The New York Giants rushing attack has seen a rebirth over the last two weeks. Despite finishing last in the NFL in rushing in 2011, Big Blue has relied heavily on their ground game over the last two contests. Third-year product out of N.C. State Andre Brown has provided a spark to the team's offense. However, today we learned Ahmad Bradshaw will be making his return against the Philadelphia Eagles in Week four.
Before injuring his neck against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Bradshaw was averaging 4.6 yards per carry. With that, he never had the opportunity to play behind the Giants revamped offensive line, a unit that appears rejuvenated after the injury to David Diehl. Although Bradshaw is still listed as questionable for Sunday night's divisional bout, it appears as if the six-year veteran thoroughly believes he will be on the field.
"You can guarantee it, man," Bradshaw said. "You can guarantee I'll be out there fighting with my team."
The issue now isn't whether Bradshaw will play, but more how he will be re-integrated into the offense. Andre Brown has played well in Bradshaw's absence, rushing for 184 yards on just 33 carries, including three touchdowns.
Brown has clearly showcased his ability during his limited opportunity. However, it appears as if the Giants are planning on using Ahmad Bradshaw as the starting running back against the Philadelphia Eagles.
"Coach Coughlin knows what I can do. And so do I," Bradshaw said. "I just tell him every game, 'Just give me the ball and I'll make it happen.' He hasn't told me anything role-wise. I still have the same role I've had since I got hurt, since the start. There's no difference even though Andre had a great game last week. It's no difference with the gameplan and with me."
The Giants have a tough balancing act to carry out this Sunday. While the team clearly still believes Ahmad Bradshaw is their best option at running back, Andre Brown and David Wilson need their carries as well. Wilson needs to garner all the experience he can as he begins to transition into becoming the Giants running back of the future.
With that, Andre Brown's physical, down hill running style compliments Bradshaw's finesse game, so there's no reason the two can't coexist. For Brown, it's more about keeping up his solid production over the last two games.
"I don't expect anything different," Bradshaw said. "Andre's a great back and when I [saw] him against the Panthers, he helped out our team a whole lot and I expect him to get his carries and to help me out as much as possible. I don't know the gameplan with the Giants with me and Andre yet, but so far it's just the same."
Ahmad Bradshaw is a veteran who will get the opportunity to keep his job in the midst of stellar play from a young, physical Andre Brown. Bradshaw has looked good when healthy this season, so look for this story to stay interesting as the year progresses.
Photo Credit: Mike Gannon
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