Expected to participate: David Wilson, Andre Brown, Da’Rel Scott, Michael Cox, Ryan Torain
Not participating: FB Henry Hynoski
Overview: It’s a brave new world in the Giants’ backfield this season. Wilson will be the lead back, sharing carries with Brown, who finally got a chance to strut his stuff last season scoring 8 TDs and racking up 5.3 YPC before his year was cut short by a broken leg. Scott has been languishing on the depth chart, but he is still possesses that breakaway speed. He could get more touches this season. Rookie Michael Cox has shown good size and speed at OTAs and had garnered praise from the coaches. Torain is down the chart right now, but if he is your fifth RB, you’re in pretty good shape.
Hynoski had surgery to repair an injury to the medial collateral ligament in his left knee and a chip fracture of the lateral plateau two weeks ago. He banged knees with Brown in the backfield in an 11-on-11 drill on the first day of OTAs and was carted off the field. For now, TE Bear Pascoe will be the FB. The Giants are hopeful Hyno can make it back for the season opener Sept 8 vs Dallas. He will begin training camp on the PUP list.
For those wondering if the Giants have any interest in bringing back Ahmad Bradshaw or Brandon Jacobs, the answer right now is no. Both players remain unrestricted free agents and neither has had many potential suitors. Bradshaw was said to be close to a deal with Indianapolis, but nothing has yet materialized. The Giants might consider bringing one of them back if something drastic befell Wilson before the season began.
RB coach Jerald Ingram spoke to reporters last week at the conclusion of OTAs:
Is David Wilson ready to be the lead guy this year?
“I think he’s in a position to compete to be the guy. He has the talent, has the speed, has a few plays from a year ago underneath his belt. Everything we gauge is kind of like in college with spring ball, but once we put the pads on, we’ll see who is physical, who’s determined to make plays out there… I think he’s grown. He has a fairly good understanding of the offense right now. He’s definitely in position to be the guy, but I think just like what we’ve done in the past here, we’re going to be a rotation type team and what certain backs do best, we’ll play. I think he’s a playmaker. He’s definitely going to contribute and help us out. There are some goals that he has to accomplish for us. He’s definitely on a better track than he was a year ago in understanding our protections and doing those kinds of things. I think we’ll take advantage of his natural ability as much as we can, but everything will start with me as a coach. I’ve got to do a better job of coaching him and getting him ready to play, just like Andre Brown. We’ve got young guys here. We’ve got a tradition of great running backs here that have established themselves as leaders on this team and that’s where he’s got to be. He’s got to be a guy that Eli can trust in every situation possible and we’ll go from there, but right now I think he’s on track.”
Do you see progress in Wilson’s pass protection?
“I definitely see progress. I think he’s got a clear understanding as far as what our protections are, what is expected of him, but until you actually physically ask that individual to do that full speed and full gear, we’re not exactly doing that right now. But I think when we go to camp, he knows what his goals are right now and what he has to accomplish to be a complete running back and contribute on our team. I think we’ll get that out of him. He’ll be a much improved player from that situation this year.”
Is Andre Brown fully recovered from his broken leg?
“I think definitely. Andre is healthy. Ronnie Barnes has done a great job with him right now. He’s motivated. It’s an opportunity for him. He’s been waiting a lifetime around here for that. We brought him in here because he can catch the ball, he can run, he can do a lot of things and be a complete running back here and he’s definitely a true every down kind of guy because he’s got size, speed and quickness. We saw some things out of him a year ago, which was great and it’s a great opportunity for him.”
How does the loss of Hynoski affect you?
“You hate losing a guy… Henry means an awful lot for us, but Bear Pascoe has done a great job for us in the past. When you have a guy like Bear, who plays a lot of different positions, we’ve been here before with Madison Hedgecock and losing him and having Bear having to step in and that’s one thing that’s great about having a guy like Bear. There are certain situations as a pro-back Henry is absolutely by far great at doing in protecting the running back and the quarterback in situations. He’s very smart. He’s very professional. I think Bear essentially would do a good job for us until we can get him back here.”