With Brandon Jacobs tip-toeing around the topic of his carries (which are more than the three or four or five he mentioned today), I asked running backs coach Jerald Ingram if he’s happy with the distribution – at least in th egames when both Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw were healthy.
Ingram said that while the staff tries to keep track of the carries throughout the game, it gets difficult. Factor in things like situations, game flow, which plays are working, how often the offense is using three wides, and it’s nearly impossible to hit directly on whatever division of labor the Giants went into the game looking to achieve.
But he has a message for Jacobs.
“We told Brandon: ‘Just hang in there. The second half of the year, when we’re in November and December and people are tired and sore, you’re fresh.’ Brandon had some great long runs last year in the latter part of the year. He was a spark. It’s OK to be a spark.”
What makes it hard is when you go from being the starter to a spark as Jacobs has.
“When you’ve been the starter, it’s a frustrating thing,” Ingram said. “If you’re any kind of competitor, if you’re any kind of runner, you want to be on the field and you don’t want to be taken off the field.”
Ingram said the relationship between Jacobs and Bradshaw makes things easier because they are so close. He said it is a unique relationship in the NFL. “You may have jealousies on other teams because they want to be the guy, but these two are very close,” he said.
As for Jacobs, Ingram said he doesn’t need a lot of carries to get the Giants going.
“When Brandon plays, he’s a leader for the offense and the defense because you love seeing that big son of a gun try to run,” he said. “When he does have that chance and you see people go that way (backwards), it motivates everybody on the sideline. That’s why you love having that guy on the team. The Giants have always been about physical play and he’s your physical specimen.”
“It’s hard on him,” Ingram said, “but he understands that when his time comes (he’ll do well). When we see him out there, good things usually come. All of a sudden, it’s like that second charge that everybody needs. He’s just got to hang in there.”