Da'Rel Scott trying to prove Giants don't need to look past him to replace Andre Brown
They're lined up outside the door, hoping to get in the Giants' locker room in Week 2. Veteran running backs such as Jonathan Dwyer, Leon Washington and Beanie Wells who worked out for the team this week are all waiting for the call to replace Andre Brown for a few weeks.
Da'Rel Scott wants to make them wait longer.
"I have a huge opportunity to let the organization know that we don't have to bring in anybody yet," the third-year running back with only 11 career carries said on Thursday. "I just have to have my faith and prove to them that I deserve to be here and that they don't need to bring anyone else in."
Because the Giants cannot afford to guarantee a veteran contract for the entire season, particularly not with Brown designated to return from injured reserve in November, they hope to get through the first game of the season with only three running backs. David Wilson will start and Scott and rookie Michael Cox will be behind him.
Wilson is expected to take the bulk of the snaps, but with temperatures expected to be in the high 90s in Texas this weekend, he'll need to come off the field at least once in a while. That's when Scott will get his opportunity.
"Da'Rel is going to play," offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride said. "There's no question about that, and he's going to have to play well for us. He's going to be a big part of what we're doing."
Scott was on the roster bubble as recently as last week, but a strong performance against the Patriots in the preseason finale saved his job. Now he might need another one to keep it, or at least to keep others who want it at bay.
Tom Coughlin was asked what Scott can do to prevent the Giants from bringing in an experienced veteran.
"Play well when the opportunity comes," he said. "Like he did the other night."
Scott has a lot of the same attributes as Wilson. Both are small but fast and run harder than their size would indicate.
Scott first captured some attention in the 2011 preseason when he had a 97-yard run for a touchdown against the Bears and a 65-yarder on a fake punt against the Patriots. That kind of electricity never translated into the regular season, though, as Scott played behind Ahmad Bradshaw, Brandon Jacobs and D.J. Ware and then Brown and Wilson.
Now it's his turn. And it might not be his turn for long.
"I prepare myself like I'm going to play every game, whether I'm third, fourth in the rotation or whether I'm first or second," Scott said. "I have to make sure I'm on top of it, make sure I prepare myself and just make sure they trust me."