John Conner is back where it all began for him.
"It seems like I can't stay away from New York," the former Jets fullback said Wednesday after signing with the Giants to replace Henry Hynoski (shoulder).
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Conner first made a name for himself -- a nickname for himself, actually -- with the Jets. He was tabbed as 'The Terminator', in part because he shares a name with a character from the films. But if he was a 5-6, 145-pounder working at the Apple store or something, that nickname probably wouldn't have stuck. The fact that he's a 5-11, 245-pound bruiser certainly makes an impact. And that's what the Giants want Conner to do for them.
"We need a fullback, we need a lead blocker," Tom Coughlin said. "He is a physical guy. We think he'll go up in the hole and clear the hole for the running back and we hope he'll be a good pass protector and contribute on special teams as well."
Hynoski did that last year, but injuries slowed him considerably. He pushed through knee surgery in the offseason to be ready for the regular season opener, but it was clear that he missed training camp and was probably not completely ready to contribute. Then, on Sunday, he caught a pass and fractured his shoulder early in the game. That ended his season.
The Giants are one of the few remaining teams in the NFL that use a fullback.
"That's why it's hard for fullbacks to find jobs now because it's become a pass-happy league," said Conner, who was waived by the Jets last season, signed by the Bengals late in the year, and then released by the Bengals at the end of this training camp.
Conner comes at a time when the Giants certainly need help in their running game. They are last in the NFL and for the first time in their history have gone three straight games without rushing for more than 60 yards in any of those games. They also have an offensive line that may be held together with duct tape this week.
So what can Conner do?
"It's my first day, things are kind of clogged right now, but I figure after a couple days I'll be good from studying and meeting with coaches afterwards," he said Wednesday. "I'm definitely going to give it my best game to help this run game out. That's what they brought me in for so I'm going to do that to the best of my ability."
And, of course, he'll add a physical element to the team.
"Absolutely," he said. "That's the way that I like to play the game. I don't play it any other way."