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Reuniting with Brandon Jacobs was Right Decision for New York Giants

September 11th, 2013 at 8:30 AM
By Doug Rush

On Tuesday, the New York Giants brought back an familiar face to the team as veteran running back Brandon Jacobs signed a one-year deal following his workout with the team earlier in the day.

The 31-year-old Jacobs is certainly no stranger to the Giants faithful, as he spent seven years with the team and helped win two Super Bowls during that time. Following the 2011 season, Jacobs played the 2012 season with the San Francisco 49ers, but hardly played due to differences with head coach Jim Harbaugh and was eventually released this past December.

With the running back struggles of David Wilson and Da'Rel Scott, Michael Cox's inexperience and the leg injury suffered to Andre Brown in the preseason finale against the New England Patriots that will keep him on temporary injured reserve and on the sidelines until at least Week 10, the Giants need for a veteran back was as glaring as the hole as ever, which is why Tom Coughlin and Jerry Reese set up the workouts on Tuesday to find a suitable player to help the team.

While a lot of fans were extremely happy to see Jacobs come back into the fold for the Giants, there were those fans who voiced their disdain for the move for Jacobs; reasons like "being a malcontent, a locker room cancer, a washed up bum," among other phrases that were thrown around by some fans on Tuesday night following the news of the signing. 

While nay-sayers want to find reasons why the move to get Jacobs was wrong for the team, the reality of it is it was actually a great move and the right move for the Giants to make going forward in the 2013 season. What makes it the right move? Lets examine:

  • His ability to handle blocking defenders in pass protection; something David Wilson failed to do in Week 1 which nearly got Eli Manning killed at times. The Giants showed everyone in Dallas that they will have success throwing the football deep down the field, and if Manning is going to be able to get the ball to receivers, he needs to be standing upright first and not on his back. Jacobs will help ensure that his quarterback can get those passes off.
  • The knowledge of the offense is extremely crucial, especially with offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride calling the shots and has been there for most of Jacobs professional career. Players always like to choose an offense that they know and can be comfortable with in the league, and the Giants offense hasn't changed that much with Gilbride calling the plays for Manning and company, which should suit Jacobs well.
  • Jacobs is still in football shape, despite not playing much in the 2012 season with the 49ers. Jacobs always kept in the back of his mind that the Giants could always give him a call if somebody important went down with an injury, so the 31-year-old worked out in the summer and even still has a unofficial 40-yard-dash time of 4.4. One name that a lot of fans kept bringing up was Michael Turner, formerly of the Atlanta Falcons, but a lot of experts said that Turner isn't in shape to play in the NFL and why he hasn't gotten a single call since being released from the Falcons several months ago.
  • At 31-years-old and with two Super Bowl rings under his belt, Jacobs has seen it all and done it all in his NFL career, so the knowledge he possesses will certainly help guys like Wilson, Scott and Cox, plus Brown whenever he gets back. Part of the NFL process is for young players to have the mentor to guide them and get them acclimated to the life of being an NFL starter (Eli Manning had it with Kurt Warner and Tim Hasselbeck early on in his career, Jacobs had Tiki Barber and Derrick Ward there in his rookie season back in 2005,) Jacobs can now do the same for the younger running backs on the team and pass down guidance and wisdom to the next generation.
  • The ability to not fumble the football, which is a big one for Coughlin. In his eight-year career, Jacobs has only fumbled 18 times in 1,083 career carries; which comes out to one fumble every 60.1 carries; whereas Wilson has already fumbled three times in just 78 career carries, which is one fumble for every 26 carries. The guy that Jacobs worked out with and beat out for the job, Willis McGahee, has fumbled 28 times in 1,957 carries, which actually comes out to one fumble for every 69.8 carries, but he also had a career high of five fumbles with the Broncos just last season and four the season before, so nine fumbles in 416 carries, and that comes out to one fumble for every 46 carries. In the last two seasons as a pro where he was active, Jacobs had five fumbles in 299 carries; which averaged out to one fumble for every 53 carries. In the end, Jacobs is less prone to fumbling the football, whereas McGahee has had a case of it in recent years.

With the Giants next regular season game just four days away, the Giants won't have that much time to get Jacobs on the practice field, but he'll have the next few days to get caught up on the playbook and potentially in pads and playing against the Broncos defense that allowed 58 yards of rushing and 47 yard of receiving and two touchdowns to running back players in Week 1. And throw in the fact that Coughlin has not committed to Wilson being the starter, much less playing against Denver, and Jacobs may find himself going from being on his couch watching the Giants on television to starting and taking hand-offs at MetLife Stadium.

At the end of the day, both Reese and Coughlin made the best choice for the team going forward in bringing back Jacobs. Giants fans can only hope that he plays well enough to silence those nay-sayers and change their tune once he starts playing.

