A year after landing in New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin’s doghouse after fumbling in the first quarter of the season-opening game, running back David Wilson was at it once again, fumbling twice in yesterday’s season opener that proved costly in the Giants’ 36-31 loss to the Dallas Cowboys. After the second fumble, backup Da’Rel Scott entered and played the rest of the game.
That leaves us to wonder: what will the coaching staff do with Wilson going forward?
Last year, the Giants had the luxury of putting him in the doghouse because Ahmad Bradshaw was the starter. It also helped that Andre Brown emerged as a solid backup as well. However, Wilson is the starter and the only other running backs are Scott and rookie Michael Cox.
The Giants did sign Brandon Jacobs today, so it’ll be interesting to see where he gets carries. Even with the signing, the Giants may have no other choice but to stick with Wilson and hope he is able to protect the ball better.
It wasn’t as if Wilson wasn’t making a conscious effort to hold onto the ball. On both fumbles, Wilson had two hands on the football, and the Cowboys, who seem to be making a bigger effort to create turnovers this year, was zoned in on ripping the football out of his hands.
They succeeded, and this could leave opposing defenses to do the same whenever Wilson is a ball carrier. Wilson must figure out a way to hold onto the football when defenders are trying to rip it out. Coughlin helped cure former running back Tiki Barber’s fumbling issues when he first arrived with the team in 2004, and should be in Wilson’s ear about carrying the ball the way Barber did.
The Giants need Wilson, and they need him now.