Should the Giants Bring In a Veteran Running Back?

Giants Young Running Backs Cost Them Dearly

9/9/13 in NFL   |   PAULLEBOWITZ   |   109 respect

August 18, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants rookie running back David Wilson (34) during warmups before a preseason game against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-US PRESSWIREIt’s indicative of the moment-to-moment nature of the NFL that the Giants are suddenly being entreated to find a veteran running back to complement their youngsters David Wilson and Da’Rel Scott. After the Cowboys’ 36-31 win over the Giants in the first game of the season – due in large part to turnovers caused and by the young running backs – the need to have a “just in case” veteran became even more pronounced. 

Wilson was slated to be the number one back after the departure of Ahmad Bradshaw with veteran Andre Brown as his safety net/competent backup. Because Brown broke his leg, the Giants began the season with Wilson and Scott as their two main backs. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Wilson, a Giants first round draft choice in 2012, has massive big play ability and game-breaking speed. Scott was a seventh round draft choice from Maryland in 2011. Wilson had served his apprenticeship behind Bradshaw, made a few big plays as a rookie and was given the chance to live up to his lofty draft status as the 2013 starter. Scott showed big play ability in college and the number of big-time professional running backs who develop after being afterthoughts in the draft are legion.

It took two early fumbles from Wilson and a botched screen pass to Scott that resulted in a Cowboys interception and game-clinching touchdown to put the Giants’ running back situation into crisis mode. Now the names that are still floating around as available for one reason or another are coming up as suggestions for the Giants to get a veteran back. Michael Turner, Willis McGahee and Cedric Benson have all been brought up and it wouldn’t be a bad idea to bring one of them in just to have a look. But to take a player on whom a first round pick was spent as was the case with Wilson and relegate him to the bench or behind a veteran who is still sitting out as the season has started is defeating the purpose of drafting him in the first round to start with. If a player is drafted that highly, he’s expected to contribute and it’s a waste of time and resources to dispatch him before he’s given a legitimate opportunity. The results and the draft status are the dueling realities the Giants have to calculate with Wilson.

Football is unlike other sports in that the season is so comparatively short and the players expend so much of themselves in playing it that there’s an intensity not present in baseball and basketball. Players regularly get into public shouting matches, quarterbacks openly scream at players who miss assignments and coaches aren’t shy about lambasting a player publicly. It’s “what have you done for me lately?” to the third power. 
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