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Running Backs

Phil from WNY : 12/13/2013 2:01 pm
I probably start on average one thread a year so here's my 2013 attempt. As I've written in other threads, I really want to see the Giants re-develop a power running game because I consider it to be one of the key ingredients for the success of Eli and the downfield passing game.

I don't know why people have such a strong aversion to Peyton Hillis for personal reasons because I have very little interest in the players when they're off the field. For football reasons, I really like him on the Giants because he represents power running which I believe is critical to success in the Northeast in December.

I'd like to see the Giants feature Andre Brown and Peyton Hillis in the running game with David Wilson in a similar role to Darren Sproles. Both Brown and Hillis run with power and attitude and that's something the Giants have missed since Jacobs left for San Fran.

Yes, I know that Brown gets hurt a lot and that Hillis is as fast as an Olineman but with a couple of new guards to open holes in front of them, it represents a cheap gamble.
not nearly enough talent there  
aquidneck : 12/13/2013 2:10 pm : link
Hillis is just a guy, albeit maybe just a guy who happens to play a style you appreciate. Given the 3 guys you list we still need to bring in at least one and maybe two new guys who figure to contribute in 2014. Wilson and Brown both may be talented, but both are also damaged goods. Need multiple back up plans.
I would be okay going in to next year...  
okiegiant : 12/13/2013 2:12 pm : link
with Brown(assuming healthy)Hillis, Cox, and Wilson.

With other holes to fill this represents a low cost fix that might actually be productive. It really hinges on Brown being healthy and Wilson returning to something close to his rookie form.
I agree with the concept. It's basically the old  
Victor in CT : 12/13/2013 2:12 pm : link
Parcells/Earhardt offense. Problem is that they don't have 1 RB on the roster who can be counted on to even be healthy for a whole season, let alone play at a high level. Brown is always hut, Hillis is older and fuumble prone, and Wilson is a HUGE ? in every way. And they don't have a real TE, or even just a good blocking TE. And they need more help on the OL

This team needs major work.
I think the Brown-Hillis  
bob in tx : 12/13/2013 2:12 pm : link
tandem looks very possible for 2014, and who knows about Wilson. I even have a late draft pick as a 3rd option as a big RB: Malcolm Brown, UT. 6th round. 5'11", 225 lbs, low mileage until Grey was injured. 4.60
Does Wilson  
pjcas18 : 12/13/2013 2:14 pm : link
have good hands? I'd like to see more RB screens. Bradshaw used to get 30 - 40 passes a year, so a few a game.

Haven't seen it much the past couple years.

Phil from WNY : 12/13/2013 2:14 pm : link
I agree that he's not a big talent but in the right system, I believe he can be extremely effective. He won't break any long runs but he can wear down a defense and make safeties play close enough to the line of scrimmage to open up downfield routes. Lastly, he'd come cheap and given the cap, that is important.
Phil from WNY : 12/13/2013 2:16 pm : link
I'd love to see Wilson get running back screens. I'd also love to see him in the backfield with Hillis at times.
Giants need to figure out Wilson's skill set....  
kinard : 12/13/2013 2:18 pm : link
... you can't simply designate him as a "Darren Sproles" because Wilson hasn't shown any aptitude for catching the football.

Wilson has 6 receptions in 21 games he's played.

Conversely at this point in his career, Sproles averages between 65-70 catches per year.
I would be happy if the Giants brought in another back...  
okiegiant : 12/13/2013 2:21 pm : link
and Wilson became a full time return man.

agreed Phil  
aquidneck : 12/13/2013 2:25 pm : link
given just the right circumstances, Hillis could be a valuable role player. That's by definition a fragile situation. It's also a possibility (god forbid) that Wilson flames out or Brown gets hurt again. Cox represents possibility, but there's nothing you can count on there obviously. We need to hedge our bets by bringing in at least one more guy who figures to contribute.
Hillis has performed well. he can catch the ball and runs hard  
gtt350 : 12/13/2013 2:33 pm : link
I would be surprised if he is not at least in camp next season
Phil makes great sense as usual.  
Red Dog : 12/13/2013 2:43 pm : link
These guys (Brown, Hillis, Cox, and Wilson) are here now, under contract or easy to resign for "small" money, and can contribute if used the right way in the right offense.

