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Diehl on Eli, Jacobs, and their respective naysayers

Giants running back Brandon Jacobs breaks off a

Giants running back Brandon Jacobs breaks off a 38-yard run in a 2010 41-7 win against the Seahawks. (Nov. 7, 2010) Credit: MCT

David Diehl will be blocking for someone on Sunday. If it’s Brandon Jacobs, the Giants’ guard said he hopes the back takes advantage of his opportunity to win over the hearts and minds of Giants fans.

“We obviously all hope that Ahmad is back, but if he’s not we all are behind Brandon 100 percent,” Diehl said in an interview on NFL Network’s Around the League Live. “He’s talked about his being upset and his disappointment, but this is his chance. This is your opportunity. If you want people to get behind you, this is your time to shine and do it all on the football field.”

That may be more difficult than it sounds. The Giants have the league’s 30th-ranked running offense, and that’s with Ahmad Bradshaw handling the majority of the carries. Now, with Bradshaw’s foot at least limiting him on Sunday if not sidelining him completely, the Giants will have to rely on Jacobs, D.J. Ware, and maybe even a dash of Da’Rel Scott.

“We know going into this game that it’s going to be a tough fought battle because we’re playing up against a very good New England defense,” Diehl said. “A lot of people are kind of counting them out because of what happened last week, but the Pittsburgh Steelers had the ball for 39 minutes and kind of did the complete opposite of what New England is used to doing -- putting up a lot of points, controlling that time of possession and blitzing that defense. We know how they play at home, we know that they’ve won 20 straight at Gillette, so in order to go out there and win this football game we’ve got to execute in all phases of it.”

Diehl also spoke about the way his quarterback is playing this year.

“I think it’s just confidence,” he said. “Seeing Eli play the way that he is, it’s no surprise to us – the guys in the locker room, the guys the upfront – because we see the way that he practices and prepares. He’s always doing extra things with the wide receivers, whether it’s throwing routes, going through signals, changing things up. Especially for us, his identification; the way that he’s able to diagnose blitzes, to change mike calls, to audible us into different plays. He’s on his game and our offense goes the way that he goes. So for us, it’s no surprise; it’s just great to see him go out there and play with the confidence that he’s been playing with.

“It’s funny because before the season we heard that Eli considers himself an elite quarterback and that caused a lot of controversy,” Diehl added. “We were on the show [on NFL Network] talking about that and I said I loved the fact that he showed that confidence in himself, and it’s awesome that he’s going out there and proving the naysayers wrong.”

Now it’s Jacobs’ turn to do that to his own naysayers.

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