Photo credit: MattBritt00 / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

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Tags: Brandon Jacobs, David Wilson, Derrick Ward, Football, Michael Cox, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Tiki Barber

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21 Responses to “Reuniting with Brandon Jacobs was Right Decision for New York Giants”

  1.  demo3356 says:

    Amen brother Doug! Laughing at all the knuckleheads kfetching about this signing the last few threads. Jacobs is a great signing for what we are looking for. I am really happy about it and look forward to the big guy bringing a little fight and fire to this offense

    •  JimStoll says:

      your penchant to arguing by insult aside, exactly what are the giants looking for in the Jacobs signing?
      the ability to pass protect in certain passing downs? I’ve always given him that
      short-yardage running? he could never give us that
      locker-room mentor? awfullt intangible and hard to prove one way or the other

      what exactly do you think they are trying to accomplish with this signing?

      I’ll concede that there is little downside from a roster standpoint as they simply shed Ojomo who they were apparently otherwise more down on than not
      but the Jacobs signing doesn’t take Wilson off the field nor should it
      so how exactly does it make Wilson a better runner?
      and if the argument is that Jacobs will be the alternative if Wilson continues to fumble and bumble his way on the field, all I can say is remember how ready we all were to let BJ go after the 2011 season where he had already been relegated to back-up status and less than 9 touches a game

  2.  jimDB says:

    In the middle 1986 season the Giants picked up a broken down rb who had played 6/7 seasons for the St Louis Cardinals(remember them in our division). He scored in SBXXI that season, he went on to become the MVP of SBXXV…You know the rest of the story! Good Luck and stay Healthy BJac

  3.  Chad Eldred says:

    While not expecting Jacobs to come in and be John Riggins, it is worth noting that during his career Jacobs has performed best when highly motivated. As most people do. I cannot think of any better motivator than unemployment. He will be ready on Sunday. I’d wager he is sleeping with his helmet on the night stand.

    •  demo3356 says:

      yup, he is soooo stoked to be back and so motivated to get on the field after that debacle in SF last year. I see him making 2-3 momentum setting pops on some poor Bronco this weekend

  4.  demo3356 says:

    As for the folks crying over this signing, I ask 2 questions.
    1) IS this Fantasy Football? Does this signing hinge on the stats he puts up?
    2) Do we realize he was signed to be the 3rd-4th RB and 53rd guy on this roster, not the feature back and focus of the offense?
    Guy is here tolend a veteran presence to the RB stable, to provide the leadership and tutelage young guys like Wilson, Scott and Cox need. He will take a few carries and a few snaps in shotgun for pass protection but that’s about it. He knows this system, coaching staff and Eli a million times better than all the other options and will be fine. Love how we say he is done and isnt a short yardage back.. LMFAO! Earl Campbell in his prime couldn’t gain 2-3 yds with 3 Defenders hitting him 3 yds deep in the backfield. We are a finesse passing team that needs to pass to set up the run. There is a good chance that Jacobs or whoever else was signed (McGahee, Wells, Smith) is gone week 4 when Hill gets back or at the latest week 8 when Brown gets back. Did we realy want to wait 2-3 weeks for a guy to learn our system? Sometimes I think the Arm chair GM’s just complain for the sake of complaining

    •  JimStoll says:

      I just find it amusing that we were all clapping as the door was hitting Brandon’s big butt on the way out in 2011, then ridiculing the guy for his improvident avarice and greed in taking the Niner offer, telling him it served him right the treatment he got from Harbaugh, and now his signing is hailed as some type of miracle cure for what ails Wilson

      •  Chad Eldred says:

        It’s not a cure or a ticket to a Lombardi trophy, I totally see your points. At first I was a little disappointed that this was the decisions. But the more I think about it objectively, this was the right move. Low downside, knows the offense, and still has the faith of many on the roster as well as the coaches. If we are going to compete against Denver eliminating the Wilson fumbles is a small part of the picture. There was plenty of incompetence to go around last Sunday. But this is a small move that does make sense.

      •  demo3356 says:

        You might have been but everyone wasn’t. Even for those who were, he wasn’t and isn’t a 3-4 million dollar a year feature back, BUT HE IS a good signing for us right now to add a vet presence and do the little things necessary to improve this team.

        •  JimStoll says:

          I get that but I would have thought that Ryan torraine would offer more than Jacobs in every regard, especially in the ability to actually sub in as an effective runner. I guess the brain-trust didn’t feel the same.

      •  BillyS says:

        I didn’t want Jacobs gone, but the Giants tried as hard as possible to keep him, but he left because he simply wanted more money (what was it, $500k more?). The Giants did everything in their power to keep him, but were forced to watch him walk away. And at the time it was the right move because he wasn’t worth the money and he was obviously declining.

        Jacobs isn’t going to be the feature back. He didn’t fit in San Fran because Frank Gore was the go-to-guy there. There really wasn’t much room for Jacobs considering their depth chart, but he has a chance to make an impact here. He’s not going to make a ton of big runs or anything like that, but he’ll bring pass protection and a mean streak. Andre Brown was a better blocker than Wilson and Jacobs is obviously better as well. The most important thing is that he will bring that ferocious mentality to this team. Look for him to lay some monster blocks. He wants to HIT guys.

