The New York Giants’ backfield will look different this year, as former running back Ahmad Bradshaw has signed a one-year deal with the Indianapolis Colts. Many were hoping the Giants would bring back Bradshaw this season, but are now looking forward to the Giants’ new tandem of speed and power in David Wilson and Andre Brown with some doubt.
Last year, Wilson set some lofty goals for himself: average five yards per carry, score 10 touchdowns, have six 100-yard rushing games and allow no sacks and no fumbles. However, the Giants’ first-round pick — 32nd overall — of the 2012 NFL draft, fumbled in his first game against the Dallas Cowboys and landed in head coach Tom Coughlin’s dog house.
At 5’9″, 205 pounds and with a sub-4.30 40-yard time, Wilson worked his way into the good graces of the coach the second-half of the 2012 season and exploded Week 14 against the New Orleans Saints, becoming the first ever NFL player with 200 yards returning and 100 yards rushing in a single game. This year, the team may use the electric back again on special teams to return kickoffs.
Playing counterpoint to Wilson, Brown’s powerful running style will be used on goal line drives, as he is better pounding the ball up the middle. Last year, he stomped for eight touchdowns in 10 games before breaking his leg. He will also be the third-down back. Wilson will have to prove his blocking skills to Coughlin in game situations before taking over this role for the team.
Wilson sees himself as a feature back who sees his freeze enshrined at Canton after his football career is over. While his ambition is admirable, he will have to prove that he is worthy of being the starting back for the team.
Wilson has big shoes to fill. Bradshaw, the team’s former premier back, won two Super Bowls with the Giants. While he hardly played a full season due to chronic foot injuries, Bradshaw was a workhorse and his attitude will be missed.
Only time will tell how good Wilson will be for the Giants. Right now, he stands on the threshold of a breakout year, as everyone expects him to build on last year’s second-half performance.