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.
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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