New York Giant Henry Hynoski

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Once again Hynoski was healthy. After signing a one year deal with the Giants, he knew he had to prove himself healthy and back to the level of physicality and athleticism that he had prior to the injuries in order to secure back his job. His relentless determination enabled him to do just that and he had the best blocking year of his career.

The Giants hired a new offensive coordinator and the "West Coast Offense" was installed. Under this offense Hynoski's snaps had decreased but not his importance to the team. His role was expanded and the running game proved to be more productive when he was in blocking. He was not only used as a lead blocker, but also as an H back, pass protector and a short yardage back. Proven to be a good short yardage back, five of his seven carries went for first downs. His Pro Football Focus grade of +6.4 run blocking was the second highest of all fullbacks in the league and first of all free agent fullbacks. His impeccable technique and performance awarded him an All Pro Honorable Mention by Pro Football Focus, and All-East Team Honors. Making every practice and playing in all sixteen games proved that he was 100% healthy again. He was once again that physical and punishing fullback that he was noted for.

The expectations for Hynoski for the 2013 Giants' season were great. Emerging as one of the best blocking fullbacks in the league and gaining the trust of the coaches as a leader on and off the field, Hynoski was set for his role to be increased. After his breakout sophomore season, Pro Football Focus named him the Giants’ “Secret Superstar.” However, the damper came when he suffered a knee injury on the first day of “non contact” OTA’s.

After undergoing successful surgery two days later, he was determined to play in the first game of the regular season against the Dallas Cowboys. He began his rehab immediately and aggressively attacked it while missing training camp and preseason. With his fortitude, hard work and determination, he fulfilled his promise and returned for the first game. By the third game he was close to regaining his football form when another setback fell upon him. He suffered a season ending shoulder injury.

Devastated initially, Hynoski then decided he would overcome this second obstacle with a vegeance. After all, his career flourished on overcoming adversity. While on injured reserve, he worked diligently and aggressively once again in rehab. He vowed to return stronger than ever and earn his job back as the Giants' only fullback.

There was no sophomore slump for New York Giants starting fullback Henry Hynoski, coming off a whirlwind first season that saw him become the only rookie to earn a starting role on offense and ended with him hoisting the Vince Lombardi Trophy as Super Bowl XLVI Champion.

No, Hynoski went right to work within a few short weeks after the last piece of tickertape from the Canyon of Heroes parade down New York City’s famed Broadway honoring the World Champions was swept up, his goal to reinvent himself into a leaner, meaner, and more effective contributor in 2012.

Hynoski’s goals, all of which he met, thanks to his dogged determination, included significantly improving his strength, his knowledge of his assignments, and his overall familiarity of the Giants playbook. He parlayed his long hours of training and studying into a sophomore campaign that saw him vastly increase not only his on-field contributions, but also his off-field leadership.

On the field, Hynoski helped teammate Ahmad Bradshaw rush for 1,015 yards, Bradshaw being the first Giants running back to reach the 1,000- yard rushing mark behind the Elysburg, Penn. native’s lead. In addition, Hynoski’s efforts helped third-year running back Andre Brown enjoy a breakout season that included 73 carries for 385 yards and a team-leading 8 rushing touchdowns.

Hynoski’s blocking also helped rookie first-round draft pick David Wilson achieve an amazing breakout performance on offense against New Orleans. In that game, Wilson finished with 13 carries for 100 yards and 2 touchdowns, in addition to 227 kickoff return yards— including a 97- yard return for a touchdown—all of which were partially made possible by Hynoski, who was part of the two-man “wedge” on kickoff returns.

Besides clearing the way for his running backs against some of the NFL’s top linebackers—such as NaVorro Bowman and Patrick Willis of the 49ers, London Fletcher of the Redskins, DeMarcus Ware and Anthony Spencer of the Cowboys, and A. J. Hawk of the Packers—Hynoski was much more than just a lead blocker who helped spring his running backs for 15 of the team’s 18 rushing touchdowns.

Once a prolific running back in high school, Hynoski was called upon to run the ball five times for the Giants in 2012. In those carries, he amassed 20 yards, affording Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride another option to use in the team’s first- and second- down packages.

It was in the passing game in which Hynoski made his biggest contribution. He was thrown to 15 times, catching 11 of those passes for 50 yards. Two of those receptions went for first downs, and one other, which came in the Giants’ 2012 regular-season finale against the Eagles on December 30, Hynoski’s 24th birthday, resulted in his first NFL career touchdown.

Following his milestone score, the final points in an emotionally charged 42-7 Giants victory, the man bearing the moniker “Hynocerous” went on to further endear himself to thousands of Giants fans with his now wildly popular “Hynocerous” touchdown celebration.

Off the field, Hynoski was quick to answer head coach Tom Coughlin’s challenge to his players to take ownership of their role within the team’s structure.

When injuries began to affect the Giants running backs—Brown was lost in Week 12 after suffering a broken leg, while Bradshaw struggled through knee and foot injuries—Hynoski took it upon himself to mentor Wilson in learning the team’s pass-blocking concepts.

Hynoski regularly spent hours every week quizzing Wilson, as well as veteran teammates Kregg Lumpkin and Ryan Torain, both of whom were signed to provide depth, in order to help them get up to speed on the offense’s terminology and pass-blocking schemes.

Hynoski did more than just contribute in the locker room; he was the only member of the Giants voted to the 2012 USA Football All-Fundamentals Team. The team, chosen by a prestigious panel of five longtime football industry experts, recognizes NFL players for their textbook-style technique in setting an example for youth football players to emulate.

In February 2011, Pitt’s Henry Hynoski, rated as one of the top college fullback prospects by multiple draft scout publications, felt a pop in his hamstring while running his first 40-yard dash at the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis.

The injury not only cut short his combine performance, but it also threatened to end his dream of following in the NFL footsteps of his father— Henry, Sr., a former NFL fullback taken in the sixth round of the 1975 draft by the Cleveland Browns.

Through hard work and determination, Hynoski rehabbed his hamstring, but still went undrafted. Hoping to get his chance as a free agent, on July 28, 2011, Hynoski signed with the New York Giants, entering camp as the only true fullback on the roster.

He quickly gained the trust and respect of teammates and coaches, not just on offense, but also on special teams. By his second pre-season game, he saw his practice reps increase, and appeared to be on his way toward earning a starting job.

By Week 3 of the NFL pre-season, Hynoski moved ahead of Bear Pascoe on the depth chart at fullback, becoming the first of his rookie teammates to emerge as a starter. By opening day, Hynoski was one of 10 rookies to make the Giants’ 53-man roster, and the only rookie to get on the field for the offense in a starting role.

Following a five-week absence from the field due to an injury, Hynoski returned to the starting lineup and his production took off.

His stellar lead blocking resulted in eight 100- yard rushing performances by the Giants’ running game, including key late-season games against the New York Jets and Dallas Cowboys that helped the Giants secure the NFC East Division title; the Giants’ Wild Card dominance over the Atlanta Falcons; and their impressive showing in Super Bowl XLVI against the New England Patriots.

Hynoski also showed himself to be a reliable receiver out of the backfield, catching 17 of 18 passes (94.4%) for 122 yards (7.17 yards per catch), and amassing 114 yards after the catch (YAC).

His season high in this category was 4 receptions for 31 yards, including a three-on-one second-quarter drive in Week 17 against Dallas (1/1/12), a game that sent the Giants to the post-season tournament for the first time in two years.



Copyright 2015 Henry Hynoski


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