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Four running backs create options for Giants

Rashad Jennings of the New York Giants runs

Rashad Jennings of the New York Giants runs the ball during the first quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on October 19, 2015 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Credit: Getty Images / Rich Schultz

Rashad Jennings said it doesn't matter how many running backs the Giants have.

"Look, it's a body of work," the starter said of the rotation of players that now could number four after Orleans Darkwa's productive 2015 debut last week. "No matter who's getting the carries, we're a body of work. Whoever is in there is representing the backfield room."

Still, it might not be ideal for the Giants to have so many members of their committee. Besides Jennings and Darkwa, there are Shane Vereen and Andre Williams. "Can you have enough snaps for four? Maybe not," Tom Coughlin said. "But on a game-to-game basis, you can, you certainly can. We'll continue to analyze the opponent, where we think we need to be able to utilize the talents of the guys we have."

Vereen played under a somewhat similar philosophy in New England. Running backs would be shuffled in and out of the game plan based on the opponent. He believes the Giants' rotation will "work out just fine."

He said it helps to keep the running backs healthy by limiting total carries and exposure to injuries, gives the offense versatility and forces defenses to have to prepare for a variety of styles. "It keeps them off-balance," he said.

As for the actual logistics, Jennings agreed that it is more ideal for a running back to stay on the field and develop a rhythm. "Most backs want to keep it rolling," he said. But he added that it's "not hard at all" for this group to stay involved in the game even when they are not getting carries and touches because they play a lot of special teams.

The most successful rushing game of the season for the Giants was last week, when they had the four different players. Offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo said he can foresee using all of them.

"I like competition, I like it," he said. "I like getting everybody involved and getting their hands on the ball. Different games call for different plans and we'll have to see how things go this week."

Everyone is waiting. Darkwa said he didn't even know he'd be getting carries until they shoved him into the game last week, so all of the backs need to be ready.

"Your guess is as good as mine," Vereen said. "They haven't spoken to us about that. We're just preparing to play like we have all season. The same exact way. Nothing has changed."

Brown's tempo off

Josh Brown has been perfect on his 15 field-goal attempts this season (his team-record 19 straight dates to last season). His kickoffs? Not so perfect, particularly last week, when he topped one and put another out of bounds. "Last week was not me at all," Brown said. He said he's been focusing on his tempo and timing this week.

"He's a little too slow and herky-jerky, so we kind of smooth him out," special-teams coordinator Tom Quinn said. "We looked at some tape from the previous two years trying to get just more tempo into it."

Giant steps

LB Jon Beason (ankle) missed a second straight practice but still plans to face the Saints . . . Defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo said DE Damontre Moore has responded well to being benched last week. "It wasn't easy for him," he said.

New York Sports