When the New York Giants released their depth chart for the 2013 season both David Wilson and Andre Brown were listed as first string running backs. Does it really matter who starts and who doesn't? Wilson doesn't think so.
"We're both going to contribute," said Wilson. "The depth chart is a political thing, something that they have to put out there so the fans and other teams will know."
The Giants decided to release veteran running back Ahmad Bradshaw early in the offseason leaving the responsibility to both Wilson and Brown. It took a while for Wilson to get a spring in his step for the Giants in 2012, but when he did he showed how explosive he could be. Brown finally shaped into the running back he was drafted to be, but broke his leg late in the season, forcing him to miss the final six weeks.
"I think we have a good group," said running backs coach Jerald Ingram. "I think he's [Brown] has been dying to get out there and here's an opportunity for him to actually show. Jerry drafted him for a reason, to be a complete running back. He had a dark cloud around him. It's a great opportunity for him and I think he's worked hard to be in that position right now. He deserved it."
In order for the Giants to be successful in 2013 the running game needs to bring what they did last season and step it up another notch, as well as stay healthy.
"Regardless of who's in there, we've just got to all prepare, mentally and physically in camp," said Wilson. "Going into those games and showing the coaches what we can do and what we've learned and how we've grown over the year. Then roles will be put in place more."
Wilson showed last season what he can do once the ball in in his hands, but he struggled with other things. It's great to be explosive, but a running back needs to be able to catch passes and protect the quarterback as well. Wilson has met with Ingram to work on those things this camp.
"He has some qualities you get excited about and it's good to have that kind of weapon right now, but he's got to be able to do other things because that's what we do," said Ingram. "We're going to throw the ball here. We have had great balance in running and throwing and having that tradition, but you've got to take care of Eli [Manning]. There's a lot of pride and respect with the offensive line. That's your job."
"He's increased my level of play at running back a lot since I've been here," said Wilson of Ingram. "The main thing he always said was, 'Be a professional. Every day in practice try to be as professional as you can and execute."
Despite the attitude of knowing both he and Brown will be contributing the running back duties this season, Wilson still has high expectations.
"I want to come in and, like I said, I have the chance to be the starting tailback for the New York Giants," said Wilson. "The Super Bowl is here this year so my main focus this season is going in, whatever and whenever I can contribute and, whenever I'm on the field, I definitely want to have an affect on the game, in a positive way so we can win as many games as possible and make that run for the Super Bowl."
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