Over the last two offseason's, the New York Giants have been hit hard by serious knee and ankle injuries to some key skill position players. While these injuries have opened the door for some of the team's younger players to gain some valuable playing time, this is a trend that Big Blue would surely like to curtail moving forward.
Sixth-year veteran running back Ahmad Bradshaw has been a key asset to the Giants' rushing attack ever since 2007, when the team won the Super Bowl. Although Bradshaw has had his own injury concerns over the years, on Friday, he revealed that he plans to mentor rookie first-round pick David Wilson on how to keep his body healthy and capable of staying on the field.
“He’s great. He’s still young. He kind of does his own thing, juking and doing a lot of things, putting a lot of torque on his ankles and knees and different things. We’re trying to teach him how to be a professional and just hold back on some of those things.” Bradshaw said.
David Wilson is amazingly quick and fast. He seems to be a LeSean McCoy prototype in terms of his ability to change directions and regain his top speed in the blink of an eye. However, Bradshaw is right in the sense that from a young age, Wilson is putting an immense amount of stress on his body in order move that fast. While this may be effective for Wilson at least right now, his skill-set greatly increases his risk of injury later on in his career. Bradshaw thinks that Wilson can cut down on some of those movements, while will remaining elusive.
“Just with the fresh legs, you feel good and you want to show your talents out there. But everybody knows he’s fast and he can make moves,” Bradshaw said Friday. “It’s just the way he does it. At times, it’s not even needed.”
In typical Giants fashion, Ahmad Bradshaw has embraced the role of mentoring the player that was brought in to potentially take his job in the near future. Perhaps he does it because he received the same treatment from veterans Brandon Jacobs and Derrick Ward in his rookie season, or maybe its just out the kindness of hit heart. Whatever the reason, Ahmad Bradshaw has used this situation to prove he is a team oriented player who is only interested on thing: winning.
Regardless, both backs have looked good in camp so far. After missing significant time last season with a foot injury, Ahmad Bradshaw think that this is the healthiest he's been in a while. For Wilson, head coach Tom Coughlin has repeatedly commented on his speed and quickness out of the backfield. Although D.J. Ware seems to have a strangle hold on the number two running back position so far, the only thing holding Wilson back is his inexperience. After he learns the play book thoroughly, he will quickly ascend to the top of the running back depth chart.
However, no matter how much Wilson contributes as a rookie, it's still encouraging that the veterans are willing to bring the younger players along. In a league that has become fairly business oriented and focused on money, it shows that the word "team" still holds a significant meaning. With individuals like Ahmad Bradshaw on the roster, its no wonder that the Giants have won two Super Bowls in the last five seasons.
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