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Coughlin rushes to Jacobs' defense

10/14/2009



Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley

In reading over my daily Tom Coughlin transcript, I found a particularly interesting exchange between the Giants coach and an unidentified reporter. There's been a lot of talk the past couple of weeks about how starting running back Brandon Jacobs seems to be struggling -- and some of the numbers (3.6 per carry) actually back that up. But before we go on, take a look at the following exchange ripped from Coughlin's Wednesday media session:  Jacobs

Q: Brandon Jacobs is openly down on himself a little bit. How can you help him turn that around?

Coughlin: I don’t know what people keep talking about turning around. The guy had some outstanding runs the other day. He had the numbers in terms of rushes. He had the usual number of power runs that he has. I don’t think there is anything for Brandon to be down on. This keeps coming up. I don’t know what the expectations are. He is a power runner and that is what he does. If you are talking about the goal line -- it was good penetration and he didn’t get the opportunity to get into the end zone. But he will continue to work at that and continue to study and continue to look at himself. And he continues to be a vital part of our offensive team.

Q: When you have one running back averaging 3 yards a carry and the others have 5 and 6, there has to be something.

Coughlin: Why not? What is wrong with that?

Q: Well the production just doesn’t seem to be there.

Coughlin: Well, we are averaging 160 yards a game rushing, so somehow, some way, the ball is moving down the field.

Q: Brandon was the one who expressed that he was disappointed in his own performance. Have you talked to him about that?

Coughlin: No, I haven’t talked to him about that. If he is anxious to make himself happy again, then I think that is a good thing.

That's classic Coughlin -- and it reminds me so much of his mentor, Bill Parcells. And I see where he's coming from. The Giants are churning out large amounts of yards -- and he's getting questions about Jacobs. Coughlin doesn't give a rip about Jacobs' yards per carry as long as the team is averaging a solid amount overall. Parcells used to talk about how he actually cared more about total carries in a game than yards per carry. It sounds strange, but he knew that a certain amount of total carries could reflect that a team was dominating the game -- even more so than the amount of yards being gained.

I've been saying for weeks that folks are getting too caught up into Ahmad Bradshaw's yards per carry. It would quiet everyone down if Bradshaw had to be the featured back for a couple of weeks. I assure that his production would come down.

Go take a look at Derrick Ward's stats right now and tell me if he's tearing it up without Jacobs. I think some Giants fans have become so spoiled that they've resorted to nit-picking yards per carry. Take Jacobs out of that offense for a week or two -- and then you'll learn to appreciate him.