Jets guard Dakota Dozier got a new entry for his pro football résumé over the last four games of the recently concluded season that underscored his nickname of "Bull," as in "Bull Dozier."
"The coaches came to me one week and said, 'We want you to play some fullback,' and I said, 'Hey, whatever I can do to help the team out,' " Dozier said before departing the Atlantic Health Training Center after the final game. "It was a little bit different, but it was still fun."
Perhaps the most enjoyment came when the stakes were relatively at their highest. The Jets, desperately seeking an end to their second-half losing streak, were facing a "Gotta Have It" play, choosing to go for it on fourth-and-goal at the Buffalo 1 with 1:22 left and trailing the host Bills, 23-20.
And at that point many Jets fans may have noticed for the first time that the lead fullback in front of Elijah McGuire was wearing uniform No. 70.
"Nope," Dozier said when asked if he'd ever lined up in the backfield. "I played offensive line my entire football career. We had been working on it a little bit in practice. Then we got a few things figured out, they felt comfortable with it, I felt good with it, and we started using it."
On the big play, Dozier, at 6'4" and 313, actually got pieces of two Bills on McGuire's patient right-side off-tackle run, briefly joining a double-team block of DE Shaq Lawson (6'3'", 267) before moving on and getting a vital hit on the Bills' top-tackling rookie, Tremaine Edmunds (6'5", 250), which gave McGuire enough room to continue his quest for the end zone.
And as soon as McGuire scored what turned out to be the winning TD, Dozier was the first of many smiling teammates to congratulate him. "That was definitely a lot of fun," he said.
A different kind of fun, perhaps, will fill the offseason from now until April and OTAs. Dozier already had a rough plan for the next few months as he, his wife and 4-month-old son will spend some quality time together and do some traveling.
As for his workout routine, he said, "I'll take some time off, then when I get back, I do a little bit of research and I try to add one new piece of working out every offseason. In the past I've added yoga and stretching, so we'll find some other things and we'll add to it."
Dozier is also a potential unrestricted free agent, so there's a chance he won't return to the Jets. Even with his fullback assignment, he saw his least action since his rookie season of 2015.
And if he does return, it will be to a new head coach and assistant coaches and schemes. No matter how his offseason unfolds, there will be big change. But he's got a philosophy that handles life lessons as well as position switches.
"It's a part of this league, unfortunately," he said of the news he had received earlier in the day of Todd Bowles' departure. "Coaches come and go and players come and go. No matter what, though, you've got to keep working just as hard as you normally would because you never know when your next opportunity's coming."