G-Men voice their respect for Bradshaw
October, 22, 2012
By Ian Begley | ESPNNewYork.com
Andrew Mills/The Star-Ledger/US PresswireAhmad Bradshaw's teammates know him to be "just an intense person."EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Some might have been surprised when Ahmad Bradshaw slapped teammate Victor Cruz in the head during the Giants' win over Washington on Sunday.
But Martellus Bennett wasn't.
He's grown accustomed to getting smacked by the Giants running back. In fact, Bradshaw does it to Bennett "all the time," the tight end said Monday.
"He smacks me before the play starts. Before I come out of the huddle, he'll be like, 'Martellus, come on!' And I'll be like, 'OK, don't tell the defense we're running this play,'" Bennett said with a laugh.
"That's just who he is; we love him for that. Nobody takes it in a bad way. He's the kind of guy [who says], 'Hey, I didn't really try to hit you hard or anything.' [But] he has boxer hands; he's a heavy-handed guy. Sometimes things may come off one way, but it's not really like that."
Bradshaw caused a bit of a stir in the third quarter Sunday when he got into it with coach Tom Coughlin and Cruz. Bradshaw explained Monday why he was upset.
Bradshaw and Coughlin shouted at each other as the Giants' offense was going back on the field at the end of the third quarter.
"I was just saying, 'Run the ball,' going onto the field," Bradshaw said of his exchange with Coughlin. "A lot of my emotions kicking in. I just want to help my team win as much as possible."
Bradshaw got frustrated when he broke a run for 15 yards with 7:22 remaining in the third quarter on second-and-9 from the Giants' 40. Bradshaw rushed to his left, and was tackled by Redskins safety Madieu Williams and cornerback Cedric Griffin.
Bradshaw then gave a forceful slap to the back of Cruz's helmet, which startled the receiver. It appeared Bradshaw was unhappy with Cruz, who was supposed to block Williams.
On Monday, Bradshaw's teammates said they appreciated his intense, emotional displays. Those outbursts, by the way, aren't limited to game day.
"He's like that in the locker room," Bennett said. "He's like that in lunch. He's like that in breakfast. He's like that in dinner. He's like that in the shower. He's like that in the steam room. He's like that in the training room. He's like that if you're riding in your car [with him], you've got to turn your music up really loud.
"Ahmad's just an intense person. That's why we love him. ... The way he plays on the field is the same way he is as a person.
"I don't know a good adjective to describe Ahmad. But Ahmad is Ahmad. I guess if Ahmad was an adjective, other people would be like I'm 'Ahmad-ing' it. He's just a great guy, he's like that all the time. It's just who he is."
Here's a sample of other Giants' reactions to Bradshaw's animated displays against Washington:
ANTREL ROLLE: "If I'm going to a fight, I'm taking Ahamd with me. I love that guy. I love his passion. I love the attitude he brings to a game. He's a very emotional guy. Nothing he does is meant to be disturbing to anyone else. It may come across like that; it may not. We all know Ahmad means well, he means extremely well. And he's a passionate player. He wears it on his sleeve. I back him 100 percent, and we ride or die with Ahmad.
"... I’ll take Ahmad’s passion however it comes. I know he doesn’t mean any harm. He’s never been a disturbance to this team. I’ll take Ahmad’s passion every day of the week."
ELI MANNING: "Ahmad plays hard, and he loves the game of football. He has great confidence in himself. He wants to win every day and obviously he feels, in certain situations in third down, that he can go get the first down, and he was fired up and he gets our team fired up. So you appreciate his passion and his dedication to give it all every game."
KEVIN BOOTHE: "I think everybody gets emotional during the course of a game. I think maybe just because he’s Ahmad Bradshaw, I think people see that more often. But it comes with the territory, I think. A lot of times when we’re playing in games, guys can get emotional, yell. But we’re all there for the same reason, we’re all there on the same side for the same cause. I don’t think there’s any danger, not on this team, that something can cause the team to unravel or anything like that. I think it’s becoming overblown."