New York Jets fullback John Conner has earned the nickname ‘The Terminator' due to the bone jarring hits he delivers to opponents. While New York's third-year blocking back is flattered by the moniker, he doesn't want to be regarded strictly as a one-dimensional player.
"I'm glad that I can take on more of a role in the offense," said Conner. "I try to be as versatile as possible. I don't just want to be a blocking fullback. I want to be able to run the ball and catch the ball out of the backfield. I just want to be able to do it all for the team."
In his first season with the Jets, offensive coordinator Tony Sparano has the pedal to the metal during training camp as he urges his offensive unit to play at a faster pace.
"From last year, it's like night and day, the tempo is a lot higher he expects a lot more from us," noted Conner of the Jets new offense. It's going to make us better in the long run."
Under former offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer, New York abandoned the ground-and-pound system that carried it to back-to-back AFC Championship games; instead opting for a more ‘pass happy' offense in 2011. This year the Jets are harkening back to their rushing glory days, much to the delight of their burly fullback.
"That's really exciting for me, claimed Conner. "You look at our team that's what we're built for. We have a great offensive line and good strong backs that can mix speed with power, so it's great for our offense."
A major part of New York's plan to revert back to a run-first team involves the addition of Wildcat quarterback Tim Tebow. With the world's most interesting backup signal-caller expected to see snaps at fullback, Conner doesn't appeared threatened by Tebow's presence in camp.
"Whatever's going to help our team out, admitted Conner. "We got him, he's a great football player, he can do it all. He's a very versatile guy, you see him lining up there on special teams, I think he's great."
"That's our swag going into this year. We want to show it on the field and show it with our pads. And not to do as much talking, just go out there and show it."
Rick Laughland covers the New York Jets for Greenandwhitereport.com