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Chalk Talk: Why The Giants Shouldn't Run Brandon Jacobs Outside As Much

LANDOVER, MD - NOVEMBER 30:  Brandon Jacobs #27 of the New York Giants runs with the ball against Chris Horton #48 of the Washington Redskins during their game at FedEx Field on November 30, 2008 in Landover, Maryland.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Michael SamuelSenior Analyst IMay 12, 2009

Brandon Jacobs is a 6'4", 260-pound feature back who over the past couple of years has shown he can run anywhere.  Conventional wisdom, though, would say that he should try sticking between the tackles, and bull linebackers and other second and third level tacklers.

For Jacobs to succeed running the ball inside, the interior linemen Shaun O'Hara, Chris Snee and Rich Seubert need to dominate the guy in front (a DT or LB) of them in order for Jacobs to run in the 0-4 holes.  When Jacobs runs to the outside (holes 5-8) it takes him a longer time to move right and left than rather going north and south. 

Giving the ball to him on a toss doesn't make much sense because of his speed, but that's the solution.  The tackle to the play side is isolated to hook the outermost in the front seven whether it be a 4-3 DE in a loose nine technique or an OLB in a 3-4.  I like running up the middle with Jacobs because the play deals with more team- or zone-oriented blocking schemes than a critical one-on-one match up on the outside. The reason the Giants OL is so great is because their work as a team and running a toss play hurts the oppositions' strengths.

In a toss play the opposite tackle essentially has a role of getting a second or third level tackler, which once again takes away from the strength of the OL working as a team.  If the Giants are going to run a toss play with Jacobs, they should consider pulling the offside guard to chip on the DE or LB before getting a second level defender.  This will try and help with the one-on-one match up on the outside.

In the Giants' own division, there are two elite edge players in OLB—Demarcus Ware of the Cowboys and DE Trent Cole of the Eagles.  These guys aren't one-dimensional pass rushers, but rather explosive third-down play makers.  So running at them four times per season is no easy task. 

Basically, leave the outside plays for Ahmad Bradshaw, a player with excellent speed and the ability to turn the corner much better than Jacobs and runs better with space.

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