Most fullbacks in the NFL are seen as throwbacks, in other words, in the new pass happy league, fullbacks are becoming an endangered species. And in a sense Henry Hynoski typifies this dying breed of player.
It is hard to believe that Hynoski is entering his fourth season since being signed as an undrafted free agent out of the University of Pittsburgh in 2011. But this 25-year old player remains tough and selfless. In an NFL world where end zone and sack dance draw attention to the player; Hyno remains committed to simply doing his job.
In his short career with the G-men, Hynoski has gone from being a rookie performer on a Super Bowl championship squad, opening holes for the likes of Ahmad Bradshaw, Brandon Jacobs and Andre Brown, to the veteran leader of a brand new running back corps for Big Blue.
“I do feel like a veteran,” Hynoski said on Wednesday. “All of us in the running back room have embraced and taken on new roles this year.”
Except for Hynoski, the current stable of New York Giants’ running back have been with the squad less than two years. But given the lack of familiarity with his new teammates, Hynoski had never met any of these players before they came to the Giants, he is nonetheless impressed with his compatriots.
“All of running backs are ‘Giants’ type’ of players. These guys are good players and classy individuals,” Hynoski said.
As for his own performance, Hynoski indicated that he is fully healthy this preseason after suffering an injury-plagued 2013. “I am at 100 percent,” Hynoski said. “I actually feel better than before. I took care of my rehabilitation, and I focused on nutrition in the off season.”
In addition to returning from a season cut short by injury; transitioning to new coordinator Ben McAdoo’s new offense has also given Hynoski a new sense of purpose this training camp. “I am going to be asked to do a lot in this offensive scheme. I will have to catch, block and carry the ball, but the challenge is exciting,” Hynoski emphasized.
But given a new and expanded role, Hynoski has not lost focus of what got him to the NFL. “Even with all of the offensive changes, my main forte continues to be my blocking.”
With the offensive struggles that the team is going through right now, Hynoski believes it is simply a matter of time before production comes. “All the running backs have been serious in studying the plays and adapting to their roles,” he explained. “We all have a similar focus to get better.”
This week’s opponent, the New York Jets, bring a unique challenge to the Giants’ offense. “They are definitely a stout defense that is also very quick. We played a 3-4 defense last week against the Colts, but the Jets are somewhat different. Their [defensive] game plan definitely centers around confusing the offense.”
But given the amount of preparation that Hynoski has given throughout the off season and training camp, it would appear that number 45 is prepared for the challenge.