- Ohm Youngmisuk, ESPN Staff Writer
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NEW YORK -- David Wilson is going to prepare as he did last year before the season -- as if he is going to be the starting running back.
The difference this season, though, is that he is the front-runner to be the starter. He will compete with Andre Brown in camp for the job.
"I’m just working hard and preparing," said Wilson, who passed out food at an event in Harlem. "I always said I would prepare like I’m going to be the starter, even when I was a rookie in training camp. So, that’s what I’m continuing to (do). The job is not given to anybody, you’ve just got to go out and earn it.
"I definitely got the confidence in myself that I can go out there and not just do the job for the team but be good at it," he added. "Go out there and execute all the things I need to do as an NFL running back."
After releasing Ahmad Bradshaw in February, the Giants have been looking toward Wilson and Brown to fill Bradshaw's starting spot. Brown is recovering from a broken leg suffered last year. And according to the New York Daily News, Wilson said he recently had minor surgery to remove a bone chip from the palm of his hand.
Brown and Wilson will likely split carries this season as the Giants go with the hot back. Wilson said he is a lot more comfortable entering his second year now that he knows the offense better and understands what he has to do.
"I think I became better as a football player," Wilson said. "And I feel more comfortable going into this season than I did last year, because I know the playbook a little bit more. I know what to expect, or what to do and not to do. I’m not a rookie no more."
Wilson also believes he is better at pass protection -- a must if he is going to stay on the field. He has added three pounds of muscle so far in an effort to be a little bigger to protect QB Eli Manning.
"When the game is in a tough situation, the ball is going to be in [Manning's] hands to make decisions," Wilson said. "And when he makes those decisions ... he’s got to be able to stand in the pocket. Pass protection will be important."
Wilson understands that the Giants may not want to keep him at kick returner now that he may start at running back. But he will let the coaches know that he wants to keep his special-teams job.
"I’d truly miss being back there on kick returns if they decided to take me off," he said. "And I would still try to get back there somehow."
And when he scores a touchdown, will Wilson keep doing his trademark flip celebration?
"Playing football," he said with a smile. "Playing football."