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Starter Bradshaw Says "I Deserve It," And He's Right

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Ahmad Bradshaw has heard Brandon Jacobs' complaints about losing the starting running back job. His answer, given to Ralph Vacchiano of the Daily News?

“This is what I play this game for,” Bradshaw said. “I feel like I deserve it.”

He's right, actually. At this point in their careers, Bradshaw is a more explosive, more dangerous back than Jacobs. We will just have to see how he handles the increased workload.

Bradshaw, by the way, told RV he and Jacobs have no problems with each other, which is good news.

“If he has a problem with the front office, it has nothing to do with me, which he told me,” Bradshaw said. “We’re still brothers, we still have the same relationship.”

Here are a few other New York Giants notes to carry you through a Friday afternoon when I know darn well you are thinking more about Sunday's kickoff than you are about getting your work done.

Offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride spoke about a variety of topics Thursday. Excerpts are below. (Full transcript)

Q: You didn't have all five offensive linemen together during the preseason. How much of a concern is that for you now?
A: It's big. The one compensatory advantage we have is that they've played together for so long that maybe the fact that they weren't together throughout the preseason and camp will make it less of a problem than it might have been, but is it a concern? Yeah, no question. You're never quite as sharp and your cohesion is not quite as tight as it should be, so yeah, if we had our druthers we wouldn't have drawn it up that way, but, again, it's a group that has been together, they've played a lot of football and you would hope that that reality will offset the fact that they haven't been together in a game situation yet this year.

Q: Victor Cruz. How do you see him being used given that he's not done much on special teams?
A: First of all, the hard part is to get him on the field. The way it's structured here is that if you're not one of the starting two receivers, then you've got to contribute in the other areas, so that's where he's got to earn his spurs and hopefully he'll show enough someday that he'll get that chance, but when he gets on the field he's easy. It's easy to use him. I think he's proven that he is able to compete against bump and run press coverage and have a lot of success. There's no question in my mind that he's a good run after the catch guy, just like I said last year, but when no one believed me that Hakeem Nicks would be a good run after the catch, Mario Manningham would be a good run after the catch. He'll be that same kind of guy, but again, the bottom line is that he's a young guy, he's got to prove himself as a receiver enough to become one of the starting two. That hasn't happened yet. Or he's got to get himself onto the active roster on game day by doing enough on special teams.

Q: You kept two tight ends and
Travis Beckum isn't really a traditional tight end. What does he need to do in order to solidify that position?
A: Stay healthy. That's all. It's not hard. He's got to stay healthy. He's another guy - he never practiced, so that would be more of a concern than the offensive line. As much as it has affected the offensive line, here's a guy that hasn't played a lot and then didn't play hardly at all in practice. Does he have skills? No question. He's a good athlete and he's not your prototypical point of attack guy, but you put him out in the space and he's a tough matchup. He's a bigger, stronger guy than most secondary players and he's faster, more agile, more athletic type of guy than most linebackers so he gives us some things, but the problem is, where is he? Health wise. Where is he mentally? Can you count on him to do all the things and that's what we're trying to sort through. Exactly how much can we ask of him to do but I think if he is playing at a point where he knows what he's doing and he's confident, he gives us a weapon.

Defensive coordinator Perry Fewell was also available to the media. Here are excerpts of his conversations with reporters. (Full transcript)

Q: Now that the preseason is over, roughly what percentage of your defensive playbook do you think we've seen and given that it's probably a small number, how confident will you be that the guys will have it down against Carolina?
A: You probably saw 10 percent, maybe 20 percent in the preseason, maybe, if that. How confident am I that our guys will have our package down? I'm very confident. They had good retention. They had good questions when we went in and presented on Monday as well as Wednesday. So I feel very confident they will have the information down that we need.

Q: How much are you expecting from Kenny Phillips the first week or the first couple weeks?
A: Kenny's been practicing so as Kenny goes, we'll go. It's really up to Kenny. Kenny is a good football player. I like the way he's prepared. He's had his hands on some balls in practice this week. He's had to be coached this week because he's been gone a long time, and so he's trying to knock the rust off, too. I think as coaches we have to be cognizant of that and make sure that we do right by Kenny so that he can play the game the way Kenny can play the game and not play it fatigued.

Q: Are you expecting him to play a significant amount this week?

A: Again, that's up to Kenny. That's on Kenny. That's why I'm saying as far as coaches, if we see him fatigued and what have you, it's up to us to (say), ‘Yeah we're going to need to get another guy so that he can catch his breath.' He only played 21 plays, I think it was in the last ball game. He played about 12-to-15 in the game before that so when you have to play a 40, 50, 60 or 70-play ballgame, that's a significant amount of reps.