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New York Giants’ David Wilson Struggles While Other Rookie RBs Prosper

November 18th, 2012 at 7:00 AM
By Casey Sherman

New York Giants running back David Wilson has heard a lot of criticism this season after not living up to the hype of a first round pick. Everyone remembers his fumble in the red zone that cost the Giants points against the Cowboys in the first game of the season. That fumble put him in Tom Coughlin's doghouse and he's had a hard time finding his way out since.

'D30_5051a s' photo (c) 2011, VaMedia - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Wilson has excelled at returning kickoffs, but that is the only area he's been able to make an impact. While other rookie running backs have become the centerpiece of their respective offenses, Wilson is being forced to wait for his time. Both Trent Richardson of the Cleveland Browns and Doug Martin of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were drafted ahead of Wilson, and have established names for themselves in the NFL already.

It appeared the Giants were ready to select Martin with the 32nd pick in the first round, but the Buccaneers pulled off a trade to move ahead of the Giants to draft the Boise State product. Instead, the Giants were forced to go with Wilson as plan B to replace Brandon Jacobs as part two of the 1-2 punch at running back alongside Ahmad Bradshaw.

Some fans are questioning the coach's decision to keep Wilson from seeing playing time. However, running backs coach Jerald Ingram explains its an issue of trust, and that Wilson needs to develop into a more complete back rather than relying on his speed to make plays.

"David has to learn you can't be just a runner, that's not what we do, you have to be a complete running back, you have to be knowledgeable, you have to be smart, you can't just accept your mistakes," Giants running backs coach Jerald Ingram told the New York Post.

"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."

Areas that coaches feel Wilson needs to improve on before seeing an increased role are pass blocking and catching the football.

"All those things are taken into consideration when you determine whether a guy gets playing time or not," offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride told The Star-Ledger.

Despite all the criticism, Wilson shouldn't feel discouraged, he just has to remain patient. The Giants are known for not rushing their rookies onto the field. Wilson clearly has the physical ability to become a weapon, and lucky for him, the areas he needs to improve on can be learned. With hard work in practice and continued quality time with the coaches, Wilson has the opportunity to become a quality all-around back.

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Tags: Ahmad Bradshaw, David Wilson, Doug Martin, Football, Jerald Ingram, Kevin Gilbride, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Trent Richardson

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23 Responses to “New York Giants’ David Wilson Struggles While Other Rookie RBs Prosper”

  1.  James Stoll says:

    This remains the area that Coughlin & Co. Remain the most pigheaded and the stupidest. Harken back to ’07 when Bradshaw, despite what he is now, was clearly the most electric runner on the team. He literally sat the entire season until Game 15 when both Jacobs and Ward (Ward a week earlier) were injured. Forced to play him, Bradshaw came in with the team down and Eli having one of the worst games of his career and literally put the team on his back and ran us into and through the playoffs. But for the injury to Jacobs, he never sees the field.
    In ’09 it took over half the season for the brain trust to allow Nicks on the field with regularity even though the only quality receiver we otherwise had was Steve Smith.
    LJ sat all of 2010 behind an otherwise unimpressive 4 man DT rotation.
    Even JPP was mostly a spot player for the first half of 2010.
    Now it’s Wilson’s turn. The only thing that is going to allow him to see the field is injury. I hear Ingram say he thus far refuses to learn anything but how to run, but since the team needs someone to run, play him in running situations. All the practice in the world can’t accomplish for learning what real game situations do; especially in this new era of one pads practice a week.
    Wilson needs a dozen touches a game so that he’s given a legitimate chance on breaking some plays and keeping the opposing defenses honest. Hopefully TC recognizes this now that the future of the season is once again dangling precariously in the balance

    •  Dirt says:

      Yup.

      There’s this kid up in Minnesota, I forget his name, but he’s a pretty decent runner. For years the Vikings just played him on 1st and 2nd down, because he wasn’t yet skilled in passing situations.

      In fact, teams do this across the NFL. Hence the term “3rd down back”.

      An inability to get a gifted, lifelong football player to understand how to play football seems a bit farfetched, so this blogger is pushing the BS button on Wilson not yet being “ready”.

      I’ll tell you who is jacked up to see Bradshaw take snaps, though: besides the Giants coaches, you can include Green Bay, Washington, New Orleans, Atlanta, Baltimore and Philadelphia, as well as all the other teams hoping the Giants lose.

      •  BLU-82 says:

        I’m playing devil’s advocate although, the real sin imo is not creating a time share with Brown. I could give a rat’s **** if Wilson never sees the field this year with a meaningful carry. We clearly can win without him. But the inability to create some buffer room for Bradshaw is a joke- it’s mid/late season and you’re giving him near 30 carries a game? Of course he’s hurting. Bad for us, bad for him, bad for the team. Brown proved he was effective and it’s an absolute joke he hasn’t gotten more carries until it’s become evident Bradshaw can’t keep it up.

