With Brandon Jacobs now in San Francisco with the 49ers, there's no longer any question who the premiere running back is for the New York Giants. Going into the 2012-2013 season, Ahmad Bradshaw is aware that he's number one on the depth chart, and despite a significant amount of talent behind him, including rookie David Wilson out of Virginia, he's fully prepared for the featured role.
“This year, being the premier back, it’s just something you dream of. I feel like … I’m able to put the team on my back, at times. It’s just that feeling you get as the premier back, man. It’s something that you always want to be, when you’re younger. And it’s something you always want to be when you’re a pro," Bradshaw said.
Health, as it usually is, will be a major contributing factor for Bradshaw's potential success this season. He's dealt with reoccurring foot injuries for the last several years and has played a full 16 games only once (2010) since being drafted in 2007. And now, without Jacobs, the pressure is mounting for him to stay health and, as he acknowledges, carry the running game.
For Bradshaw, much of that pressure will come from being without the aforementioned Brandon Jacobs.
“It’s been a blessing to have Brandon Jacobs with me,” Bradshaw said. “As a Giant, he’s taught me a lot in the football game. He’s taught me a lot in life, outside of football. … And then last year, I actually took the starting position, but we kind of shared the role.”
Even with his close friend now on the other side of the country, AB is far from alone in a locker-room full of other men willing to join him in the foxhole. And despite that younger brother/older brother relationship having been severed due the business aspect of the NFL, Bradshaw remains fully motivated for his team … and especially his coach.
“I love Tom Coughlin as a coach,” Bradshaw said. “He’s one of my best guys on the team. He looks after me, and he has ever since I’ve been a rookie. The way I play, I do it not only for the Giants, but for Tom, because he’s a great influence in my life.”
In less than two weeks, Tom and Bradshaw will be out on the field beginning their preparations for another potential run at the Lombardi Trophy.
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