- Dan Graziano, ESPN Staff Writer
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I saw in Kieran Darcy's story the other day that the New York Giants are talking about cutting back on David Wilson's kick-return work in 2013. Not eliminating it, but cutting back on it because of their plans to use Wilson as the lead running back (or one of the lead backs) in their offense. This seems foolish to me.
Wilson wants to keep returning kickoffs. Says he's "passionate" about it and has been doing extra conditioning work to make sure he's in shape to handle his new responsibilities along with his old ones. He's only 22 years old, so it's not as though they have to worry about him wearing down. They like their depth at running back should they need to back him off. Though I understand football fans never let go of anything, the fact that Jason Sehorn got hurt returning a kick in a preseason game 15 years ago should not be the thing that scares the Giants away from letting their most electric kick returner return kicks.
We're talking about three or four extra plays per game here, folks. And fewer, actually, if the Giants can get their act together on defense. The Giants had 63 kick returns last season, and Wilson had 57 of them. Both of those figures led the league, which means the Giants were giving up too many points. But what also led the league was Wilson's total of 1,533 kick-return yards. And his average of 26.9 yards per return ranked sixth. Especially once the season got going and he got into a rhythm with it, Wilson was a huge big-play threat on kick returns. The Giants have often lamented, last season and this offseason, their lack of big plays on offense. Though they need to address that (and they believe Wilson will help), why would a team upset about a lack of big plays want to cut back on a big-play threat they already have?
Don't be scared, Giants. Let the kid return kicks. Especially while he's young and he likes doing it.
Anyway, I'm heading over to Giants practice today, so I'll let you know what else I find out.