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New York Giants’ Ahmad Bradshaw Anxious to Take David Wilson Under His Wing

May 1st, 2012 at 6:29 AM
By Dan Benton

For five years, New York Giants running back Ahmad Bradshaw had been the student; Brandon Jacobs the teacher. The two developed an incredibly close, almost brother-like bond. But now, with Jacobs a member of the San Francisco 49ers, it's Bradshaw's turn to step up and assume the role teacher. It's a role he's embracing, telling Michael Eisen of Giants.com he's anxious to help mold 2012 first-round draft choice David Wilson into a superstar.

“I plan on using him as my project,” Bradshaw said. “He’s a very talented running back and he’s from Virginia. Two Virginia guys in this running back corps is going to be dangerous. I expect to use him as my project to get him better, to get him smarter and just to mature him a little bit, just to help him understand the NFL.”

Hopes are already quite high for Wilson, whom General Manager Jerry Reese referred to as a "bulldog" during an interview with Mike Francesa on Monday afternoon. Perhaps with a little tutelage from Bradshaw, the rookie can help make an immediate impact. At least that's what the team is hoping for.

"You don’t have to worry about school and grades and different things. Now it’s just straight football. You worry about this playbook and doing the right things, so when it comes time for you to make a play or come out to practice and be in the right position," Bradshaw added. "Coming in you have a lot of different things going through your head and you’re trying to make the coaches happy, meeting new teammates. You worry about a little bit of everything when you first come in. That’s why it’s a good thing to come in and just be level-headed and be ready to learn.”

Wilson is a level-headed, respectful, courteous guy. He was the first player in history to wear a suit and tie to the NFL Combine and has not had so much as a partial hiccup off the field. He's a tremendous fit for the Giants' locker-room, and should jump right in and ready himself for football. It's hard to imagine a scenario where he becomes too overwhelmed to participate or grasp the things he needs to learn.

Reese has said time and again that Wilson topped their big board at pick #32, and in only a few short days, as rookie mini-camp (May 11-13) gets underway, hopefully we'll all see why.

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Tags: Ahmad Bradshaw, David Wilson, Football, New York, New York Giants, NFL

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42 Responses to “New York Giants’ Ahmad Bradshaw Anxious to Take David Wilson Under His Wing”

  1.  rlhjr says:

    I think the Giants should count themselves lucky to have had a succession of above average NFL running backs. Barber mentored Jacobs, who mentored Bradshaw, who is in turn mentoring Wilson.

    There is some sentiment that Bradshaw is not a star quality NFL back. That is a topic that can be argued to no end. I’ll just say this, from the time I first saw him run, right up to the run he had vs. the Packers to setup up the TD before half time, this guy has given nothing but his best effort each time he touches the ball.

    For some of us, that may not be good enough. To me it’s everything a football player should be. He has faults; he will lose the handle when carrying the ball. But his faults (like Manningham) come as the result of effort. Yeah, I know….what if he would have lost those two notable post season fumbles. Well, what if he had not recovered that fumble in the 07 Super Bowl? Or what if he had not made big runs he made in route to that 2007 Super Bowl appearance? Anyone remember the Buffalo game?

    It’s all up to personal opinion. In my opinion (which this time is not humble) this kid has played through pain, and has made some timely clutch plays during his time as a Giant.

    Much of that time he’s had to run behind a less than powerful run blocking unit.
    The yardage he’s made was just that….yardage HE made. Some say he does not use his blockers effectively. And I heard the same thing about Jacobs.

    My answer to that: “WHAT FREAKING BLOCKERS ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?”
    Because from my perspective the offensive line rarely generated push. And Bradshaw rarely made it to the second level without being pounded. Most of his time is spent juking would be tacklers prior to crossing the line of scrimmage. Both the Giants and David Wilson are lucky to have Ahmad Bradshaw.
    He is a solid pro running back, and after the first New Orleans game in which Eli called him out for blowing a blitz assignment, he’s been “All Pro” in that category.

