The New York Giants selected Virginia Tech running back David Wilson with the last pick in the first round of the 2012 NFL draft because they liked his speed, toughness and ability to make plays when other backs would be bound up in a sea of defenders. However, there was one ding on Wilson's résumé: a propensity for fumbling. Asked in the preseason what he wanted to accomplish in his rookie campaign, Wilson said he was sure of one thing.
"I got 5 yards per carry, score at least 10 touchdowns, allow no sacks, I got each game have a play of at least 20 yards or more, at least six 100-yard games and no fumbles," Wilson said. "No fumbles is the first one."
Unfortunately, that didn't last too long. With 6:43 left in the first quarter of the Giants' season opener against the Dallas Cowboys, Wilson fumbled and gave the Cowboys the ball when linebacker Sean Lee made a great play, using his incredible closing speed, and forced the turnover which safety Barry Church recovered at the Dallas 28-yard line, and returned the ball to the Dallas 34.
"It's hard to put it behind you when that's the last play you can remember, but I understand the coaches," Wilson said after the game. "I know I didn't have much room for error being a rookie and then having a critical error like that, like a turnover. You just live and you learn and you move forward."
Wilson was obviously emotional and unhappy with himself on the sideline, to the point where Giants head coach Tom Coughlin, who would usually earhole a rookie for such a mistake, went a little lighter in his approach.
Then, when running backs coach Jerald Ingram came over to talk to Wilson, it was clear that the youngster was really down on himself — Wilson was visibly in tears.
In the second quarter, after a Michael Boley interception of a Tony Romo pass put the G-Men at the Dallas 1-yard line, Wilson was nowhere near the field on a Giants drive that lost 3 yards and resulted in a Lawrence Tynes field goal. Given Wilson's skill at picking up yards after contact, it's clear that the rookie will spend a little time in the doghouse.
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