GIANTS' D.J. WARE EMERGES AS EARLY FAVORITE TO WIN THE BACKUP RUNNING BACK JOB
"With the departure of Brandon
Jacobs to the San
Francisco 49ers this offseason, the New York
Giants will spend a significant portion of training camp searching for a
viable backup running back heading into the 2012 campaign. With sixth-year
veteran Ahmad Bradshaw as the clear-cut starter, there are several players that
will compete for playing time in a backup role.
This offseason, the team used its' first-round draft pick on running back David
Wilson out of Virginia Tech. However, veteran D.J. Ware appears to have the upper hand in securing the
backup role, at least for the time being.
stands 6'0" while weighing in at 225 lbs. He has good size and runs the ball
hard in between the tackles. However, he is not particularly fast and is neither
a big play threat nor a great receiver out of the backfield.
That being said, Ware is still extremely valuable to Big Blue's passing
attack. His emergence as the favorite to take over the backup running back role
is heavily dependent upon his advanced knowledge of the offense compared to that
of his competitors. He is not as explosive as David
Wilson or as fast as Da'Rel Scott, but he has been around long enough to
become an asset as a pass-blocker. The team used Ware last season primarily in
passing situations and he performed well in that role. Furthermore, Ware had a
few nice runs on draw plays out of the shoutgun, which proved that he is capable
of making the occasional big play.
biggest competitor for the backup running back role is this years first-round
draft pick David
Wilson. Wilson is a fast, explosive player that was used in a multitude of
roles during his three seasons at Virginia Tech. He earned 4,349 all-purpose
yards for his career, while integrating himself as an indispensable aspect of
the team's rushing, passing, and return games. His diversity is a major reason
why general manger Jerry
Reese selected Wilson with the team's first-round pick. In a post-draft
interview, Reese stated the following:
"He’s fast. He’s productive. He can do anything you want him to do. He can
catch the ball. He can return kicks. I think he was overall ACC Player of the
Year and Offensive Player of the Year there. He’s an early-out junior. Terrific
The other competition for the backup running back position comes from
Da'RelScott and Andre
Da'Rel Scott is widely reported to be the fastest player on the Giants'
roster (4.34 40-yard dash). Although he showed flashes of brilliance during the
preseason last year, Scott only saw five carries in the regular season and he
averaged a mere 3.2 yards per carry. However, because of the NFL lockout,
this offseason the second-year players out of Maryland's first opportunity to go
through the full gauntlet of workouts and OTA's. With a year of experience under
his belt, Da'Rel Scott could become a contributor at some point this season.
Brown is perhaps the biggest mystery on the Giants' running back depth
chart. In his four-year career at NC State, he averaged over 4.4 yards per carry
each season. However, after being drafted by the Giants in the fourth-round of
the 2009 NFL Draft, Brown
ruptured his Achillestendon in training camp the same year. He was waived by
the Giants the following offseason.
After bouncing around the league in 2010, Brown was brought back by the
Giants and spent most of last season on the practice squad. Although Brown saw
no regular season action with Big Blue in 2011, he has has shown the capability
to be both a rushing and receiving threat out of the backfield in practice. If
demonstrate an understanding of the offense, Brown could make the 53-man
The situation at backup running back will be one of the most contested
positional battles throughout training camp. There are several players that each
have their own strengths and weaknesses that they bring to the table. However,
D.J. Ware is
the only player being considered that has any significant experience in that
role. Look for him to see the majority of the snaps as the second running back
on the depth chart during the beginning of the season.
However, as David
Wilson, Da'Rel Scott, and Andre
Brown each learn the playbook and pass protection schemes more thoroughly,
Ware will most likely see a decreased role within the offense as the season