COMMENTARY | The loss of running back Andre Brown during preseason loomed heavily over the Giants' offense during their meeting with the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday night, September 8, 2013. Starter David Wilson proved he was not ready for the spotlight -- coughing up 2 fumbles and missing numerous, key blocking assignments -- in the Giants brutal 35-31 loss.
Former seventh-round draft pick, and third-year player, Da'rel Scott didn't fair much better taking over for Wilson -- who was benched by head coach Tom Coughlin in the third quarter. A deflected pass off of Scott's hand turned into a pick-6 for the Cowboys during the final two minutes of the game, ending the Giants' hopes for another magical Eli Manning fourth quarter comeback.
After one game, the Giants' running back corps is in shambles. The inexperience and lack of leadership proved to be huge liabilities for the offense. Understandably, the Giants are now on the market for a veteran running back. And, as reported by Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPNNewYork.com, the Giants have brought a very familiar name in for a workout, Brandon Jacobs. Although the thought of bringing back Jacobs could make some Giants fans squirm, a variety of attributes make him the most logical choice to be the Band-Aid for a wounded backfield.
To say that Wilson struggled with pass blocking assignments against the Cowboys is like saying Miley Cyrus is only slightly unclassy. Wilson looked utterly and completely lost. Along with other miscues, a missed block on the first play of the game caused a hurried pass by Manning to be intercepted by Demarcus Ware, and a whiff on a block in the red zone moments later left Manning flat on his back with a nine-yard loss.
The inexperience of the Giants' backfield is glaringly obvious on passing downs. With a ramshackle offensive line, the running backs must be able to pick up the pass rush. If Manning can't stay off the turf, then the Giants are in for a long season.
Jacobs is the obvious choice to help solidify the Giants' pass protection problems. He spent seven seasons in the backfield protecting the quarterback, and he won two Super Bowls during his time with the Giants. He wasn't always the best blocking back, but he was good enough, and he knows the importance of keeping Manning on his feet and keeping pass rushers out of Manning's face. If Manning goes down, so does the Giants' season.
With the departure of Ahmad Bradshaw, and Andre Brown out of the lineup until at least week 10, the Giants are in dire need for veteran leadership. Scott has been with the Giants the longest, and prior to the game against Dallas, had only 11 carries for his career -- not exactly the statistics you want from your most senior running back. David Wilson's confidence is shaky, and Michael Cox is a rookie with zero NFL experience. Changes need to be made.
Jacobs could add an instant veteran voice and add focus to a group that desperately needs some. At times his methods were controversial, but he played a key, motivating role for the Giants during the Super Bowl run in 2011. Toss away the concerns about his behavior in San Francisco last year. He has always made it very clear where he wants to play football, and it is in New York. Jacobs even recently tweeted, "Wilson Jacobs Brown Cox. I'd love this." The Giants would get the good Jacobs, not the bad Jacobs.
He Knows the System
The hardest part about acquiring a free-agent player during the season is getting that player acclimated to a new system. With Jacobs, the learning curve would be very small. The important components are still in place. He played under head coach Tom Coughlin from 2005-2011, and he played under offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride from 2007-2011. He knows the offense, he knows the schemes, and he knows the protections. If he is in good physical condition, he could realistically see game action within the next few weeks.
Jacobs could still fill a vital role for the Giants, even though his days as an every-down back are behind him. And the Giants need to fill that role sooner rather than later.
Matt Mosley is a professional writer with more than 10 years experience covering sports, music and film. Along with his passion for other New York sports teams, he has followed the New York Giants for more than 25 years.
- American Football
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- Brandon Jacobs
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