EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Tom Coughlin is sick of answering questions about halfback David Wilson and his fumbles.
After being peppered Wednesday by more than a half-dozen questions about Wilson, his hands, whether he was starting this weekend against Denver and what precautions the team had taken to stop the miscues, the 67-year-old coach had had enough.
“Geez. Man, oh man, oh man, oh man, oh man, oh man,” Coughlin said at his news conference. “I can’t say any more about David Wilson, except that if I watch him in practice and his technique doesn’t improve, I’ll let you know. OK?
“I’ll let you know.”
When asked to specify what he was going to be looking for in practice, Coughlin was even more flustered. He still answered the question.
“In practice, he’s going to have to have the ball in that position all the time, not just when he thinks he’s running free and there’s nobody around him,” the coach said. “I want to see the ball in the right spot all the time. And quite frankly there’s nowhere else to go with this. I don’t know what else to say to you. I realize it’s a major issue for everybody. But there’s a way to carry the ball and there’s a way to protect the ball. Ball security is No. 1.
“And that’s what he’s going to have to demonstrate.”
Wilson didn’t do that in the 36-31 loss to Dallas in the season opener. He lost two fumbles, with one was returned for a touchdown. Later, he was benched.
Coughlin has said the team needs Wilson, so expect him to start against Denver. Another fumble, however, will probably land him deep on bench and put Da’Rel Scott or the recently signed Brandon Jacobs in the game out of what is now a shaky backfield situation.
Wilson said Coughlin has addressed the fumbling issue with him and turnovers overall with the team, which committed six. It was New York’s highest total in the last 25 years.
During practice, Coughlin even yelled “high and tight” or to put “two hands on the ball” when players carried it. Wilson made sure he did.
“From here, I am just moving forward,” Wilson said. “You can think about it too much and it will hurt your play. Right now, I am just focusing on going out there and making plays and helping my team.”
Wilson isn’t worried about losing his starting job or the subsequent criticism. His focus was on correcting the problem and making plays.
“It’s not about proving doubters wrong or anything,” Wilson said. “It’s about helping my teammates because the guys work hard to win a game.”
The Giants believe that adding Jacobs to the mix will help. A fourth-round draft pick, he played with the Giants from 2005-11 and won two Super Bowls. He signed with the San Francisco 49ers in 2012 but saw limited action and was eventually cut in December after having a falling out with the NFC champions.
“Last year was a curse I don’t want to talk about,” Jacobs said.
“It’s like a dream,” Jacobs said. “I don’t think it’s real. After that practice, I was sure I was back.”
It’s uncertain how much Jacobs will be able to help this weekend after basically being out of football for a year. He had five carries in two games.
“I think I can be as productive as any running back in the National Football League,” Jacobs said. “That’s the way I feel now. I feel fast. My weight’s down. I feel good about this opportunity I have in front of me.”
The 31-year old Jacobs is the Giants’ franchise leader with 56 rushing touchdowns. He is fourth in team history with 4,898 rushing yards.
“That’s my guy, man,” said receiver Victor Cruz, who caught three touchdowns Sunday. “I’m happy to see him back. We needed some help in that specific position and I think that he’ll definitely be a guy to not only help us on the field but help David Wilson as well, getting his morale back up, his emotional state.
“He’s going to do nothing but help this team.”
NOTES: Center David Baas (knee) practiced on a limited basis. It was his first workout since hurting his left knee on Aug. 18 in a preseason game. … CB Prince Amukamara (concussion) did not practice but he was feeling better, Coughlin said. … Rookie DE Damontre Moore (shoulder) was limited. He was hurt in the preseason opener and is being listed as day to day.
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