    And as to the previous topic of passing will obsolete running in the NFL.
    I get it and applaud the Giants commitment to letting Eli go down field.
    However, as Giant fans let’s hope all NFL teams pass on signing quality runners.
    Let’s hope all the great runners are left for Giants to choose from. Because, each of the Giants four Super Bowl victories were predicated on the Giants ability to get tough clutch yards, running the football. There lone loss came due to an INABILITY to run the ball.

    Running is how the Giants have historically won championships. It set up their passing which (as it must) played an equal part in those victories.
    The NFL is a copy cat, trend driven place. But the ability to run the football is NEVER and liability. Just ask the New England Patriots, and Green Bay Packers.
    They know first hand.

    •  F0XLIN says:

      I agree 100%, the Bradshaw nit picking on here for “not being patient for the holes to open” or “not following his blockers are a bit excessive. Every time Bradshaw is on the field he is trying to make something happen.

      I’ve said it on here before but my boss is neighbors with one of the Giants surgeons. Prior to the New England regular season game, the doctors were testing out his foot to which he said he was fine and playing. When they asked him to stand on just his bad foot, he collapsed to the ground.

      Guy is tough as nails, untimely fumbles which have been recovered, but plays every snap like his last, and when he does make something out of nothing ala the GB game, he is also not following his blocks.

      •  GOAT56 says:

        I think that’s a fair assessment. I think Bradshaw has gotten some backlash because some of us (including me) thought Bradshaw was more than a solid NFL RB. We thought he had star potentionial. But it has become clearer that he doesn’t. But with another talented RB Bradshaw can be extremely effective. No one should ever question his heart or toughness.

    •  Krow says:

      That’s a pretty amazing article about Jackson. He did rather well at the Combine with the exception of the bench press. I think he has a tangible shot at making the team … if … big IF …. if his head is finally screwed on right.

      Once you get past Rolle and Philips it’s Sash, who is basically an ‘in the box’ type. Jackson could be the backup FS. IF IF IF …

    •  fanfor55years says:

      Great article.

      We all know Randle was a steal at #63 (I’m still in shock that we got him without using our first pick).

      Jackson is all about his personal issues. No one doubts his athleticism. I remember hearing when he was at Tennessee that people in the SEC thought he was going to be better than Ed Reed. But drugs, some kind of involvement in an armed robbery (no conviction, but an indictment), and a kind of thuggishness that seems unlikely to endear him to the Giants unless he really commits to a change create all kinds of red flags around this kid. IF (and it’s a very big “if”) he can turn himself around then the Giants may have gained a star cover safety, a very rare commodity. In regard to cover skills I think Jackson and Hosley may be the best seen in a very long time. Both have athleticism and football quickness that is off the charts. But both need to bulk up and both look to me like immature kids who will need some serious mentoring from the veterans. Hopefully they get that from the right veterans (I don’t think we have too many “wrong” ones but there must be a few….remember, it was that jerk pseudo-”warrior” Antonio Pierce who took Burress out clubbing that infamous night).

      BUT, if Jackson can get on top of his personal demons he could prove to be as great a find as was Cruz. I suspect people are going to be wowed by both he and Hosley in camp.

      •  GOAT56 says:

        I agree. Hosley I’m not as concern about because he has no issues with the law. Jackson is very concerning off the field. But we have enough vets in Cweb, TT & Rolle that should be able to guide him along. I think Jackson is interesting because we can really use him. He’s the type of athlete we need at 3rd safety.

  2.  GOAT56 says:

    Repost:

    GOAT56 says:
    April 30, 2012 at 10:07 PM
    My roster predictions were definitely guesses at some spots. I understand Locklear is a solid player and Brewer especially but Mosley and McCants would have to show very well to knock him off the roster. I can see Locklear over McCants easily. However, I think Cordle will have a hard time making the team because as a backup he provides no versitility. Boothe was the backup center last year so I see him having a difficult time with our other young OL players.

    Jackson is a guess because we need more talent at safety IMO. Sash is decent but I don’t trust him to be anything more than decent if KP or Rolle got hurt. The vets are not much different than Sash. I think either a CB like TT or Coe needs to help out at safety or Jackson can. Jones would also be an outside chance.

