With the preseason in the books, the Giants’ running back picture finally looks clear; just not in the way that anyone would’ve liked.
With Andre Brown fracturing his leg and set to miss a significant chunk of time, the bulk of Big Blue’s run game is going to come through second-year man David Wilson.
Wilson says that he can handle a full time load despite his diminutive size (5’10”, 205 lbs.) and contribute in short yardage and goal line situations, which were slated to be Brown’s responsibility.
“I have the opportunity and, due to Dre getting injured, someone’s got to do it,” Wilson said. “Going into it, it was mainly his job. We had a goal line package where he was the guy to go in and get those tough yards. Now he’s out and I’m definitely going to have to step up and use all that stuff.”
Wilson is confident that he can do so, as his head coach Tom Coughlin who had the following to say to Giants.com:
“David Wilson runs in there hard, I don’t have a problem with that at all. That’s not an issue for me. He’s powerful. He’s compact. He has tremendous leg strength, which is his forte. For him to run the ball in short yardage and goal line, I don’t have an issue with that at all.”
And so the responsibility falls on Wilson – who had a team leading 179 yards on 24 rushes in the preseason – to be the man in the backfield. While he’s shown that he certainly can carry the load with his legs, the real issue lies in his pass protection abilities.
While is still largely below average as a protector, he has made some marginal improvements during camp.
On Thursday, Wilson picked up a blitzing Patriot which allowed Eli Manning enough time to find Louis Murphy for a 37-yard connection.
“He’s done a pretty good job of that,” Coughlin said. “The last couple weeks he’s improved and he’s also done a nice job if a half a jersey is hanging over, like he did last night on that play-action pass, he’ll step in there and bang the defensive tackle. He’s a much improved player. Much more aware of what he has to do to contribute to the entire pass protection scheme.”
Assuming Coughlin’s words were more than just lip service, the Giants are looking at a much-improved David Wilson this season, one ready to take the reins of the starting job and show why the Giants spent a first round pick on him
Joe Vasile is a play by play announcer for High School Cube and Widener Pride football and host of ‘Ball Four with Joe Vasile’ on 91.3 WTSR in Trenton. Follow him on twitter at @JoeVasilePBP and visit his website.