The other current needs including OL, WR, TE, and on defense are so great that it makes absolutely no sense to invest major picks or dollars in another back until the OL and some of the other positions are significantly reinforced.

It doesn't matter who is carrying the ball if the OL and TE can't open holes for them, and if the receivers aren't enough of a threat to make the defense keep at least four or five men out of the box. And consistently moving the ball on the ground keeps the other offense off the field.

So fix the line, get a couple real TEs who can block, add another receiver who can actually play, and pound the ball down the opponent's throat. When they put 8 in the box to stop it, then throw downfield.
Giants should draft a RB on the third day who can  
jeff57 : 12/13/2013 3:01 pm : link
be a factor in the passing game. Charles Sims of West Virginia is such player. Might be able to get him the 4th round.

Phil from WNY : 12/13/2013 3:02 pm : link
Where did I designate anything? I said that "I would like to see" Wilson in a "similar" role to Darren Sproles. Do you see what I did there? "I would like to see" represents a wish not a designation.

I bet you'd like to see it as well - assuming Wilson can do it.
Brown has done very well,  
TC : 12/13/2013 3:03 pm : link
and perhaps has finally worked out his injury jinx. I've hardly ever seen a player suffer more weird cr*p than he has. Tore his Achilles running down the field. BROKE his leg, running down the field.

But his talent and experience should keep him in the mix. Wilson is a wild card, great talent, but used how? And will he ever play again?

To me, Hillis is money in the bank. If the Giants are going to play a power game, absolutely keep him. He can block, he can catch, and most importantly, pick up short yardage. He may often only get a yard or two, but he will almost never lose any. And that's been very rare for Giants backs.

Beyond that, add a decent mid-level RB from the draft. There are always some, and a potential all-purpose RB with some power WILL be there in the 3rd or 4th. Add a couple of UDFA flyers, mix and pour.
Victor brings up a great point about fumbles  
Phil from WNY : 12/13/2013 3:04 pm : link
but TC has shown an aptitude in teaching ball-protection. What is Hillis worth if he improves his fumbling?
Thanks RD  
Phil from WNY : 12/13/2013 3:05 pm : link
As difficult as this year has been, I'm really, really looking forward to next year.
Phil from WNY : 12/13/2013 3:12 pm : link
It's likely that Nicks is gone after this year but it's possible that he played and priced himself off the wish list of other teams. If the Giants can isolate the reason for his poor play, they may be able to sign him for a cheaper price than they would have earlier this year.

If they can sign him,the need for a WR is reduced and the Giants can focus on OL, DE, and CB in the draft.
If I didn't say it, I do like Hillis. He has great football instincts  
Victor in CT : 12/13/2013 3:13 pm : link
and he runs hard.
I agree with you Phil  
Optimus-NY : 12/13/2013 3:13 pm : link
My only addition to that is that Hills would be your 3rd or 4th guy. Using Wilson in a Sproles type role is ideal (provided he's healthy). I would like to add one more RB to the mix though with Andre Brown (assuming he's re-signed in FA) to go along with Wilson, and Hillis.

Gimmee this and I'll be good:
Andre Brown, a mid-round draft pick at RB, Hillis, & Wilson.

Fullback - Conner or Hyno (preferrably Conner after they both compete in training camp).
I am a fan off Hillis. I think he has value to this team  
dangerousrappingfrog : 12/13/2013 3:25 pm : link
and have said as much before. He can be a useful powerback and can catch and run. Very few negative plays with him.
Thanks for the semantics lesson Phil....  
kinard : 12/13/2013 3:30 pm : link
... You're right. I would like to see Wilson in a Sproles- type of role too. I also would like to see Brandon Myers in a similar role to Jimmy Graham role as well (see what I did there) but that's an unrealistic expectation because of the limitations in Meyers' game.

