When Bilal Powell was drafted in the fourth round of the 2011 draft by the Jets, he was joining a backfield that included the legendary LaDainian Tomlinson.
Powell only appeared in two games that season but the knowledge he picked up from Tomlinson in the Hall of Famer's final season was invaluable to his career.
"You could see him as a young player that he worked after practice," Tomlinson said, via Ethan Greenberg from the New York Jets official site. "He watched film and took notes. Digesting all of that, even seeing how I practiced and how I went about my business, I'm sure it was a great learning experience for him. Now, you see it all starting to come to fruition with his talent and what he can do."
This season, Powell leads all Jets with 420 rushing yards and Tomlinson has been impressed.
"For one, he's an excellent football player, but he's smart and that's why he's able to do so many things on the football field," Tomlinson said. "He's able to handle blitz pick-ups, run routes out of the backfield and run the ball inside and out. He has the physical ability, but he's a smart player. I'm just so proud of him. I've seen him progress over the years and just been so proud that he's done the job he has. Quite honestly, to me, he just keeps getting better."