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The case for keeping Ward over Jacobs

Mitty81 : 11/14/2008 6:06 pm
This author makes the case for Ward over Jacobs. Scroll down to the 2nd section.

Basically he says that Ward is the better all-around back, better receiver, better on 3rd downs. Jacobs clearly is the more physical back but how much punishment can he take with his bruising style? Also argues that Bradshaw's physical style is more similar to Jacobs, despite his size.
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Brown Hornet : 11/14/2008 7:25 pm : link
...the writer believes that Coughlin is starting the wrong guy.

Brown Hornet - not at all. The article says nothing like it.  
CL : 11/14/2008 7:30 pm : link
The article makes a case for why it may be better to re-up Ward over Jacobs if it comes to such a scenario.

Ward is getting a lot of disrespect in this thread - he's quite a running back in his own right.
The only reason  
Steve in South Jersey : 11/14/2008 7:36 pm : link
why I would sign Ward over Jacobs is the cost. The Giants need the money to sign Webster.
I'm the writer of that blurb  
boylan : 11/14/2008 8:03 pm : link
My basic point was not that Ward is a better running back or that he should be starting over Jacobs. I love Jacobs and want him to retire as a Giant. He and Tuck are my favorite players on the team and I want him getting the ball 60% to 70% of the time.

My only thought was for going into next season.

Our options:

1) Resign Jacobs and Ward. Everybody's happy! We're two-time reigning Super Bowl Champions and the world is a great place.

2) Re-sign Ward, promote Bradshaw. The two have a more even split of carries. Ward remains the 3rd down back, primary receiving back and a good backfield blocker. We lose much of our intimidation factor in the running game. Total cost $3-4 million/year.

3) Re-sign Jacobs, promote Bradshaw. Bradshaw becomes the 3rd down back. Jacobs may take an even larger burden of the carries. The running game is an incredible physical force between the two. On third down passing situations, we have a problem in the backfield. Jacobs can block, but cannot catch. Bradshaw is an unknown, but I would not presume that a 5'9 195lb player is the best blocker. He's an amazing runner when he's dishing out the punishment - but receiving it in pass-blocking is problem. Total cost - $5-6 million/year.

In conclusion, Jacobs is possibly the better running back (although the Football Outsiders stats say they are roughly equal) - but his peak value comes from short yardage situations - which Bradshaw does well at. Ward is the better receiver and is likely a better blocker than Bradshaw, who would have to replace him on third down.

If I have to pick 1 back, I likely pick Jacobs. If I have to pick two, I pick Ward and Jacobs. If one of the two has to be Bradshaw - Ward is a better and cheaper compliment.

Now, bring on the flames!
sshin05 : 11/14/2008 8:25 pm : link
surprisingly can break tackles as well. However, i do think Jacobs physicality has nothing to do with guys not being able to tackle ward. Two physical backs in jacobs and bradshaw would not give the opposing team any breathers in my opinion. Dont forget we have Danny Ware waiting in the wings. He's got potential to be just as good as Ward.
Ward is terrific  
Peter from CT : 11/14/2008 8:58 pm : link
He's not Jacobs however. Jacobs changes the way defenses have to cover the field. Ward doesn't.

Ware looks like he can be another Ward. No one looks like another Jacobs.......
KWALL : 11/14/2008 9:04 pm : link
"peak value comes from short yardage situations"? That's BS. He's one of the best in the league on 1st or 2nd and 10.

Ward is a good player.

Jacobs is a great player.

Keep Jacobs.
Ware does change the equation  
boylan : 11/14/2008 9:11 pm : link
I didn't really take him into consideration because I haven't seen enough of him against starting defenses to make sure - but if he can fulfill the Ward role, then that pushes this back onto the Jacobs side of things.

Don't get me wrong - I love Jacobs - but he is a product of this offensive line as much as Ward is. Once Jacobs gets past the line of scrimmage, he is one of the top 5 backs in this league. Before the line of scrimmage, if the defense gets penetration, Jacobs cannot evade the tackle if he hasn't built up a head of steam.