  5.  giankees says:

    If jacobs has to run the ball for us we are in trouble. I like him cause he is a giant but he needed huge holes to be affective. Giants line used to provide that and im hoping it will again. But how us everyone forgetting that we used to use bradshaw on goal line because jacobswould stand too tall and all 11 guys would hit him. How do we forget that every time he woukd tip toe to the line and get touched and knocked over. Look atvthe games where he was a beast like gb in the 2007 playoffs, he dominated with 10 yrd runs but he needed an alley to get through the initial line and crished the second level. That same game we needed 1 yrd a few times and he was stopped and that was in his best yrs. Again if he has anything to do with running plays it will be a waste

  6.  GIANTT says:

    Has any of you ever had a flaw or problem in say one job that was perceived as a weakness , and that next time you had the opportunity , turned it into a strength ?
    Or at least decided to work on it so it wasnt a weakness ?
    Then , perhaps BJ sat on his couch or drove his car and ruminated where everything went wrong . His choice to leave etc etc cant be undone but perhaps he saw what we all saw and decided that he could improve his running style . Like a vet pitcher who loses a bit off his fastball but learns how to PITCH . Perhaps BJ needed to learn that just because he was bigger than most of the people who tried to tackle him didnt make him a great running back . Doing the little things on the team . Special teams , wasnt he pretty good when he played them ?
    As a pick up for the next few games , management felt that he was the best of the alternatives and Im going to agree until I see anything different

  7.  Krow says:

    Jacobs will get a couple carries just to keep the defense honest. Otherwise he’s a blitz pickup specialist. Vet minimum. Bleeds blue. This is his last hoorah. Give him a break.

  8.  GOAT56 says:

    I don’t think most people that say they wouldn’t have signed Jacobs are going crazy. I don’t think re-signing him was a no brainer but I can clearly see how it could work. RBs especially ones like Jacobs who take a lot of punishment lose it fast and I think that’s what happened to Jacobs. I hope I’m wrong and he can give us a shot in the arm. I do think that whoever we signed wasn’t going to be signed to fill out a roster spot they are being signed to become our #2 RB until Brown returns. I think Scott was used a lot out of desperation, I don’t think he’s our short term answer at #2 RB beyond a week or 2 for Jacobs to catch up.

    This Ojomo saga is weird on so many levels. Acho has talent so I understand signing him. I would think the guard could be let go instead. But it’s clear here that Ojomo was at best going to get Trattou reps. It will be interesting to see how he progresses. Look at Selvie on the Cowboys.

    I can’t believe some are adjusting their on Wilson so much after one game. Yes, it was a horrible performance. And he basically cost us the game by himself. But it’s one game. Look at week one there were at least 2 other RBs with 2 fumbles. I think because there is such light contact in practice that RBs have a big adjustment going form preseason to regular season when defenders are ripping the ball out with much much greater abandon. Wilson will be better in the long run for the Dallas game if we just have some patience.

  9.  fanfor55years says:

    Well, my first comment is that Lou D. should post more. Anyone who has had season tickets for 65 years has learned a thing or two. Give us the benefit of that.

    Second, I really think some of you don’t get it in regard to BJ. It’s a no-lose signing. His contract isn’t guaranteed. So he’s expendable as soon as they need to cut someone unless he proves valuable enough to retain. He is GUARANTEED to add toughness and attitude in the locker room and on the field. He doesn’t need more than a week to re-familiarize himself with the playbook, which would have been an issue for anyone else. He can mentor the youngsters and make a case for himself as an assistant position coach going forward (what, you don’t think the toughness of our assistant special teams coach has made a HUGE difference over the past two seasons?).

    But let’s look even closer. We play Denver this weekend. Are they going to score on us? Does a bear live in the woods? Do we need to score a lot on them? Are we likely to depend upon the arm of our Manning and his receiving corps to keep up with Peyton, generally using the run only after passing has created opportunities there (along with just enough run plays to keep the pass rush marginally honest)? So how is it not a great decision to bring in (at least for this week) a guy familiar with the playbook, familiar with blitz responsibilities, big enough to act almost as a sixth lineman in the backfield to protect Eli, and able to make some decent runs if we’re looking at a better performance from the middle of our offensive line (somewhat unlikely) or a worn down defense in the 4th quarter (much more likely) against which we can make hay if we’re leading or close at that point and running the ball makes tactical sense?

    Like I said, a no-brainer. I’d have liked McGaughee longer term but have no problem with Jacobs, and at least for this Sunday Brandon was the perfect pickup. If he’s done, as many say (and with which I do not agree), then he can be cut by Monday. I don’t think that will happen. I think a lot of skeptics will be surprised. As the #3-#4 back, as Eli’s bodyguard, and as a fierce spirit on the team, he has great value.

  10. Anthony Raiaaxr29 says:

    I don’t mind the signing, but you can’t use a youtube video where he supposedly runs a 4.4 as a reason. The guy ran a 4.57 and 4.61 at the combine and I highly doubt he could reach those numbers now.

    •  Chad Eldred says:

      I think that you are overlooking the fact that JPP was drafted based on a youtube video of him doing back handsprings. That has worked out okay so far.

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