Even though they were teammates for several years, Brandon Jacobs and Andre Brown have never shared a backfield. Brown was an injured rookie behind Jacobs in 2009 and on the practice squad in 2011, and when Brown emerged last season Jacobs was on the 49ers' roster.
On Sunday, the two bruising backs could be together for the first time.
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"One thing about it, teams are definitely going to be a little bit more sore than they would be playing again other people," Jacobs said Thursday. "No fair dodging. If you're there, you get hit. It's as simple as that."
Brown rolls at 227 pounds while Jacobs, who said he is ready to play after missing a month with hamstring and knee issues, is listed at 264. Throw in Peyton Hillis at 250 and the Giants' top three ball-carriers are all hulky hitters. Forget the thunder and lightning combinations some teams employ. These guys are just rolling thunder.
"One-yard gain, 2-yard gain, whatever," Jacobs said. "If you're there, from 350-pound D-tackles to 240-pound linebackers, you're going to get hit. That's just what we stand for."
Gilbride dials it back
Kevin Gilbride said he wants the offense to get back to the big plays that were once its hallmark, but he admitted that his play-calling may have something to do with it. "I have on occasions where I feel like we're struggling in certain areas maybe not exposed us to that high-risk, high-reward type of play, maybe not as much," the offensive coordinator said. "I play every game with the same thought: Hey, we're going to be aggressive, we're going to do this, we're going to do that. But as the game's unfolding I will adapt or modify what I'm doing."
. . . The Giants have not announced a change at kickoff returner, but it seems unlikely they would go with Jerrel Jernigan, who fumbled the opening kick last Sunday.