    LB is wise I think keeping 8 is too many for a 4-3 team, especially with several DBs returning from injury. 10 DBs seems to make more sense than 8 LBs with so many 4 WR sets. The last 2 spots really seem to be between Blackburn, Paysinger and Jones. I think it’s close but Paysinger offers more speed. With Boley and Rivers also able to play MLB Jones’ value is diminished.

    Luv2Salsa says:
    May 1, 2012 at 1:17 AM
    I see McCants on the practise squad and Mosley as this year’s never active project. Diehl will start at RT. Locklear the vet backup with Brewer seeing some playing time at RT and kicks and possibly goal-line 3rd TE.

    If KP or Role were to go down in a game, Sash would be the next guy up. However the next week we’d see some realignment to put our best cover guys on the field. That would include TT if he’s ready to go. (Frankly I think TT will be a step slower for a few weeks….not good for a cornerback.) Don’t be surprised to see the 4th safety spot eliminated in order to carry an extra corner.

    I don’t see Jones as a good fit long term, but neither is Blackburn. Of Jones/Blackburn/Paysinger, agreed Jones would probably go.

    •  fanfor55years says:

      I come down more on Luv2Salsa’s side here, but I do not believe we will ever go with fewer than 4 safeties. You need that these days more than ever. The reason Jackson has a real shot is that we have Phillips and Rolle who are both good in coverage and also can play up; and Sash, who is better in the box but can cover well in zone; Horton who is a question mark; and a few bigger corners who aren’t really familiar with the position. The fourth safety is likely to be a strong cover safety. That isn’t good for Jones’ prospects (even if he gets back to 95% health, which is unlikely) but is very good for Jackson’s prospects. I suspect, though, that he is more likely to wind up on the practice squad if he makes the final cuts.

    •  GOAT56 says:

      I can see your offensive line thoughts but that would mean Brewer’s role didn’t grow. Didn’t he play some 3rd TE last year? With Brewer/Locklear and Boothe/Petrus as backups i can see 7 OL players being active for games due to many being able to play 2-3 positions. Mosley is more the wildcard because he’s capable of playing a guard and might be our 4th option considering Diehl struggles last year.

      I agree the 4th safety spot could be eliminated with TT and Coe maybe being able to step in at safety. Jackson does have to show a lot because I have us cutting Witherspoon who I think is a good player. I just don’t know if we want to rely on TT and Coe is real backups at safety. Maybe one is moved to safety which will knock Jackson of the roster.

      Jones I think has to show the ability to play the SAM to make the roster.

  3.  Krow says:

    Being a 4th round pick I don’t think Mosley can be exposed on the PS. McCants and Kuhn are prime PS candidates, but not Mosley … or for that matter Robinson.

    My guess is that he ends up on fake IR … or as Salsa says, ‘never active’.

    Janzen Jackson … he has already been enshrined in the 2012 Giants 101 HOF !!!

    •  norm says:

      Jackson?

      Too much baggage; he’s going to be on a ridiculously short leash. If he exhibits so much as the slightest tendency toward knuckleheadism, he’ll be on the next bus out of Albany.

      My money says Adrien Robinson will be the next G101 HOF inductee.

      •  GOAT56 says:

        Jackson is the type of player that’s low risk and high reward. If he was a 2nd or 3rd round pick like his talent suggests then I would worry more. As an undrafted free agent with the off the field baggage he has this is his one and only chance. Having to play at a smaller school and then go undrafted might have been exactly what he needed.

      •  fanfor55years says:

        I’m gonna predict he’ll be a choir boy (Coughlin will make him a personal project when he sees his potential) and the Giants101 HOF is going to be a close race among Jackson, Hosley and Robinson. Here’s the thing though: all of them could turn out to be the real deal. Remember, Cruz was an early member and then disappeared for a season. Came back pretty nicely.

    •  Luv2Salsa says:

      The problem with “fake IR” is you can’t practice with the team. You can go to meetings and work with the trainers, but you can’t work with the team. Project OL’s need reps along with strength and conditioning, even if those reps are with the scout team. (And yes, some folks on the active 53 have to pull duty with the scout team.)

