GIANTS' KEVIN GILBRIDE SAYS DAVID WILSON IS UNLIKE ANY PLAYER HE'S COACHED WITH THE TEAM
"Kevin Gilbride has coached his fair share of dynamic weapons in his five
seasons leading the Giants offense. He's had Tiki Barber, Ahmad Bradshaw and
Brandon Jacobs at running back; and Plaxico Burress, Hakeem Nicks and Victor
Cruz at wide receiver to name a few.
The list is long and accomplished, but Gilbride doesn't believe he's ever had
a piece to utilize quite like rookie running back David Wilson.
"I don't know if we've had a guy as explosive, regardless of the position,
here," said Gilbride of the Giants' first-round pick. "Tiki was a tremendous
all-around back, Brandon would give you something, Ahmad gives you toughness,
but this guy's got the explosion I'm not sure how many guys in the league have."
Gilbride, entering his sixth season as Giants offensive coordinator, added
that it's early and Wilson has plenty of learning to do before he can transfer
his skill set to when it matters most, but during the team's three-day minicamp
this week Wilson provided a dose of his potential by consistently darting to the
outside and turning the corner out of the backfield.
"There are guys in this league who have physical credentials and you say,
'Oh, why can't he play?' Because he can't learn." Gilbride said. "I don't think
David's that case. I think he's going to learn, but right now he's very
definitely in step one."
Gilbride contrasted Wilson to second-year running back Da'Rel Scott, whose
straightaway speed is perhaps tops on the team and is different than the
shiftiness Wilson brings.
"A waterbug kind of a guy, that's what he looks like to me," Gilbride said of
* * *
With or without Jake Ballard officially on the roster, Gilbride knew he
wasn't going to get on the field in 2012 and he'd need to find another starting
tight end for the second straight season.
With the timetable for Travis Beckum's return still in question, his top
options presently are Bear Pascoe and Martellus Bennett, but with Bennett
nursing a minor hamstring injury, the starting spot belongs to Pascoe.
It's very similar to the position Gilbride found himself in last year.
"Right now we got a long way to go with that," Gilbride said. "In fairness
when we lost Kevin Boss [last year], I kind of was thinking, 'Woah, where are we
going to go.'
"You're hoping Martellus, that's why he was brought here. You're hoping
Adrien Robinson down the road will be the guy, if not Bear's going to be the
guy. Somebody's got to do it."
Ballard's inability to play in 2012 didn't make his loss to the Patriots
easier for Gilbride.
"He'll be sorely missed," Gilbride said. "We knew we weren't going to have
him this year, but he was a guy that could've been a starter for a long time so
now somebody else has got to step up."
* * *
Over his first three seasons in the NFL, Hakeem Nicks has recorded statistics
that compare to the league's best to begin a career, becoming Eli Manning's
go-to target in the process. But even with his early success, Gilbride said the
foot injury that has Nicks out for about 12 weeks came at an inopportune time
during his career.
"The thing that's a tragedy here is that there were so many things that we
were looking forward to really developing with him and really taking advantage
of this time to really focus on developing his entire skill set.
"This was going to be a great chance for him to really, really – us to go
another step ahead for him. But there's nothing you can do, you can't do it.
He's hurt and he's not there."
Gilbride said he hopes Nicks will be ready for the season opener, if not
"I'm hoping. I got my legs crossed, my knees are hurting from praying," he
With Nicks out, Gilbride said he's been impressed with Rueben Randle's speed
and threw a name out there that most don't recognize: Brandon Collins.
Collins, a rookie out of out Southeastern Louisiana, made a few catches in
traffic during Tuesday's practice and Gilbride admitted he didn’t know much
about him going in.
"I've seen more quickness than anything," Gilbride said. "Good speed, great
quickness, but also picking up the offense pretty quickly."
* * *
The similarities between Victor Cruz and Julian Talley are almost too easy.
Both are wide receivers out of UMass, both are from New Jersey and both signed
with the Giants as undrafted free agents.
The two are even close friends, but Gilbride put the brakes on assuming the
two are the same on the field.
"Victor is just a thicker, more muscular, type of guy," Gildbride said.
"Victor's run-after-the-catch right from the first year kind of stood out. We
haven't had a chance to assess that [with Talley]. I'll get a better – I think –
feel for him maybe two or three weeks into training camp. Right now it's hard
for me to make a good judgment on him."