David Wilson's football coach had him come in on his day off Tuesday and run some drills that were meant to focus on ball security. After a fumble and subsequent benching against the Cowboys last week, it was important to stress a good, solid grip on the ball under all circumstances.
Typical Tom Coughlin, right?
It wasn't Coughlin who prescribed the off-day drills.
In the days after the loss to Dallas, Wilson received a text from his high school coach who made him run a series of "OBs," or "odd balls," which involve sprinting 100 yards with a football tucked in each arm and held under his chin. Every five yards he kneels down without letting the footballs come away from their secure position.
It's the drill that Chanston Rodgers had his players at George Washington High School (Danville, Va.) perform after they fumbled , and it's the drill Rodgers had Wilson perform this week.
"You know you have OBs," read the text from Rodgers to Wilson.
Wilson said he is anxious to get back on the field and erase the memory of his last offensive snap, when he coughed up the ball following a hit from linebacker Sean Lee on his second NFL carry. He didn't play on offense for the rest of that game, but Coughlin said that Wilson will be involved in the gameplan against the Bucs.
"He's anxious and wants to do right," Coughlin said. "He's a little bit out of the doghouse."
Wilson said he was "definitely surprised" by the amount of attention his fumble has received in the media.
"Quarterbacks throw interceptions and running backs fumble all the time," Wilson said. "I think even after I have a successful game questions about the fumble will come again . . . I've fumbled before and it hasn't stopped me from getting here. It might happen again. Just take a licking and keep on ticking."
Wilson is correct.
Other running backs have had the same issue early in their careers and gone on to thrive, particularly under Coughlin. Tiki Barber is the best example, but Ahmad Bradshaw also had a knack for losing the ball while surging for extra yardage early in his career.
"I've been in the same situation as a rookie," Bradshaw said. "Same play, same exact situation. I just told (Wilson) to keep his head up. Little things happen, you should just work on the small things, which is ball security, having the ball in the right hand at the right time."
Wilson is excited to return to the backfield and make up for last week's error. But he also thinks he'll be able to contribute in another area. As the Giants' kickoff returner, Wilson said he believes he can "raise eyebrows" on those special teams plays.
"Watch out for me on kick returns," Wilson said. "It's coming."