I spent Super Bowl Sunday watching the game with some family, close friends, and teammates, and I have to thank them because it really lessened the sting of not being able to play in it. When we were watching the pregame show and they showed the buses pull up to the stadium, that’s when the reality hit me personally that, ‘Oh my gosh, another team is in the Super Bowl and we’re not.’
I had flashbacks to last year, and I remembered being on the bus when we were on the way over to the stadium, and how I was listening to my music. I remembered everything that had happened to me in my rookie year – how I got to be on that bus and what it would mean if I was able to contribute to a win in the Super Bowl.
I was so thankful for the opportunity because there are guys who go their whole careers without ever making it to the Super Bowl, and there I was, a rookie at the time, pulling up to play in the sport’s biggest game.
So as I saw the buses pull in this year, the pregame stuff, the game itself, and of course the Ravens hoisting up the trophy, I was filled with so many fond memories–and an even stronger desire to experience those feelings again soon.
As the night went on, we kept talking about how excited we are for the coming year and to have another opportunity to get back to the Super Bowl. Everyone agreed that watching someone else enjoy the spoils was just something we could use as more motivation for us to get back there next year.
And how fitting would it be if we were able to get there and play the game in our home stadium?
So the 2013 season starts right now. I’ve been busy with my weight training and conditioning program. I’ve been lifting weights and doing a lot of conditioning like sled pushes and pulls. I’m doing a lot of explosion drills to work on my burst and contact power. Very soon, I’ll be starting up some training that I’ve actually done every year since I was a sophomore in high school–myofascial training, which is all about making your core the focal point so that you can develop strength everywhere else. So I’m really excited about that.
Switching gears now to your questions. These are really awesome guys – thanks for sending them!
In several of your blog posts, you talk about wanting to get better at your position and to be the best fullback in the NFL. I was wondering what it is you think you have to accomplish to reach that level of greatness. Thanks and go Giants. –Lawrence G.
Hey Lawrence, thanks for the question. You can never be a good enough blocker in this league – that’s something you can always work on, even if you’re already an explosive athlete. I also hope that I can get the ball in my hands a bit more. A lot of fullbacks are known for carrying the ball in this league, so obviously a few more passes and a few more carries would be great if the coaches call for that.
Hi, I am ten years old and I was wondering what is the hardest part about being a professional football player? Thank you. – Pete V.
Hey Pete, thanks for writing. I think the hardest part is the long hours you have to put in to complete all the work that goes with the job. During the season, you’re up by 6:30 in the morning and while you finish around 4:00, the toughest part is making yourself stay for that extra hour or two after practice and meetings are done to put in the time necessary to improve yourself. If you have the drive and the attitude, it makes it easier, and it really is a pleasure for me to spend that extra time to make sure I know what I have to do for that week’s game.
Henry, I had the pleasure of meeting you at a charity event last year and wanted to say how impressed I was with how you came across. Kudos to your parents for raising such a fine young man. My question to you is what would you like to do after your football career is over? Obviously I hope that doesn’t happen for a while, but I am still curious if you have thought about it. –Rodney S.
Rodney, hey, thanks man for the compliment, and thanks for coming out to see me. Yeah, you have to plan for life after football. You can only play this game for so many years. While I hope I have a lot more years left in football, I have given some thought to life after the game, and now, I’m leaning toward broadcasting. I have a love of the game and knowledge that I would enjoy sharing after I’m done playing, and I want to stay around the game because I think it might be hard for me to let go. So I think that would be the best way for me to continue to receive enjoyment out of it.
Hynocerous, I was wondering when you first got here, which fullbacks did the coaches show you tape of – were they Giants or guys from around the NFL? Did anyone’s style assort of resonate with you to where you tried to emulate him? — John F.
Hey John, yeah, when I first got here, the coaches showed me tapes of the past few seasons so I could see how the fullback’s role was applied toward our offense. So I watched Madison Hedgecock and Bear Pascoe. The goal wasn’t necessarily to mold me into either of those players; it was more for me to see how a play should be run in our offense.
Henry, I was wondering which defensive alignment, a 3-4 or a 4-3, is hardest for a fullback to play against and why? Thank you.–Casey D.
Great question Casey. I think a 3-4 is probably a little harder just because you have to block outside linebackers who tend to be heavier, more defensive end-types than the middle or outside linebackers in a 4-3.
Henry can you tell me about coming in as a rookie and the pressure you felt to contribute right away? How did you handle it without burning out and in looking back are you glad you got thrown into the water right away or do you wish they had brought you along more slowly?–Mike F.
Hey Mike, yeah, I’m very glad I was thrown into the fire right away because it forced me to learn things quickly and I was glad to have the opportunity to play at such an early stage in my career. I thought that showed what the coaches thought about me and the confidence they had in me, so that was a boost for me going into camp. I think the only way you can learn an offense is if you actually get out there and just run it. Yeah, you can learn it in the classroom and by watching it on film, but when you can get out there and run it, especially with the first string offense, it makes that much more of a difference.
Hey Hynocerous, I was wondering if when you look back and had to do it all over, would you have preferred to have been drafted or are you glad you went undrafted and why? – Dan S.
Hey Dan, at first I was upset that I didn’t get drafted, but in looking back, I wouldn’t change a thing because my journey got me to New York where I was a major contributor who started from day one, and I won a Super Bowl. So no, there’s nothing I would change.
You have been lauded for your outstanding fundamentals as a NFL fullback. In your opinion, what are the most important fundamentals for a fullback and how did you develop them? – Greg F.
Thanks for the question, Greg. I was really honored to be recognized for my fundamentals in playing the game because young kids watch us play and you want to teach them the proper fundamentals because you would hate to see anyone suffer a devastating injury. When you block you have to hit with the hardware—your shoulder pads, your facemask, and your hands–and you want to bring your hips through on the block. You also have to keep your head up, which is the most important thing because if you keep your head down, that’s when injuries occur, especially spinal injuries and concussions. So you want to keep your head up and not hit with the top of your head, but more so with the facemask area.
If there is one thing you could go back and change in your pro career, what would it be and why? – Stan D.
Hey Stan, to be honest, I don’t think there’s anything I would change. Football is a game where you can’t look back. If you look back and analyze the play before or 10 plays back when you’re playing the game, then you’re going to mess up the next play. I think you have to be in the moment and play for the moment, and look forward to the play ahead. You can look back and ask, ‘What if?’ but the bottom line is that it didn’t happen, so you have to look ahead and think, ‘Ok, what can I do to fix that moving forward and improve on the next play?’
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I’m going to take a few weeks off to focus on my training and conditioning, so there won’t be a blog next week. But I’ll definitely talk to you guys again very soon, and I please keep sending your outstanding questions to me – either post a comment below or send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’ll also be having a contest for some Hyno merchandise coming up this spring, so be sure you’re following me on Twitter (@HenryHynoski) so that you don’t miss the details!
Until next time,
Henry Hynoski, #45