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Tuesday, November 27, 2012
David Wilson readies for his close-up

By Ohm Youngmisuk
ESPNNewYork.com

David Wilson remembers how hard Mondays used to be for him. He couldn't wait for school to end so he could watch "Monday Night Football."

This Monday, the wait may feel longer than ever. Not only will Wilson play in his first Monday night game when the New York Giants visit the Washington Redskins, but he could see the most significant playing time of his rookie season.

David Wilson
Can rookie RB David Wilson make an impact against the Redskins on "Monday Night Football"?

Andre Brown broke his fibula during Sunday night's win over the Packers, paving the way for Wilson to finally see some meaningful snaps. It has probably felt like an eternity for Wilson to get to this point.

"The other weeks you come in hoping and wishing you get your opportunity," Wilson said. "And now you know this week, you will."

After fumbling the second carry of his career in the season opener against Dallas, Wilson had to remain patient and wait for his chance.

Only two times this season has Wilson received more than three carries in a game. He has a total of 24 carries for 102 yards and one touchdown -- a 40-yard run against the Browns.

Offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride and running backs coach Jerald Ingram explained during the bye week that Wilson still needed to earn their trust when it came to pass protection and reading defenses.

Wilson has had his moments as the Giants' kickoff returner, but he has had to watch Ahmad Bradshaw and Brown on offense.

All the while, Tampa Bay's Doug Martin, who was drafted one spot ahead of Wilson with the 31st overall pick in the first round, has shined with 1,050 yards and 10 total touchdowns.

"It's his time," Tom Coughlin said of Wilson's new role after the Giants used their IR/designated-to-return spot for Brown on Monday. "The timing as far as where he's coming from couldn't be any better. It is a great opportunity for him, and I think for our team as well, in terms of what could develop here for David."

Coughlin said he is hoping that Wilson has been watching Bradshaw and Brown and can help lessen Bradshaw's workload.

For the past couple of weeks, Wilson has been staying after practice for over an hour, going over his pass-protection responsibilities with fullback Henry Hynoski.

Hynoski quizzes Wilson by having the rookie write down all his protections and whom he's assigned to and what adjustments can be made. Then he grades Wilson.

"He's done a pretty good job so far," Hynoski said. "And I'm going to be extra hard on him this week getting him prepared, and I know coaches will be too."

Wilson is hoping to finally get a chance to prove that he can handle the responsibility of protecting Eli Manning and that he can recognize defensive schemes and know what Manning will need him to do.

He admits it has been a little frustrating to be judged on his weaknesses without really showing what he can do in a game situation.

"I've just been learning everything that's been put in front of me and trying to learn more," Wilson said. "In practice, I execute what they ask me to do."

He later added: "It's one thing to go out there and say yeah, I don't know how to do it, I did mess that up. But without being given the opportunity, and then hearing [the coaches' critique], it is a little bit frustrating. But they have their reasons, and I'm not saying I'm the best blocker. I definitely have to work on it and improve myself."

On Monday, Wilson should get his first real crack at showing what he can do.

And until then, Hynoski is doing everything he can to make sure that Wilson will look good.

"[Wilson has] so much natural talent and ability," Hynoski said. "Tremendous speed, elusiveness, quickness. He's a special back. So once his maturity meets his talent, we can expect a lot of great things from him."