NEW YORK – The Giants weren’t issue free at the running back position in 2010. In fact, it seems like each area had their own problems to deal with and the culmination of all of these seperate group issues lead to the disappointing absence of a playoff berth. Still, the injury bug was a black widow and decimated the team like a virus. We’ve discussed the lack of depth that was exposed due to all of the injuries and tried to put together a decent team to field with spare parts. I mean no disrespect to the backup players but there was clearly a decline in productivity on the field that could not be ignored.
I doubt that the team will suffer the same cruel fate in 2011, because I expect the front office to make the hard choices and make sure it doesn’t happen again. Still, the running back situation could turn into one big headache for GM Jerry Reese. Fans have even talked about using the 1st round pick in this years NFL draft on a running back. That is something I have not heard in a very long time. I do not agree with grabbing a RB in round one, as you all know very well. I still say the team should take a LB or OL/C in round one.
Another issue is the fact that Ahmad Bradshaw is a free agent this year and re-signing him must be one of the biggest moves the team will face in 2011. In total, there will be 21 free agents the Giants will need to look at. There is always room for improvement but at what price? Do you let a star go in order to gain a star? There are no guarantees in football and an injury could everything in a moment. There will be a bunch of free agents available this year and fans are still holding their collective breath that there will not be a lock out due to the CBA talks. This is a crazy time to be an NFL fan.
Let’s take a look at the running back position as of today 2-18-11.
1. Brandon Jacobs, 6’4″ 264 pounds – Brandon the Bull had a decent 2010 season but it wasn’t great. He finished second on the team in rushing with 823 yards and 9 TD’s. He also caught 7 passes for 59 yards. Jacobs started last season behind Ahmad Bradshaw on the depth chart and it seemed to be working out fine and keeping him fresh but by the end of the season Jacobs was again the starting RB. Fans have been vocal about their displeasure with him but I still believe in Jacobs and hope he can rebound in 2011. The team needs him to be the bull we all know he can be.
2. Ahmad Bradshaw, 5’9″ 198 pounds – Bradshaw had a good 2010 season finishing first on the team in rushing with 1,235 yards and 8 TD’s. He also had 7 fumbles which cost him his starting role by the end of the year. Ahmad is a dynamic RB that can do a lot of great things on the field but he will not be on the field if he can’t correct the fumble issue. Coach Coughlin has a zero tolerance policy when it comes to turnovers and specifically, fumbles. There is no doubt that Bradshaw is a playmaker and someone you want on your team. Hopefully, the team re-signs him this offseason and he gets the opportunity to make good in 2011.
3. DJ Ware, 6’0″ 234 pounds – Ware missed half the season due to injuries and had less then 30 yards on his carries. I’m not sure how much longer his luck can hold out with Big Blue. The team has only so many roster spots and they need more depth at most offensive positions. Something tells me that Ware has been given ample time to prove himself on the field but the guy can’t seem to stay healthy. He was mostly productive as a kick returner but there is no guarantee that will be enough to warrant a locker.
4. Madison Hedgecock (Fullback), 6’3″ 266 pounds – Hedgecock is a fan favorite and a player that was sorely missed when he went down with a season ending injury at the beginning of the 2010 season. Hopefully, he will be back to his bruising self in 2011 and leading the way for the Giants RB’s. The Giants suffered so many key injuries in 2010 that it seems like all I am doing here is a bloated injury report.
5. Darius Reynaud, 5’9″ 201 pounds – Reynaud was brought in as a return specialist once the team realized that Domenik Hixon would be out for the season. He did a fair job but never won over the fans or the coaches. The team confirmed their distrust by bringing in another returner in Will Blackmon who had an equally shaky season and is no longer on the team. I’m not sure if Reynaud will be on the team in 2011.
6. Charles Scott, 5’11″ 238 pounds – Scott is on the reserve future list and someone who was brought in for depth. I have no idea what to expect from this guy in 2011 or if he will even be on the team. I hope the guy turns out to be great and adds depth to the Big Blue RB’s but I just don’t know.
7. Martell Mallett, 6’0″ 207 pounds – Mallett was brought in to the team for the same reason as Scott. Again, I have no idea what to expect from this guy and do not know if he will be on the team in 2011.
What would you do about the Giants running back situation in 2011?