New York Giants: Ward Stays, Joseph Goes
The Super Bowl Champion New York Giants continue to make headlines this offseason.
Shortly after adding linebacker Danny Clark, the Giants welcomed back running back Derrick Ward for the 2008 season.
Ward was an important component of the Giants' offense during the beginning of the 2007 campaign. While Brandon Jacobs battled injuries, Ward fillled in admirably. He ran for at least 80 yards in five different games, including a 154-yard effort against the Bears, his last of the season.
Many figured that Ward's limited brilliance would land him a nice contract in a new city, but according to Ralph Vacchiano of the Daily News, "...He found few interested teams."
Bringing back Ward is a smart move by the Giants. They have great depth at running back with Jacobs, Ward, Ahmad Bradshaw, and Reuben Droughns on the roster. While Jacobs will no doubt be the No. 1 guy, Ward should have the chance to compete with Bradshaw for the change-of-pace spot.
Why should there be any competition for Bradshaw's spot? Although many may think that Bradshaw outperformed Jacobs in some games down the stretch, Bradshaw was mediocre in the Super Bowl and was clearly too fired up for the game to perform at his best. It is also never a good idea to hand a young player any position on a silver platter.
Furthermore, Bradshaw also battled injuries toward the end of last season and was inactive for some games, so the Giants don't really know if he is truly ready for a 16 to 20 game season.
Ward is also more explosive than Droughns, whose value to the team will be more his ability to mentor the younger backs and provide depth at fullback rather than be a featured tailback.
While the Giants have welcomed back Ward, they have bid adieu to DT William Joseph who joins former Giant Gibril Wilson with the Oakland Raiders.
Joseph has been a disappointment for his entire Giant career and will not be missed. Barry Cofield and Fred Robbins have been very effective at the tackle positions, with young Jay Alford giving them some depth at that spot.
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