  4.  fanfor55years says:

    As for Bradshaw, come on now. No one disputes that he plays hard, he plays hurt, he shows courage, or that he’s a better-than-average NFL running back. Perhaps if he had stayed healthy he’d have been more. I thought he had a chance to be great when he was a rookie. But he has not been healthy since, and his game dropped a number of notches as a result.

    I’m glad we have him but Bradshaw is not a particular good #1 back for a championship contender. He should be the complementary back, he should work to get better on his passing assignments, and he should commit to taking the available 3 yards when necessary rather than always seek 10 and frequently wind up with 1-2 because he dances too much instead of just hitting the seam.

    Bradshaw may be mentoring David Wilson in 2012. He’ll be complementing him as the #2 back in 2013. Wilson will be the Giants’ primary back, and that may come sooner than 2013.

    •  Krow says:

      Bradshaw is a solid professional RB. In the world of grades he’d get a B. There’s nothing wrong with that. But there are times his vision seems questionable. There are also times when he’s amazing.

      •  fanfor55years says:

        That’s about right. Nothing wrong with him and we’re lucky he’s been with us. But he is what he is: a good, not tremendous, player who can contribute to championships but can be improved upon as a #1 back and soon will be by the rookie we brought in.

  5.  norm says:

    The player I’m most curious about is Jernigan.

    I’m trying to imagine what his role on the 2012 Giants will be. As things presently stand, he seems a bit of the odd man out.

    When drafted, he appeared to be ticketed for the #1 slot receiver role. Smith was a free agent coming off microfracture and Cruz was barely a blip on the radar. This time last year, slot WR was a huge need… as was punt and kick returner, two other roles for which Jernigan appeared well suited.

    Well, we all know how things played out. Cruz exploded on the scene and established himself as one of the game’s top slot men. And the Giants just drafted two players – Wilson and Hosley – who were dynamic returners in college. They would seem to have the inside track on those jobs.

    Begging the question: whither Jernigan? I’m sure we’ll see a few packages that make use of him but, barring injury, I’m just not seeing too many scenarios in which he’ll see the filed much this year.

    •  fanfor55years says:

      I suspect that he will see some opportunities in a spread formation this season. You know Gilbride has been waiting to have the talent to get back to some of the stuff the Oilers did. There won’t be much of it, but there should be some, and with Nicks, Cruz and Randle clearing out the underneath area Jernigan could be awfully effective grabbing short passes and heading up the field quickly.

    •  Krow says:

      He’ll get snaps out of the slot with Cruz moved to the wing in certain packages … but yeah, he’s looking like WR career depth … unless Cruz decides to pursue fashion … or the film industry … or whatever his latest celebrity distraction is.

    •  GOAT56 says:

      I think the greatest strengths of this team is depth and competition it will folster. I think Jernigan still has a shot at PR and KR but he has to beat out Hosley and Wilson. He still has a shot at 3rd WR but he has to but effective enough in the slot to make us feel comfortable moving Cruz outside. I wouldn’t bet that he wins any of those jobs but he has a chance at all 3. I think he’s more explosive than Hosley as a PR but he has to prove he can catch the ball.

      Unfortunately, Nicks has shown a penchant to be banged up. So Jernigan will probably get chances in 3 WR sets.

  6.  GOAT56 says:

    Actually, Norm’s question about Jernigan leads to one of the few concerns I have depth wise with our roster. To me WR is a concern depth wise and that’s assuming Jernigan, Randle and Barden will all be viable options. That still only leaves us at 5 WRs. Hixon is a question due to his back to back ACLs and we are relying on Hixon for depth. If Hixon is healthy we are fine but if he’s not and another injury occurs we are looking thin. The last few years I felt like we were really deep at WR and were cutting NFL players with the last few cuts, that doesn’t look to be the case this year.

    •  Luv2Salsa says:

      No doubt the front office has the same thoughts, they brought in a couple of UDFA WR’s.
      Plus they like DePalma.

  7.  fanfor55years says:

    Speaking of Bradshaw, you know who has to be doing his best to get in the best shape of his life? Andre Brown.

