Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.comCORTLAND, N.Y. — “How are you all doing today?” Jets fullback and seventh round draft pick Tommy Bohanon asked photographers Monday as he headed out to practice.
“Hey … um … good.” I answered in a thin voice as I looked through my viewfinder snapping pictures on a bright morning. No one else around me responded … which made me feel the need to do so … there’s no need to be rude, right?
To explain, as players walked onto the field, photogs generally line up along one side of a walkway standing in the grass and players would make the long walk while camera shutters and cleats on pavement both clacked away, all the way from the training facility up to the practice field.
Over the course of that period, players took different approaches to this, but generally with the same result: avoid the cameras. Some would walk out to practice in scrums to avoid potentially awkward solo shots, some would speed by at a jog, or in the case of Kellen Winslow, Jr. use pedal power to solve the problem.
The one thing that no one did? Look directly at the cameras once reasonably close. Everyone else does what you would expect them to do: they looked away, they cast their eyes on the ground, or they looked off and to their left toward the sky.
I honestly didn’t know how to respond when Bohanon asked because he was the first person in three days of shooting close ups (for a project that I will put on the blog later) that greeted us. A few well-known names might have groused about getting their picture taken, but not Bohanon. In keeping with his role on the football field, he took the matter head-on.