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Bradshaw Benched?


Head coach Tom Coughlin announced today that Brandon “Biggie” Jacobs will be taking over as the team’s starting running back ahead of Ahmad Bradshaw.  Jacobs has held the job for the past three years, but the feature back role was taken by Bradshaw this season.  The demotion comes as a result of Bradshaw’s fumbling problem; he has lost five fumbles already this season.

It remains to be seen exactly how much this affects the two running backs.  While Jacobs will be the starter in name, the number of carries that each player sees may not change.  This could be a motivational technique by Coughlin to get Bradshaw to work harder at keeping possession of the ball.  For the team’s sake, that had better be what’s going on.

Bradshaw has been the more effective running back for the past three years when you watch the game film.  That sentence may be surprising to a lot of people and there may be some who disagree, but it’s true.  Bradshaw always runs downhill with a tenacity that makes him one of the best backs in the league.  Jacobs used to be the enforcer that ran over people instead of around them, but these days he gets stuffed at the line more often than not. 

Jacobs is the big back so he’s supposed to be the short yardage guy, but he is one of the worst I’ve ever seen at getting one or two yards, especially on third down or near the goal line.  His statistics don’t really reflect that because all you see on the stat sheet is a touchdown, but what you don’t see is that if the Giants have first and goal on the one yard line, it takes him two or three plays to finally punch it in.  Bradshaw is a surprisingly good goal line back despite his size because he can take it up the gut, but his speed also allows for the Giants to sweep it to the outside.  His most valuable asset is perhaps his toughness which allows him to run between the tackles efficiently and doesn’t force him to always try to bounce outside like most speed backs.

It is fair to question Coughlin’s call also because of all the disarray on the Giants right now.  Two starting linemen and the two starting receivers are all out.  The last thing this team needs right now is more lineup shuffling.  Hopefully Bradshaw will get the message and correct his fumbling although it is a tricky situation.  On the one hand you want Bradshaw to take care of the ball, but you also don’t want him to sacrifice his aggressive running style.  Hopefully some middle ground can be met and the Giants ground game can return to the dominance that it showed only a few weeks ago.

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