COMMENTARY | Hey, remember David Wilson?
It seems like the New York Giants' coaching staff has forgotten about him when devising offensive game plans. Since fumbling in his National Football League debut, the first-round pick out of Virginia Tech has a total of 16 carries for 89 yards. Incidentally, he took one of those touches 40 yards to the house against the Cleveland Browns. With the Giants struggling to get in the end zone (two offensive touchdowns in the last 10 quarters), it's time for Wilson to get involved in the offense.
Unfortunately, coach Tom Coughlin doesn't share my sentiments -- at least, not at the moment. Coughlin refuses to play Wilson on offense, even though he has become a major weapon on special teams as a kick returner (25.4 yards per return). Nevertheless, Wilson can't convince his coaches to give him some burn on offense, as Ahmad Bradshaw and Andre Brown have shared the load in the backfield. So what gives? Running backs coach Jerald Ingram recently provided a clue.
"Just because you're a first-round draft pick doesn't mean you're ready to play or they all would be great," Ingram told the New York Post earlier this week. "It's about winning games, it's not a popularity contest. It's time for you to grow up and be a man now and see what you can do with the whole ball of wax. Until he proves that, it's hard to stick him out there and feel comfortable."
When I first read these harsh comments, I was shocked, as it's not often you will see an assistant coach put one of his players under the bus (and back over him). Ingram suggested that Wilson has to do a better job blocking and picking up blitzes, but there must be something else going on here. If Wilson is struggling at blocking, the Giants simply can keep him out on passing downs and draw up a few running plays or screens for the shifty running back. And it can't be that the Giants still don't trust him to hold on to the ball. After all, he hasn't fumbled returning kicks and Bradshaw has lost three fumbles without losing playing time. It's really a head-scratching situation.
"I've been wondering why I'm not getting somewhat involved,'' Wilson said. "You think it would be some aspect or some way I could contribute on offense, but the coaches got their own plan and they know the perfect time to put me in there. I still got learning to do and growing to do as a player."
Wilson is being diplomatic, so I'm going to just say it for him. The Giants should get him involved in the offense and see what he can do. If the rookie messes up, they can plant him back on the bench. However, the team needs a spark and Wilson can provide it. So let him play.
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Adam Martini is a freelance sports writer who grew up in Queens, N.Y. rooting for the Giants despite being surrounded by Jets fans. He proudly wears his Rodney Hampton jersey on Sundays during the football season. Adam follows back Giants fans on Twitter @PegCitySports.