From the outside looking in, it's easy as a fan to say "the New York Giants need to use David Wilson more!" In fact, it's been a common mantra all season and even more so in recent weeks. However, as we've mentioned time and time again here on Giants 101, there's a lot more that goes into being a productive part of the Giants' offense than just speed. On Tuesday, running backs coach Jerald Ingram gave some insight into why Wilson hasn't become a more permanent fixture.
"Yes, he's explosive, but at what cost is explosive?" Ingram said. "Is he explosive at the cost of not being able to play well, not being able to know his job well enough and being a pro? That all has to develop."
Comparisons have been drawn to Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Doug Martin and what he's been able to accomplish out of the gate, but it's easy to forget that he was used in a pro-style offense at Boise State, while Wilson, at Virginia Tech, was simply handed the ball and told to run. This doesn't necessarily mean the ceiling is any higher for Martin than it is Wilson, just that Martin came in with three years of a pro system under his belt.
"He’s got to be able to do all other things besides just running the ball," offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride said. "It’s not just running the ball when you’re a running back in the National Football League. It’s about catching passes, it’s about blocking, it’s about being able to protect the quarterback. All those things are taken into consideration when you determine whether a guy gets playing time or not."
As a first-round pick, expectations are high and many envision you coming in and immediately contributing at a veteran level. Look no further than cornerback Prince Amukamara, who was almost immediately written off as a bust because he didn't immediately adjust to the pro game. The same has been said of Wilson, and those who aren't barking up that tree have been critical of the coaches for not featuring him.
"What is expected and what's reality is the game," Ingram said. "That's the fact. Yeah, just because you're a first-round draft pick doesn't mean you're ready to play, or they'd all be great."
Wilson has incredible athletic ability, and sooner rather than later he's going to put it all together. He may not have sped out of the gate, but it's not going to take him long to prove he was a worthy first-round selection. It's just a matter of having the time and patience. The Giants have it. Wilson has it. The fans just need to catch up.
Photo credit: Mike Gannon
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