Da'Rel Scott (33) of the New York Giants runs with the ball against the Philadelphia Eagles at MetLife Stadium on November 20, 2011 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Brandon Jacobs is gone to San Francisco. Ahmad Bradshaw won't be participating in OTAs or mini-camps after having a bone marrow injection aimed at helping his troublesome feet. Entering his second season with the New York Giants, Da'Rel Scott fully understands the opportunity in front of him.
"The opportunity is coming to me, and I just have to run with it and do everything I can do," Scott said during a phone interview on Thursday. "I can't wait for the opportunity to come."
The former University of Maryland running back was a seventh-round pick by the Giants a season ago. He carried the ball just five times, caught two passes and returned 14 kickoffs (averaging 24.4 yards per return) during his rookie season.
Scott has big dreams for what he wants to accomplish in 2012.
"My goal is to start. I don't want to just be that third-down back, I want to be the every-down back that they can go to," Scott said.
"I want to have my own series, taking a couple of series back-to-back ... being able to run the ball 20 times a game. I know it's a hard goal ... "I don't want to settle. I want to shoot for big things."
Scott said that he considered both Bradshaw and Jacobs starters, and is aiming to take Jacobs' role of splitting time with Bradshaw.
Right now, the speedy Scott would compete with the veteran Danny Ware for the No. 2 running back role behind Bradshaw. The upcoming NFL Draft could impact how much of an opportunity either player gets to step into an expanded role. Scott isn't giving the draft any thought.
"I'm a Giant, they have me there for a reason so I don't really want to dwell on what running back we're going to get ... when, where," Scott said. "It doesn't really matter if they draft somebody in the first round. It's going to be a competition in camp, and I'm not going to just give somebody my spot."
The Giants drafted the 5-foot-11, 211-pound Scott because they were intrigued by his speed and his pass-catching ability. OTAs begin for the Giants on April 16 and Scott is looking forward to having a real NFL offseason following the NFL Lockout last summer. Scott admitted that the lack of offseason work was a "huge disadvantage" entering his rookie season.
"It was pretty hard for me to get a share of the offense, so now that I have an opportunity to have a whole offseason with the team learning the plays, learning my protections, learning everything I need to learn I think that will benefit me," Scott said. "Now I have no rookie excuse, no excuse that I didn't learn the plays."
The added time around the team and coaching staff during OTAs and mini-camp should also give Scott more of a chance to show what he can do. That is an opportunity Scott felt wasn't really there a season ago.
"Going into camp they really just wanted to go with the people they trusted and that had been there. It was kinda hard, just knowing Coach Coughlin is old school where he just wants to play the people who know what they're doing," Scott said. "That was a huge disadvantage for me not learning the offense in the OTAs."
Whether the Giants use an early draft pick on a running back or not it seems there will be plenty of opportunity between now and the beginning of the season for Scott to show the Giants he can do more than run fast. What will he do with it? Only time will tell.