A seventh-round selection in the 2007 Draft, Ahmad Bradshaw began that season as the third-string New York Giants running back. Taking over the reins for all-time great Tiki Barber that year was bulldozer Brandon Jacobs, with Derrick Ward as the second back.
As the season evolved, Giant Nation saw Jacobs get hurt and Ward step up brilliantly, which kept Bradshaw in check until the end of the season. However, when called upon, the little guy really showed us what he was made of.
Picking up the slack as the change-of-pace running back after Ward broke his leg, Bradshaw flashed great skills and contributed significantly in the Super Bowl run.
Notwithstanding that, his sophomore season in the NFL was slow, as Jacobs and a healthy Derrick Ward were both tearing it up, picking defenses apart, rushing for more than a 1,000 yards each, and posting the best rushing offense in the league.
Coming the 2009 season, with the exit of Derrick Ward to Tampa Bay, Bradshaw’s role in the team is to be given an earned increase. However, whenever assessments on the Giants' running back situation are published, Bradshaw is several times undermined.
Statements regarding his size and strength, as well as his alleged lack of big play ability have been plaguing Bradshaw the entire 2009 offseason. In many reports given by so-called “experts” of the game, Bradshaw was even placed to lose his job as the No. 2 back in training camp.
Ahmad Bradshaw is given little respect lately and I really don’t see why. When playing for Ward back in 2007, he had 23 carries for 190 yards, including an 88-yard TD run. He provided the change of pace necessary for Jacobs to rest, just like Ward did.
Last year, as the third back, he carried the ball 67 times, piling 355 yards. That's a 5.3 yards per carry. He rushed for a TD too, and scored again through the air.
It is hard to call that mediocre. With the loss of Ward, all Giants fans were sad.
But despite that sad feeling in my gut, I got excited about seeing more of Bradshaw. He is an extremely capable back, and should carry the load very effectively this year.
To all doubters out there, believe in Bradshaw!
also published at blognyg.com