Excerpt: "Andre Brown endured quite a beating in his season debut.
In his first game since fracturing his leg in the preseason finale, Brown rushed a staggering 30 times for 115 yards – both career highs – and his 1-yard touchdown run sealed the Giants’ third straight victory, a 24-20 decision over the Raiders six days ago.
Now that he has healed up “enough to roll,” Brown insists he is ready for more.
“That’s my mentality: continue to go out there, pound and grind away because I want to establish myself,” Brown said.
“I want to make sure everybody understands that, when you game plan, you want them to game plan against me.
“I’ve got a lot still to prove and I’m not taking anything for granted. I’ve got to be out there and show everyone I’m healthy, giving 100 percent in everything I do. I’m running determined.”
His determination never has been questioned, not during any point in an NFL journey marked by injury, bad luck, resiliency and opportunity.
As the Giants prepare for Sunday’s showdown with Green Bay — another key game in their quest to legitimize their presence in the NFC East – Brown quickly has emerged as the centerpiece of a running game desperate to produce consistently.
There has been debate following Brown’s breakout performance against Oakland that, considering his injury history and his two-month break from game action, the Giants might be wise to not overwork the 6-foot, 227-pounder, not this soon anyway.
But for Brown, this represents a chance to prove he can sustain the punishment.
The 26-year-old signed a one-year tender worth $2.023 million in the off-season, setting up what was supposed to be a career-making 2013 campaign with free agency beckoning. Everything changed that summer night in Foxboro, Mass., when Brown refractured his leg against the Patriots, landing on short-term injured reserve.
Now that he is back on the field, Brown finds himself in the spotlight even more. David Wilson’s season ended when the Giants placed him on injured reserve with a neck injury, making room on the roster for Brown. Veterans Peyton Hillis and Brandon Jacobs are short-term options at running back.
Brown only can hope his performance down the stretch instills confidence about his potential when the Giants’ coaches and front office gather at season’s end.
“I don’t want to go anywhere,” Brown said. “The Giants gave me my shot. They brought me back. There’s a lot of uncertainty, but when you’re 3-6, that uncertainty goes for everybody.
“Until we get this turned around, nobody should be comfortable with where we’re at.”
Asked what would be too much for Brown to handle, Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride said: “It’s impossible for anybody to know. You just hope he’s done everything he can to get himself as physically ready as you can for the rigors of being the primary ball carrier.
“You’re just rolling the dice. We’ll play them as long as we can and hope that it will last the whole season.
“We expect it to. We have no reason to think otherwise, but no one knows.”
Brown has been involved in 19 NFL transactions, waived seven times by five teams, including the Giants, who selected him in the fourth round of the 2009 draft.
“There is a lot at stake,” said Brown, who suffered a season-ending broken leg against the Packers when they visited MetLife Stadium last season.
“I know what I’m capable of doing. Now it’s about making progress, making sure everybody knows that I’m getting better, I can stay healthy and that I can be a productive back in this league.” Read more...