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Barber critiques Giants' Wilson

The SportsXchange

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Tiki Barber might have the solution for second-year running back David Wilson's fumbling problems.

Barber is certainly well-qualified to evaluate ball-security issues. He was benched for coughing up the ball early in his career, including six in his first two years in the NFL. Barber had 53 career fumbles.

"He has to be limit ball exposure before contact, not try to hold on afterward, as happened in his second fumble," Barber told USA Today. "You have to have an easy methodology to anticipate contact, cover your four points of contact, then go to the ground or keep running."

Wilson fumbed twice Sunday night at Dallas. Both turnovers came as a result of Wilson holding the ball low and loose, exposing it to defenders who were able to dislodge it. Wilson landed in head coach Tom Coughlin's doghouse.

Da'Rel Scott worked as the No. 1 running back for most of the second half on Sunday. The Giants invited free agents Willis McGahee, Brandon Jacobs and Joe McKnight for workouts Tuesday.

But Coughlin is optimistic Wilson, like Barber, will be fine moving forward.

"As I said (Sunday) night, David Wilson is a very talented young man that we need on our football team to be productive," said Coughlin. "We've been down this road before. We think we can have an impact on him being a better ballcarrier, a more secure ballcarrier. We'll get that done."

"That process has already begun for Wilson, who met with the coach on Monday to clear the air and to make sure that last year's first round draft pick has his mind in the right place.

"He's anxious to improve," Coughlin said, adding that there were no qualms on the coaching staff's part about giving Wilson that opportunity to improve.

Coughlin was asked if he thought Wilson's issues in the season opener were mental or technique based. He pointed to Wilson's rookie season success as a kickoff returner and how he was able to secure the ball well in those circumstances, but then added, "I think we did preach so much about (Dallas) being ball-strippers that somehow, some way, that didn't sink in."

The Giants will put Wilson on an accelerated pace to fix any technique issues he has that might be resulting in his exposing the ball.

"He'll learn from it," Coughlin said. "He has great pride and we'll try to get this under control."

However, the head coach stopped short of endorsing Wilson as his starter for this weekend's game against the Broncos.

"I'm not going to get into that yet. We'll see what happens as we get started during the week."
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