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Rashad Jennings doesn’t care about being “focal point” on offense

Veteran running back hungry to reach playoffs for the first time

NFL: New York Giants-Minicamp William Hauser-USA TODAY Sports

The much-maligned running back committee for the New York Giants often drew criticism for its ineffectiveness in 2015. It was not until the final four games of the season until the running game saw traction as the Giants gave the bulk of rushing attempts to Rashad Jennings. It is too early to discern the Giants running back strategy, but with training camp under full swing, Jennings is ready for any role given to him for the 2016 season.

“I’m here to help this team,” Jennings said. “It’s not about me. I’m just a piece of the puzzle. We’ve got a lot of good backs ... It’s going to be fun watching everybody compete.”

Jennings is looking to be a team player in order to win games. With all that success in being the leader of the committee in the final four games, one would expect Jennings to demand the ball. Instead, when asked about the opportunities for carries, Jennings said plans to run well regardless of the number of attempts.

“I was granted that the last four games,” Jenning said. “If I’m granted that again this season that’s the way I’m going to run. If I’m granted a couple carries, that’s how I’m going to run ... That’s not important for me to be the focal point. What’s important is for us to win.”

Most players would like to be the center of attention and be the focal point for their team. For Jennings, if sharing the ball leads to victories, then he is all game. However, do not mistake his willingness to share as complacency.

“Physically I’m ready, mentally I’m ready,” Jenning said. “I’ve been close to my scripture so spiritually I’m ready and emotionally. Time to get back to football...I’m just going to continue to build on my craft and fight and show that I carry the ball a little bit more.”

Jennings has had poor luck in finding successful teams and never seen the playoffs in his seven-year career. Perhaps his team-first attitude reflects his desire to succeed as a unit. However, this year he is feeling optimistic about the Giants and also has Super Bowl aspirations.

“This team can be really good, by paper and by talent we have on this team,” Jennings said.

“There’s 32 teams in the NFL. If all 32 teams are not out here fighting for a Super Bowl or thinking that they can be the best offense then they are probably in the wrong business. Just with us I think we have a little bit more validity behind it this year.”

With his attitude, Jennings will do whatever it takes to find postseason success. But winning in the playoffs is determined by more than just one player but rather the entire team. After all it is just as Jennings says:

“It’s about the team, it’s not about me.”