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Bradshaw loses his grip on the starting role

New York Giants running back Ahmad Bradshaw fumbles

New York Giants running back Ahmad Bradshaw fumbles the ball on a hit from Philadelphia Eagles safety Quintin Mikell during the first half. (Nov. 21, 2010) Photo Credit: AP

Turns out Ahmad Bradshaw didn’t have a “high and tight” grip on his starting job, either.

After losing five fumbles in the first 10 games, including a costly one against the Eagles on Sunday night, Bradshaw will be demoted to the team’s second running back for the upcoming game against the Jaguars. Tom Coughlin said that Brandon Jacobs, who had been the starter in previous years but was relegated to backup this season, will start the upcoming game.

“The number one consideration is to try to stop beating ourselves," Coughlin said. "That's one area we should be able to improve. It's very frustrating not to improve in that area.”

Coughlin had hinted at a switch earlier in the week and even following Sunday’s loss in Philadelphia. He said he spoke to Bradshaw about the decision.

“He’s not happy, but he’s going to fight his way through it,” Coughlin said. “Why it would be a total surprise to anybody is beyond me.”

Bradshaw has run for 867 yards and five touchdowns on 185 carries this season, but in the last three games he’s averaged just 3.11 yards per carry compared to the 5.3 he was at through the first seven games. Jacobs, meanwhile, has run for 387 yards and five touchdowns on 78 carries.

“It’s basically been like a two-to-one deal, both guys have had a lot of carries,” Coughlin said of the breakdown, adding that he hopes to have D.J. Ware more involved in the running game as well. “As I said, there are plenty of carries to go around.”

Many of Bradshaw’s fumbles have come as he fights for extra yardage. Coughlin said it’s difficult to tell a player to stop doing that in the name of ball security.

“You don’t want to take that away from a player,” Coughlin said. “The simple fact of the matter is, with the amount of exposure in this league, every team in the league goes for the ball. Everybody goes for the ball. I see people that aren’t even worried about tackling, they just go try to grab the ball. I think there’s a spot there where the absolute most secure position, no matter if you’re striving for extra yards or what, has to be the number one priority. Easier said than done.”


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