The Jets have said that they will play their starters into the second half in Sunday’s preseason meeting with the Bengals and that means one scary thing for the boys from Cincinnati: John Conner will have an extra quarter to further deplete their already terrible defense. Conner is now the official starter at the fullback position for the New York Jets and the fifth round pick out of Kentucky, who was touted last season by Rex Ryan as ‘his pick’ is making his presence felt. In the team’s first preseason contest against the Houston Texans, Conner plowed through All-Pro linebacker, DeMeco Ryans, to free Shonn Greene up for a 19 yard gain, and his accomplishment didn’t go unnoticed. According to this article on Conner by Jenny Vrentas from nj.com, Conner’s hit made the team’s weekly ‘Play Like A Jet’ video and netted him some love from Greene on the field after the hit.
Conner has been so impressive going into his second season, the Jets coaching staff is putting more confidence in him as a blocker. From the article:
If the fullback is asked to block the defender down the middle of his body, as the Jets did on many zone runs last year, that gives the running back an option of going one of two directions. But the coaches went over plays for this season in which the fullback is told to move the defender in a certain way — aiming at either his inside number or outside number — so the running back knows in advance where the hole is supposed to be.
“It defines a hole for the halfback, where the halfback can be a little more decisive,” (Running backs coach Anthony) Lynn explained. “It doesn’t affect Shonn at all, it just makes him make the decision even quicker. That’s a little different scheme-wise.”
Lynn was pleased with Conner’s performance Monday, because he saw the young player apply some of these new “fits” they have worked on during training camp. Greene was the beneficiary, and Ryans was on the losing end.
They will continue to work on other areas of Conner’s game, so he can be used as a well-rounded fullback: Digesting the opponent’s defensive fronts. Moving to different places on the field, a new challenge after playing out of the I-formation at Kentucky. Getting out on pass routes more quickly so he can be an option for (Mark) Sanchez.
It would be nice to see Conner get some more touches and, you have to figure, as he impresses with his blocking, so he’ll be able to impress with the ball in his hands, as well.
As always, no John Conner post would be complete without this. Enjoy:
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Bill Keightley Report : Never to be forgotten.
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