Jacobs would decline in a mediocre O line  
Chef Fortunato : 11/14/2008 9:14 pm : link
I think most know this, thus the evaluation process continues regarding his next contract. He needs some downhill to gain speed and momentum. And do to this he is not the best short yardage back some may claim he is. Bradshaw is explosive and can do alot more than his leash gives him. I will gaurantee Bradshaw is included in the long run plans of the Giants.
I think we had this discussion  
Spock : 11/14/2008 9:35 pm : link
See Ware.
Peter - toally agree  
Cal in ATL : 11/14/2008 9:38 pm : link
Ware looked a lot like Ward in the preseason. I would love to see Ware get a few game carries. Funny, last year I thought Ward often looked better than Jacobs, this year I've been really impressed with Jacobs, not as much with Ward.
Cal in ATL : 11/14/2008 9:42 pm : link
You may be right, but the combination of Jacobs and the o-line is pretty imposing and wears down/intimidates defenses. That is where Jacobs has his value, he is a great combo with the o-line.
Chef Fortunato : 11/14/2008 10:00 pm : link
Agreed, but Ward doesn't have that value? He is not a small man by any means and can run behind most lines
Cal in ATL : 11/14/2008 10:08 pm : link
I think Jacobs is unique - 270lbs, speed, good feet and vision. Don't get me wrong, Ward is big and runs well, but he is more of a commodity than Jacobs. Like I said on the previous thread I would have been on the other side of this debate most of last year. Since then I've watched Jacobs hammer people and for a d-back to have to deal with him has to be demoralizing. I totally agree with you on the o-line, without the right line and scheme, he wouldn't be a much of a factor.
Cal in ATL : 11/14/2008 10:13 pm : link
I agree 100% with respect to Bradshaw. I think he is the best short yardage option. I do worry a little about durability and ball security if sees more time.
Chef Fortunato : 11/14/2008 10:15 pm : link
I bet Bradshaw or even Ward scores on that 4th and Goal VS PITT. Hindsight is always 20/20 but a more athletic back would have more options on that play..
I think the point is  
oipolloi : 11/14/2008 10:16 pm : link
that if you sign Ward instead of Jacobs, it saves money and allows you to resign another one of the Giants numerous free agents

so would you rather have BJ or Ward and Butler?

probably BJ

but what about Ward and Webster or BJ. Or ward and Cofield or BJ?

Need the  
Chef Fortunato : 11/14/2008 10:22 pm : link
Great point - I'm not sure  
Cal in ATL : 11/14/2008 10:25 pm : link
what Jacobs could command in the market, but if the front office feels he is too expensive and the money is better spent else where, so be it. What makes me optimistic is that I have total faith in the front office to make the right call and the coaching staff to adjust the game plan to play to the strenghs of the personnel. I wouldnt have said that 3-4 years ago.
I'd rather retain Ward and Webster  
j_rud : 11/14/2008 10:35 pm : link
over just Jacobs. I dont think we'll be able to bring back all 3 of them. I love Brandon, hell I even predicted we would draft him in my mock in 05 (the only accurate pick I have EVER had lol, CL can back me up on this). He's so much fun to watch, and I would hate to see him leave. At the same time, we cant cripple ourselves financially at a position whose production I am 100% positive can be replicated by other guys on the roster.
The Giants are going to ride Brandon Jacobs  
Mark C : 11/14/2008 10:52 pm : link
until he breaks down. This team is dominating the NFL with a running attack that's pushing 170 ypg. Does anybody honestly think that they're going to start pinching pennies by letting the centerpiece of that attack walk? Come on. Anybody who watches the Giants every week knows that Ward is a good RB, but he is in no way a replacement for what BJ does. Jacobs' running style is every bit a signature of this championship team as its pass rush is, and, barring injury, the organization would be absolutely nuts to mess with that.
Its nice to see Cofields name in this thread...  
lono801 : 11/14/2008 10:58 pm : link
Lets not see him go as well......

So can someone give me a reason The Giants cant sign both Ward and Jacobs next year?

Just ask Wilson what the money brought him...

Its the 25,000 Dollar Question....Where you gonna make the money?

With a Winner or a Loser?
Didn't even read anything in here  
GiantInMaine : 11/14/2008 11:28 pm : link
except the headline and there is no case to be made for that period.
Not choosing sides here  
Blackbeard : 11/14/2008 11:37 pm : link
but I want to comment on the ability of running backs to pick up the blitzers on 3rd down.
Agreed that both Ward and Jacobs do a great job, and that Bradshaw is much smaller than either one.
But, Bradshaw is very strong and compact. He doesn't weigh much less than Tiki Barber, who was very good at picking up the blitzers.
If a man of Bradshaw's build and strength learns how to use leverage (hit 'em low), he can do a good job.
Now, if he doesn't have the smarts to learn how to do it, that's another story.
boylan , great of you to jump in, but might I suggest you watch more  
BlueLou : 11/15/2008 12:41 am : link
game film and do less number crunching? Let Reese figure out how to sign Jacobs, Webster, and Cofield. Ward, anyway we might get him back because the guy is NOT gonna command that much on the open market, unless CL signs him. Nobody's gonna offer Ward more than 2.5 mill a year, not heavily front loaded, not with his skill set and injury history. He's not fast enough and not durable enough.
Eggs55 : 11/15/2008 2:02 am : link
is no case and i would keep Jacobs over Ward + any of our other Free agents
The funny thing is this thread  
boylan : 11/15/2008 2:17 am : link
may be an example of why the Giants would have to go with Jacobs. I don't think the fan base would tolerate picking Ward over Jacobs directly, unless Jacobs starts making noise about getting paid.
boylan, are you an understated comic or do you actually believe  
BlueLou : 11/15/2008 3:45 am : link
anything you write? You think now the reason the Giants will or "will have to sign" Jacobs is the fan base's opinion? LOL. That's like the White House going to war because of public opinion... they'll make the public opinion whatever the hell they want it to be. See Jeremy Shockey part II or for that matter the War in Iran and their WMDs...
boylan : 11/15/2008 3:54 am : link
That last line was just a throw-away. I don't actually believe it. I believe the rest of what I've wrote - but before I submitted that last one, I actually thought about how it would break down if the Giants decided to go with Ward over Jacobs.