        Anyway, as I recall, all those guys you mentioned turned out ok. Pretty decent I think. Might be the coaching had something to do with it, and that as a result of those “redshirt” games, they became much, much better. If you let a guy on the field and allow his mistakes to become a habit, that’s obviously not beneficial. And all anyone in the NFL wants to do is touch the ball, or take a snap. Wilson is burning to get on the field and I have no doubt he will be a better player for us in the future because of what TC and co are putting him through now, even if it sucks for us to watch.

        Feed the ball to Brown more, let Wilson develop, and let Bradshaw rest, please.

  2.  Dirt says:

    Also, the biggest BS quote of the year belongs to one of the coaches (I forget which one), who this week said something to the effect of:

    “The plan was to get Wilson involved but the game got out of hand and we were forced to go into passing mode”

    What a bunch of sh|t! What game were they watching? A game that was never worse than a two score game for the first 39 minutes? A game that became worse than 2 scores when forcing the pass? A game that didn’t even feature a legit hurry up when down by more than 2 scores (meaning they gave up with 20 minutes to play anyway, why why not run)? A game that saw its first sustained drive blow up because a certain mediocre runner didn’t wrap the ball up (again)? A game that saw a quarterback make one of the worst throws in the entire NFL this season?

    Sure, there was NO opportunity to run the ball with Wilson. Bunch of stubborn azsholes these guys are sometimes. I know because I am one myself.

  3.  fanfor55years says:

    We HAVE to respect the results this staff has achieved. But, man, is it frustrating to listen to this same old story every year, or what?

    Why Bradshaw has continued to get 90% of the snaps is beyond me. Why Diehl is still starting despite looking worse than a street free agent is beyond me. Why we are throwing 25 yards downfield on third-and-short is beyond me. Why when the Head Coach knows he intends to go for the first down on fourth down we call a long pass play with third-and-five instead of trying something shorter or a run is beyond me. Why we’re expecting Randle to read defenses when he has shown he can make plays if they are specifically designed and not option routes but not yet read all the complex options in the offense is beyond me. Why this defense, which has now been run by Fewell for two seasons, is still having “communication problems” is beyond me.

    I guess I’m just stupid.

  4.  Krow says:

    OK … I have to take issue with the notion that anyone ‘knew’ who we were selecting at #32. Every year a team or two move up in the draft … and we always assume that somehow it’s to get ahead of us. No one knows … no one will ever know. It’s total speculation. Nor do we ‘know’ that Martin would have had any success with us. Completely different offense … and Tampa has a real OL, not the stiffs we prop up in front of Eli Manning. They also like to run the ball … something we only pretend to like.

    All that aside … yeah, I agree that we’re too rough on our rookies. However the history of recent success can’t be ignored. Maybe Wilson and Randle really are just too dumb to pick up a pro offense this quickly. Look at Hosley … the one rook who does get to play a lot. He’s talented, but at times he’s sucked more than Paula Broadwell. So possibly there’s truth in this. Probably not as much as they say … but not zero either.

  5.  kujo says:

    This stuff about Wilson has gone too far.

    Bradshaw is a serviceable back who, as evidenced earlier in the season, can be productive and more. Is he as “explosive” as Wilson? No. Does he display the same downhill, angry running style as Andre Brown? No. But can he be productive within our offense? Uh, yes he can.

    Now, I’m not saying he’s any great shakes. And I was actually in favor of letting him walk when his contract was up a few seasons ago, mostly due to his perpetually i injured status and his dancey running style. But the fact is that he’s here, he’s tough as nails, and he’s the vocal leader of this offense. Furthermore, the woes of our running game aren’t entirely, or even equally, his fault. You can pin the tail on THAT donkey right on the offensive line (coughcough David Diehl coughcough) and the more general offensive struggles that we are currently experiencing. Might a healthier dose of Wilson and Brown help out? Sure, and I can’t wait to see it. But let’s not get too sanguine about a rookie who is said to have some maturity issues and a journeyman who is defying science by excelling after an Achilles tear a few years back. And let’s not forget the real problem: our offensive line sucks.

  6.  kujo says:

    Oh and tip of the hat to FF55 for that Stanford victory. We Irish fans appreciate you righting the wrong of keeping us out of the top 2.