I do think its interesting that Wilson was not a bad receiver in a college. His pass catching numbers at V. Tech were very similar to Sproles' at Kansas State and even Tiki's at Virginia (the guy whose game I was really hoping he would emulate).

I'm with you though, I would love to see Wilson in that role as well. Personally (and I know some people feel differently), I think he has been completely mishandled by the Giants coaching staff and just hope that perhaps someday he becomes more Tiki than Rocky (Thompson - that is).

While I may not be as sold on Peyton Hillis as you are, and don't think that the Giants can even contemplate a power running game until they shore up their offense line, your point is well taken.
Mark from Jersey : 12/13/2013 3:32 pm : link
Hillis with a guy like LeGarret Blount and I'm in!
Blount can't catch or block as well.  
dangerousrappingfrog : 12/13/2013 3:39 pm : link
I like Blount, but I don't think he is as versatile as Hillis.
kinard - good one!  
Phil from WNY : 12/13/2013 4:43 pm : link
I agree Wilson has been somewhat mishandled by the staff but I'm hopeful it will be rectified in the off-season. It seems like they had visions of being a wide-open attack in the last off-season - kind of a like an Air Coryell with Wilson being more like James Brooks.

I'm OK with that approach as long as they've got a good line and a power running attack. Eddie Lacy would have been a nice addition to the team in that role but not at the expense of Hankins.
Nice thread Phil !!  
dune69 : 12/13/2013 5:42 pm : link
I think you should think about starting 4 or 5 threads in 2014.

I am a big fan of power running. I think we missed Bradshaw's second and third efforts this year. We need to get this o-line upgraded to push the line of scrimmage and open some holes. A good offensive line can make a good back look fantastic.
Speakig of RBs...  
86bigtuna : 12/13/2013 6:27 pm : link
What about Andre Williams out of BC...anybody no about his draft stock ...he seams like a Giants type back.
Guess we didn't learn our lesson  
Doomster : 12/13/2013 10:54 pm : link
with Wilson/Brown this year.....

This team has to walk away from guys with medical histories.....we may have wasted a #1 pick on a kick returner.....I don't trust Brown to stay healthy......Hillis is slow......The Giants do not have a power running OL.....they don't even have an OL......Cox is a disappointment.....

We need a Fast RB, who can block, and catch passes.....maybe someone becomes a cap casualty......
You guys realize  
djm : 12/13/2013 11:19 pm : link
That one of the big reasons why this team sits at 5-8 is because of the play of every RB on this roster not named Andre Brown, right? Shittiest rushing attack in football until Brown came back and even then it wasn't all that great and some of you want to go to battle with the same group in 2014??? It was all on the OL this season? Is that it?

No thanks. I want a serious talent infusion to the RB spot in 2014. Brown is fine. Wilson can try to show something if he's even allowed to play but Who knows what this guy can do.
I am very concerned that would turn out  
Rick5 : 12/14/2013 8:03 am : link
to be a pedestrian group, but I completely agree that there are bigger fish that need to fried. They may have to go with that group (assuming Wilson's career isn't over).
Joe in Cambridge : 12/15/2013 2:11 am : link
The Giants rushing attack improved before Brown returned. Jacobs had a pretty good game against the Bears and Hillis was solid against the Eagles in the couple of weeks prior to Brown being taken off the PUP. The problem with the running game has been the OL, but they have improved somewhat at run blocking since the beginning of the year and Connor has been excellent since he arrived.
Agre with djm  
Some Fan : 12/15/2013 3:02 am : link
Brown changes our offense for the better. the rest of our RBs are nothing gow write home about.
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