With New York under pressure to follow up on a Super Bowl-winning season in 2012, they will need a strong running game to lift them to new heights.
The Giants ranked dead last in the NFL last season in rushing yards per game, averaging less than 90 per week. Bradshaw was a member of that poor ground attack in 2011, while Wilson has yet to get his chance. Perhaps that will determine which back earns the edge this summer.
UPDATE: Thursday, August 30 at 9:35 a.m. ET
New York Giants' rookie running back David Wilson carried the ball eight times for 13 yards in Wednesday night's preseason finale against the New England Patriots. Wilson also caught a pass for another nine yards.
The Giants won 6-3 at MetLife Stadium, but Wilson no doubt had his worst performance of the preseason in the win.
The fact that Ahmad Bradshaw did not play on Wednesday could be a sign that the Giants are preparing to start him in a week for New York's regular season opener against Dallas. Usually teams do not play first-stringers in the final exhibition matchup.
Also, the New York Giants announced via Twitter on Thursday that Wilson will no longer be wearing No. 34 this season:
-- End of Update --
UPDATE: Wednesday, August 29 at 10:45 a.m. ET
New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin may be aiming for an inside-outside running approach this season, perhaps utilizing both backs on offense.
Here is Coughlin via a Wednesday report by The New York Post's Paul Schwartz:
What happened the other day was [Wilson] was able to get outside and in so doing helped a whole schematic approach to it, if we can get a guy to get outside, maybe that will give us some opportunities up inside and hopefully that’s the direction we’re going. We’ll have a better mixture as we get going in terms of the ability of going inside and outside.
-- End of Update --
What David Wilson Offers
Which RB will start on Sept. 5 vs. Dallas?
Wilson looked strong in the Giants' most important preseason game of the summer against the Chicago Bears, rushing for 49 yards on just five carries. Wilson also had two catches for 26 yards.
“I heard a lot of people describe me as a speed back, and I never thought of myself as a speed back,” Wilson said. “I guess they are surprised when they hear speed back, and then, all of a sudden, you’re lowering your shoulder or spinning out of a tackle.”
Wilson is definitely a quick playmaker in the backfield. He rushed for 1,709 yards on 290 carries for Virginia Tech last season.
Through four preseason games, Wilson has carried the ball 28 times for 131 yards. The rookie is averaging a dependable 4.7 yards per carry, which will be his biggest argument for starting in Big Blue's backfield this September.
What Ahmad Bradshaw Offers
Bradshaw ran the ball three times for only two yards in that game before leaving for the locker room in the first quarter. Bradshaw will instead depend on his past production for Big Blue to earn him the starting RB job in 2012.
Bradshaw carried the ball 171 times last regular season for 659 yards and nine touchdowns.
Ahmad Bradshaw says he'll be fine for the opener and won't have to wear protection for his bruised right hand. sulia.com/c/new-york-gia…— Paul Schwartz (@NYPost_Schwartz) August 27, 2012
Although Wilson has been far more impressive this preseason, Bradshaw is expected to be healthy, and has regular and postseason experience to offer Tom Coughlin and the Giants.
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