what he can do this summer.

Next: Final Thoughts

Oct 20, 2013; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets running back Chris Ivory (33) runs with the ball while following the block of New York Jets fullback Tommy Bohanon (40) during the second half at MetLife Stadium. The Jets defeated the Patriots 30-27 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

Final Thoughts

Training camp for the Jets is full of competition this summer. Maccagnan and head coach Todd Bowles have combined to provide competitions at every position for fans to enjoy. Fullback will be no exception it would appear.

It’s impossible to tell how Gailey will use the position this year as he may choose to bypass the position entirely. Having two fullbacks compete, it’s apparent that Gailey is at least considering the roster spot. I think the winner of this competition will be defined by what Gailey is looking for at the position.

Bohanon provides adequate blocking while having a decent set of hands. Copeland on the other hand is a hard hitting fullback at the point of attack in the running game and also offers a big option in the goal line offense. With lots of high tier competitions this summer, this one may be overlooked but it just might be fun to watch.

So, what do you fans think? Does Gailey carry a fullback this year? Does Bohanon already own the starting job? We here at The Jet Press value your opinions so please leave us a comment and Let’s Talk Jet Football!

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