  7.  Dirt says:

    For fun, here’s how I see the season playing out:

    Vs Green Bay
    Lose in a shootout, as the Packers score early, Giants start rusty, running games go out the window (so Wilson doesn’t play) and both quarterbacks tear each other’s defense up. 950 yards of total offense. New York media erupts all week following.
    6-5

    @ Washington
    Comfortable win as the Giants offense picks up where it left off last week against a suspect Washington defense. Giants aren’t fooled again by the Redskins rush game and the return of Phillips begins to tell the story of the Giants pass defense during the middle 3rd of the season. Newspaper quiet down a bit, but they know New Orleans is coming.
    7-5

    Vs New Orleans
    Drew Brees has an average day in the cold and wind in December, and Eli goes to town. Giants win comfortably. After 3 straight 300-yard performances, Eli Manning’s jacked right arm is featured on the Post with a witty headline about “tired arm”. Fans in the know instead cite the improved health of Nicks and Bennett and the recent insertion of Wilson into the lineup (due to Bradshaw’s Adderall suspension) as reasons for the offensive turnaround.
    8-5

    @ Atlanta
    NFC Divisional Round preview lives up to its billing. Two disciplined teams don’t give each other an inch. And like all other tight Giants games, this one features Eli trailing at the end, and putting together a drive to win the game. Eli scores the game winner and makes some awkward gesture in celebration, the Falcons are bitter in the locker room, begging to “see them again.”
    9-5

    @ Baltimore
    Giants go into Baltimore with a 1 game lead knowing with a win and a Dallas loss they clinch the division. So Eli torches an elderly Ravens defense and gets on the plane with a 1.5 game lead. (Dallas would later choke the divison away at home against New Orleans.
    10-5

    Vs Philadelphia
    Locked into the 4 seed, Giants use this game as a bye week, as Andy Reid wins his last game as an Eagle/500th win against the Giants.
    10-6

    •  demo3356 says:

      I see 10-6 too but with a win vs a punched out Philly team week 17 and a loss to either New Orleans or Atlanta

  8.  demo3356 says:

    yep, too bad our coaches are so pig headed and stupid. Too bad they are so clueless that they cant ever lead us to a big win or two. I wish we could replace them with that staff that has won two of the last 5 Superbowl’s..Cause those guys actually know what they are doing…

    •  demo3356 says:

      oh wait….

    •  fanfor55years says:

      Setting up a straw man. I think everyone knows this staff deserves respect (I even said so). That doesn’t mean you cannot question their decisions. George Washington and Abraham Lincoln made a few bad decisions along the way, and I think Tom Coughlin would defer to their track records ahead of his.

      There have been some very questionable decisions made. Is there a reason behind them? I’m sure there is, but it isn’t apparent to me. Bradshaw SHOULD be the primary back but SHOULD NOT be getting as many snaps as he had been getting. I’m not pitching expressly for Wilson but I find it hard to believe that neither he nor Brown can block at least well enough to make their net contribution positive. What is the reason Diehl is playing? Do they have real reasons to KNOW he’ll get better when he has been on a downward trajectory for two years already? Maybe, but I’d love to know what they are.

      And then there’s the defensive confusion, inexcusable at this point on Webster’s and Rolle’s part if nothing more. I suspect a lot of it is because Phillips has been missing and Brown, Amukamara and Hosley are young but that doesn’t explain everything. And the failure to develop a third receiver? No good explanation for that.

      Or do you, oh Great One, have all these answers and why the coaches are doing what they’re doing. If so I’d love to hear them, because I’m confused.

      •  demo3356 says:

        1) No straw men, quoting posters earlier in thread
        2) Bradshaw is still best all around back on this team-will eventually get left in dust by Wilson but not yet
        3) You answered your own question- KP being gone has hurt communication in secondary. While Brown has made several great plays, he has blown coverage’s and been out of place from time to time. Webster has been terrible but has been playing with multiple injuries including a broken hand. Hosley has been burnt regularly but he is a rookie and that happens (news to folks around here)
        4) Not the coaches fault that a 3rd WR has stepped up. They had Hixon pegged and he looked good till he took a cheap shot from Tampa missing games and now will miss more due to another questionable hit. Barden did a GREAT job in his one start and Randle is just an immature lazy kid who’s not used to having to work for anything. probably got by on freakish athletic ability until he got to NFL where everybody has freakish athletic ability

        Let me know if I can clear up anything else for you…..:-)

  9.  demo3356 says:

    LOL, for the slow witted.. Wilson will be the starter when he gives this team the best chance to win, he will get more touches when he is ready for more touches and not a moment sooner no matter how many Massengill moments we have on this site. One thing TC does not do is put rookies out there before they are ready or have earned it. He didnt with Bradshaw, Nicks, Cruz, JPP, KP or anyone else, so stop beating your thick skulls against the wall about it and stop vaginating about other teams that do play their rookies. When those football Mensa win 2 super bowls in five years someone will give a phuck about what they do.
    Now that I got that off my chest I will repeat what I’ve said for a month, Wilson should see close to 10 touches a game coming out of the bye week. They will work him in ore and more until he eventually takes over the starting spot. He didnt help his cause by putting the ball on the ground 2x in his first ten touches or with his attitude, so keep that in mind while mocking the best HC in the NFL

    •  kujo says:

      As someone on Facebook said the other day–when Demo and I agree on something, there’s a good chance that we are right.

      •  demo3356 says:

        LOL! It was Kyle and is usually the truth.. Us being in full agreement on something is like Rush Limbaugh and Chris Mathews agreeing on something

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