First, we'd hear leaks about Jacobs' unreasonable contract demands. Then the Giants would publicly say something about how they'd love to have him back, but they can't break up the team to do so - followed immediately by another leak about how Jacobs doesn't care about the team and is only about the money, which would include a random anecdote about one time when he did something non team-like.

So, BlueLou, you're right. That last comment wasn't serious. I have full and complete faith in the Giants front office to do what is best for this team.

However, I still stand behind the original thought that Ward may be the better choice after this season if only one can stay and we take money into account. If Ware can step up and fill the Ward role, though, I would reconsider.
boylan, I'd throw two more considerations into the mix for you.  
BlueLou : 11/15/2008 6:13 am : link
1st is the relationship between Bradshaw and Jacobs. The media reports that all 3 RBs get along very well and support each other, but watching the sidelines shows an exceptionally strong rapport and mutual respect between BJac and AB. I doubt the coaching staff would want to break that up. 2nd is that Jacobs has noticably improved this year in several regards, including his pass blocking, reading of holes, elusiveness (getting through the second level and into space instead of trucking someone every run) and running with his shoulders lower to the ground. He's 2 years younger than Ward, and from a small college program, so he'll likely to continue to improve, whereas Ward is probably at his peak right now.

Lastly again I don't think signing Jacobs will ask for boatloads of $$, and I think Ward won't command that much at all. Everone in the league can see how well the Giants' OL is performing this year so I'm not sure either Jacobs or Ward will have megabucks thrown at them. On the flip side some marquee highly paid FAs didn't do much at all for their new clubs this year (see Oakland & D. Hall, J. Walker.)
Pardon the diction,  
BlueLou : 11/15/2008 6:14 am : link
gotta fire my editor.
My feeling is that  
BigBlueinDE : 11/15/2008 11:26 am : link
Jacobs stays as Ward will get full time money elsewhere.

Don't forget about Danny Ware.
nygirlie : 11/15/2008 3:41 pm : link
Problem is Reese has been negotiating with jacobs' agent all preseason to no avail. BJ is supposedly asking for around 5 years $45 million with $15 up front.
I love the Ward,and was touting him over Jacobs last year and earlier.  
mudbear : 11/15/2008 3:53 pm : link
But Jacobs has improved every year, to the point where he's a genuine tailback out there bustin' chops and runnin' to daylight.

Jacobs has not been able to do what he does for an entire game. That's why the three-headed "Cerberus" backfield is more effective than any one RB by himself. But Jacobs has improved every year. Who's to say that he won't improve to the point where he's an every-down, feature back next year? The simple fact is that all three of our RBs who get time are effective behind this line. We really need to sign all three of them, but the only one of them who hasn't made a habit of coughing up the ball so far is Ward. (And Ward caught seven passes only a couple of games or so ago.)

From this point of view, Ward is as indispensable as Jacobs. Bradshaw is a luxury, but what a luxury to have! He reminds me of Quinton Griffin at Oklahoma when they won the national title. Quinton never translated to the NFL. Bradshaw sure has.

Anyway, I say "sign 'em all." Three good running backs is better than two, is better than one; and that doesn't include Reuben Droughns!
mudbear - sign'em all. Sounds great, but how do we then hang  
CL : 11/15/2008 3:59 pm : link
onto Webster? Cofield? Ohara? etc.
mudbear : 11/15/2008 4:04 pm : link
If we hold onto those three, plus keep our OL intact and keep the Boss, then the core of our personality and the core of our success is intact. After a running game, the only other elements which are key to success, imo, are a good kicker and a good LB corps (or DL corps, in our case). Run the ball and stop the run. That's 80% of victory right there. Eli and John Carney provide the rest.
Ward will cost too much  
Kyle : 11/15/2008 4:05 pm : link
He's more valuable to other teams than he is to us.

Jacobs, in a sense, is as well, but the difference in proportion isn't as great. I say this because Danny Ware, in all likelihood, can replicate Ward's success at a much cheaper price, whereas the Giants will be hard pressed to replace a player like Jacobs. His production, measured in sheer numbers? Probably not so much. There is, however, more to it than just cumulative rushing yards in evaluating an RB.

