June 26, 2009
Contact: Brian McCann
Too many meetings for a summer day.
That seemed to be the message that J'Nathan Bullock passed along when I spoke with him yesterday.
Since graduating from CSU on May 16th, he has been in New Jersey taking part in voluntary offseason training activities -- or in football speak OTA's -- as part of the New York Jets.
As a member of the Viking basketball team for four years, the question always lingered near the surface and it was never really out of site. An accomplished football player in high school, even more-so than in basketball, would Bullock make a run at playing in the NFL when his collegiate career was over?
Well, some times if you say something enough it tends to become a reality so sure enough, when Bullock's hoops career ended in mid-March, he immediately turned his attention to football and the NFL.
After not being chosen during the NFL player selection meeting, he signed with the Jets as a free agent. Five days later he was in training camp with the Jets taking part in a mandatory rookie camp. When that was over, he turned his attention too graduating, receiving his degree.
Bullock immediately headed back to football and has remained there since.
With the exception of two more mini-camps, when they held even more meetings and practices in a more condensed time frame, Bullock followed the same daily regimen until just recently. Up at 6:00 a.m. and immediately heads to the training facility where he gets some breakfast.
He is in "rookie school", the first of the daily meetings by 7:30 a.m. for a 60-minute lesson about life in the NFL and how to do things the Jets way.
By 8:30 a.m., J'Nathan is sitting in special teams meeting. Then, in progression, he goes to meetings with the entire team, a breakdown of offense-defense (he is on offense) and position meetings (he is a tight end). Next up is a brief offense/defense walk-through where the lesson for the day is implemented at a slow speed. Once this is over, the squad stretches.
At 11:00 a.m., the whistle blows to start practice.
A quick lunch followed practice and then J'Nathan hits the weight room.
Bullock is looking forward to July 3rd, when the voluntary OTA's are over and he has until July 27th before having to report back for the start of training camp. That is when the fun really starts.
For now, Bullock is rooming with former Southern Mississippi offensive tackle Ryan McKee and learning the ins and outs of the NFL.
"The biggest adjustment that I have had to make is that we do most of our learning in the classroom, in meetings," Bullock said. "In basketball, we watched a lot of film to see how a team or individual played, but then we went on the court and learned a play through repetition.
"We didn't really have a playbook in college basketball but in football, we have a large one. You have to study every play to know exactly what you are supposed to do and then we review it on film and in the meetings.
Everything is building for Bullock up to New York's preseason opener against St. Louis at the Meadowlands on Friday, August 14. Until then, it is back to the classroom.