Commentary

Jacobs out to prove himself again

After accepting his role as a backup, the RB is now working harder than ever

Updated: August 26, 2011, 8:23 AM ET
By Ohm Youngmisuk | ESPNNewYork.com

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Brandon Jacobs still ranks his powerful run over LaRon Landry in 2008 as his top highlight.

But the ankle-twisting move he put on Chicago Bears safety Major Wright on Monday night was pretty close on Jacobs' all-time highlight reel.

Jacobs juked Wright so bad that the safety crumpled to the turf before the running back dragged Bears safety Chris Harris into the end zone on an 18-yard touchdown run in the New York Giants' 41-13 win over the Bears.

On Saturday, Jacobs hopes to add to the highlight reel against the cross-town rival Jets. With Ahmad Bradshaw sitting out Thursday's practice due to a sore back, Jacobs could see more carries with the starters.

The running back says he worked harder than he ever has in the offseason and hopes to receive more carries this season.

"I feel good," Jacobs said. "My main goal is to get out and try to help this team bring the most [wins] that we can possibly bring in. I've trained for this. I've been ready for this since March. I did the most I've ever done in any offseason. The level for me just keeps getting higher and higher. The older that I get, I want to keep playing at a higher level."

The touchdown run against the Bears was a classic example of what makes Jacobs such an intriguing talent. Built bigger than some linebackers at 6-foot-4 and 264 pounds, Jacobs still can elude defensive backs like a shifty tailback at times.

"I am going to say the LaRon Landry [play] was the best," Jacobs said of his personal best highlight. "That was an open-field run, I ran him over in the open field, but this one isn't too far away. For somebody that is as big as I am, to be able to do something like that, that is also special, too."

Jacobs, 29, has done everything the team has asked of him since coming to terms early last season with being the backup running back behind best friend Bradshaw.

Not only has he accepted his role, but he restructured his contract to help the Giants re-sign Bradshaw this season.

[+] EnlargeBrandon Jacobs
Al Bello/Getty ImagesBrandon Jacobs lost his starting job to Ahmad Bradshaw last season.

He said he worked harder this offseason with the idea of proving himself all over again.

"Well, I knew it was a bunch of things that were going to be coming up here," Jacobs said. "The nature of the business kind of tells you what you have to do. The way things are going and being a money-driven business, you never know what you are going to be presented with ever. So I want to give myself the best chance I can possibly give myself and my family to have another solid three to four years."

The Giants liked what they saw from Jacobs last season. He gained 823 yards on 147 carries for an average of 5.6 yards per carry. He also had nine touchdowns.

Coach Tom Coughlin and general manager Jerry Reese said they would like to add to Jacobs' workload a bit more this season.

Jacobs was asked whether he still wants to be the starter on the team even though the top job belongs to Bradshaw.

"For the competitive edge that we all have," Jacobs answered. "If he got it, he got it. That doesn't bother me at all. Just give me what I think I can do. Just give a little more carries and let me get out there and play as hard as I can."

Jacobs said all the right things Thursday, including when asked about the Jets.

Normally the running back might have a few choice words for the Jets, especially after Rex Ryan declared the Jets "big brother" in town.

But Jacobs said it's just the preseason and the two teams still have to meet on Christmas Eve when the rivalry surely will get more heated.

"Rex [Ryan] is coaching the Jets," Jacobs said. "I would be upset with Rex if he said anything different. He's supposed to feel that way. We are two football teams that are playing out of one city. It is what it is. We're going to get in there and we are going to play. It's going be dog eat dog in there. They have a good team. We have a good team. We'll see where it goes."

Perhaps Plaxico Burress' addition to the Jets has softened Jacobs' feelings toward them. Jacobs is looking forward to seeing his good friend Saturday.

"He is looking good, man," Jacobs said. "And I expect him to look good every time he steps on a football field. He's a competitive guy; he wants to win. I'm glad he had a chance to come out and play in his first game and have a couple of catches and be productive."

Ohm Youngmisuk has covered the Giants, Jets and the NFL since 2006. Prior to that, he covered the Nets, Knicks and the NBA for nearly a decade. He joined ESPNNewYork.com after working at the New York Daily News for almost 12 years and is a graduate of Michigan State University.
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