    Given the four-game suspension Brown knows he has be without question the third best running back in camp (Wilson and Bradshaw are going to be #1-2) or he’s toast. Frankly, if his Achilles is fully healed I wouldn’t bet against him, not because I know he’s so good, but because Ware is very average and I have seen nothing from Scott that convinces me he has more than great straight-line speed, which is never good enough in the NFL. I hope Scott proves me wrong, but I have never been impressed with him. A couple of long runs in preseason, one on a trick special teams play and one against total scrubs, convinces me of nothing. I don’t believe lateral movement can be learned, and that kid just doesn’t have enough of it to play running back in the NFL.

    On the other hand, wait until everyone sees David Wilson run. I saw him make a play in a game this year that was ridiculous. It looked like he moved 5-yards laterally without time passing. He left two defensive players grasping at air and wasn’t really even that close to them by the time they had reached the spot they thought he’d be. It was spooky. I am NOT comparing him to Barry Sanders, but it was the kind of play that the HOFer used to make regularly.

    •  norm says:

      I haven’t seen all that many clips of Wilson myself, but this one is just sick:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MazffVhy6pw&feature=related

    •  GOAT56 says:

      True. With a 4 game suspension he could still make the roster if he’s better and maybe provides something the other RB don’t. He could be a short yardage RB for us. I think Wilson lessons the need to keep Scott due to just his speed. And Ware is Ware, a decent player who will get the job done but nothing special. Much like Blackburn. Brown needs to prove he can provide something different than Ware like being a short yardage back. Plus Brown, Wilson and/or Scott will have to prove they can handle blitz pickups to knock Ware off the roster.

      •  norm says:

        Brown is done-zo.

        He was dreadful last preseason, barely averaging over 3 ypc.

        And that was when he was presumably on the juice. If he wasn’t good enough to beat out the steadfastly mediocre Ware when dirty, he’s hardly going to set the world on fire now that he’s clean.

        If Reese wants to bring in another back for depth, he can simply swing a dead cat while blindfolded and hit 3-4 RBs who are superior to Brown.

    •  Luv2Salsa says:

      I’m having a tough time wrapping my head around this one. Assuming the Giants bring Wilson along slowly, who is going to spell Bradshaw for the first 4-6 weeks? If Brown does light it up in camp, would they keep and run Ware for 4 weeks and then cut him when Brown returns from his suspension? If Scott shows anything in camp do you cut Ware and run Scott? Or do you just suck it up and put Wilson in from the jump?

      I think the answer is unknowable at this point. We need to see Scott, Brown, and Wilson play.

  8.  GOAT56 says:

    Maybe we won’t get that comp pick next year:

    Giants free agents departing:
    WR Mario Manningham — Signed a two-year deal with San Francisco. Brandon Jacobs, who was released, joined Manningham in SF as well.
    CB Aaron Ross — Agreed to a three-year deal worth up to $15.3 million with the Jaguars.
    WR Devin Thomas — Signed a one-year deal with Chicago.
    DE Dave Tollefson — Signed a two-year deal with the Raiders.
    LB Jonathan Goff — Signed with Washington.

    Free agent signings:
    DT Shaun Rogers– Former Pro Bowl DT hopes to provide depth and experience.
    CB Antwaun Molden — Former Patriot adds more depth in the secondary.
    OL Sean Locklear — Says he wants to play RT, where Giants need a new starter.
    S Stevie Brown — Signs one-year deal to add depth and potentially help on special teams.
    S Chris Horton — Signs a one-year minimum deal, adds depth and potential special teams contributor.
    TE Martellus Bennett — Wants to prove what he can do as a starter.
    T Joel Reinders –He is 6-8 and 317 pounds, was in camp with Cleveland in 2010. Started out as a basketball player at the University of Waterloo in Canada.
    TE Larry Donnell — The 6-6, 269-pound tight end had 38 catches for 432 yards and 11 touchdowns at Grambling State from 2007-10.

    http://espn.go.com/blog/new-york/giants/post/_/id/13925/giants-free-agency-list

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