David Wilson thinks he's ready to start for Giants

David Wilson of the Giants flips after returning

David Wilson of the Giants flips after returning a kickoff 97 yards for a touchdown during the first quarter. (Dec. 9, 2012) (Credit: David Pokress)

If Ahmad Bradshaw's release foretells a starting role next season for David Wilson, the Giants' second-year running back said, "I'm confident in myself to not just do the job but do it well. Not everybody gets to start, and cutting Ahmad tells me they believe in me.''

And should the team's lack of proven depth at the position call for Wilson to, say, triple his 71 carries from last season: "I've been pretty durable and haven't had many injuries,'' he said. "I want to do this at an elite level.''

Wilson, while serving food in Harlem with teammate Chris Snee as part of a Boost Mobile promotion Thursday, insisted he is prepared for an expanded role in the offense.

"He has all the physical tools,'' Snee said. "David's built like a tank and he's very explosive. He just needs to be ready mentally.''

Bradshaw's release last month and backup Andre Brown's injury history likely will have Wilson, a former first-round pick, tabbed as the starter.

"I feel more comfortable going into this season because I know the playbook a little better,'' Wilson said. He ran for 247 of his 358 yards in the last four games and set a franchise record with 327 all-purpose yards Dec. 9 against the Saints. "It's like tying your shoes,'' he said. "Do it [enough times] and you can do it without looking.''

Wilson, who is known more for his speed (and acrobatics) than physicality, said he has gained three pounds to 208 and hopes to play at 210. The added bulk, he said, will help in pass- blocking.

"That's the main area the coaches want to see me work on,'' Wilson said. "When we're in a tough situation, the ball is going to be in [quarterback Eli Manning's] hand. He has to be able to stand in the pocket, so I know the protection is very important.''

Speaking of protection . . . The NFL on Wednesday passed a rule that will prohibit ballcarriers from striking blows with the crown of the helmet outside the tackle box. Wilson is among the backs displeased with the decision.

"It's the game I like and they keep modifying it,'' he said. "You run with a lean and your head is the first thing to get there, even in track . . . But we don't want to get fined, so we'll definitely have to change how we run.''

Notes & quotes: The Giants signed backup quarterback David Carr to a one-year contract Thursday. Carr is expected to compete with Curtis Painter, who was signed this offseason, for the No. 2 job in training camp. The Giants have not carried three quarterbacks on their regular-season roster since 2007.

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