Further down in the article (read it last night), one of the game charters says:

My Favorite Player in the NFL: Why doesn't anyone make a huge deal about what a freak Brandon Jacobs is? The only two defensive players on the field that are bigger than him are the tackles. The only two defensive players on the field faster than him are the cornerbacks.

mudbear : 11/15/2008 4:09 pm : link
Against Philly, Jacobs looked like no-one other than Terrell effing Davis out there. 8 yards a pop. 3-5 yards before a defender even lays a hand on him, and another 3-5 yards just by laying into the defender(s) and falling forward.

Part of the reason why Terrell Davis was so great is the same reason why Brandon Jacobs is so awesome right now. That Denver OL blew out defenders, and our OL is blowing them out at an even more prodigious rate. But both Terrell and Brandon had and have what it takes to take advantage of such an OL to the extreme.
...But Ward doesn't fumble the ball,  
mudbear : 11/15/2008 4:13 pm : link
and catches it better than Jacobs. And he also knows how to lay the wood at the end of the run. But mostly he doesn't fumble the ball. (Dang I don't like it though how when he DOES miss a catch, he always seems to deflect the ball UPWARD!)
mudbear: exactly Jacobs' biggest strength  
Kyle : 11/15/2008 4:13 pm : link
Unless a run blitz hits Jacobs in one or two yards into the backfield, he simply does not lose yards on his runs. Excellent defense that would, against other players, cause a 2nd & 10 results in a 2nd & 7 against Jacobs because he can bull, push and simply fall forward with his body mass and pick up extra yards.

Throw that into when he gets through the line relatively cleanly and you wind up seeing many arm tackles get laughed off.

A good friend who is an Eagles fan put it thusly:
- Jacobs is a damn good back
- He would not make a bad team good because he needs the blocking
- He DOES make a good team great, more than other running backs can, because he adds a dimension on top of what they have that no other running back can.

I tend to agree.

He needs that initial blocking to get going, so he requires a good offensive line, but from there he brings a lot of abilities to the table that most running backs simply do not.

And not everyone has the luxury of the Minnesota Vikings, in having Adrian Peterson. We have Adrian Peterson split amongst three RBs here.
Terrell Davis rushed for 2000 yards and won two SBs and  
mudbear : 11/15/2008 4:22 pm : link
got an MVP trophy. If you HAVE to spend the big bucks on ONE of them, then sign the Jacobs. But I'd make a serious effort to keep all three. Such a backfield helps Antonio Pierce do his job as much as it helps Eli.
re-sign to new deals:  
CardinalX : 11/16/2008 2:43 pm : link
Jacobs, Ward, Webster, Tollefson & Hixon

give whatever cap-friendly deal we can give to Toomer if he wants it
anyone else  
80offensive : 11/16/2008 3:18 pm : link
gunna rip ross?
A BBI classic  
KWALL : 11/16/2008 4:41 pm : link
Jacobs "would not make a bad team good because he needs the blocking".

This kind of stuff just makes me laugh.

Kyle : 11/16/2008 5:54 pm : link
So you think Brandon Jacobs would take a team with a shoddy offensive line and elevate that team's play regardless?

Glad to see you completely missed the point on TWO fronts: 1) the context and 2) my paraphrasing a friend saying that.

You're not too adept at reading, are you?
What's the problem?  
KWALL : 11/16/2008 11:22 pm : link
I find it amusing an Eagles fan says Jacobs "Needs the blocking". Funny in the same way when I hear his "peak value is in short yardage". Nothing but BS.

Seems to me his peak value is in first and 10. That's what I see and his numbers are the best in the league over the past 2 years on first and 10.

Can he elevate a team? Are you kidding me? What's your friend watching? Put him on a below avg team and he's still an impact player. Even throw in a below avg QB and Jacobs is one of the few RBs in the league you can lean on to change a game and get a subpar team some wins.

He's a great player. He doesn't "need" blocking any more than Ward or any other RB. We saw it on the first run today. We see it every game when he gets hit early and still gains 4-6 yards on a carry.

Nobody in the league is better after contact. How that add up to "he needs the blocking" is a mystery to me.
Blue Blood : 11/16/2008 11:43 pm : link
who doesnt understands Jacobs value by now is either stupid or delusional.
The Jacobs fumbling issue? Enough to make Ward  
glowrider : 11/17/2008 2:14 am : link
more important? Give me a fucking break.

Tiki had a fumbling issue. Kerry Collins had a fumbling issue.

Jacobs dropped a few - it is coachable. Pay the big guy the money. You can replace a Derek Ward (especially with our o-line). You can't find another Jacobs out there.
Oh, and I'm a HUGE Ward fan  
glowrider : 11/17/2008 2:15 am : link
but he's not Brandon.
after today  
Eggs55 : 11/17/2008 2:17 am : link
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