Ahmad Bradshaw spent most of last season walking the hallways of the Giants training complex with a boot on his foot. Pretty soon he might be spending the rest of this season with a football under his arm.
The Giants’ running back has fumbled three times this season, all three of them lost to the opponents. In the last two games he has lost the ball within 10 yards of the goal line. It sounds as if Tom Coughlin is losing patience with that.
“Every week I’m assured, ‘Don’t worry Coach’” Coughlin said. “But the thing that happens is you get in the game, you become more instinctive, and occasionally the bad habits come roaring out. If it was something where the player has absolutely had enough, when that takes place, then I think we’ll get what we want.”
Coughlin famously “cured” Tiki Barber of his fumbling problems by having him spend months holding a football high and tight. “He spent a whole offseason doing it,” Coughlin said. “Every conditioning session, everything that was done outside, even in the weight room, he would carry the ball around. It’s not the most comfortable place to be. It’s not.”
On the fumble last night, Bradshaw looked up at the video board to use it as a rearview mirror, but he was caught from a blind side over his right shoulder. You can see Bradshaw's eyes looking at the video board in the picture above. Coughlin said he does not directly teach his backs to look up at the video boards to determine where the competition is, but that running backs coach Jerald Ingram does.
“The running back coach instructs them to take a peek if you think (someone is there),” Coughlin said. “I tell them you’re in traffic all the time. You’re not ever out of traffic. You’re always in traffic. Get the ball under your chin and get the elbow tucked in where it’s supposed to be.
“Obviously I’m not doing it real well with my style.”
Coughlin is a big supporter of Bradshaw. But even his patience is beginning to wear away with the fumbling.
“I’ve stood up here and said it before, I love the kid,” Coughlin said. “He’s a great, great effort guy. Everything he’s got he pours into it, and there’s not one person who would question it with this guy. However, that aspect takes away from it. You just hope that they learn. He’s been doing this a while.”
Bradshaw, by the way, injured his ankle in the game and Coughlin said he;s due to have it examined tomorrow.