(CBSNewYork)- Former New York Giants running back Brandon Jacobs has been retired from the NFL since 2014 and he’s been staying involved in the game by coaching high school kids and running a youth program. Now, eight years after hanging up the cleats, he’s ready to get back on the field himself but at a new position: defensive end.
“I think I can do it. I think I can come back. And no disrespect to all the guys that play defensive end who play on a high level, I feel like I can do it,” Jacobs told CBS 2’s Steve Overmyer. “I feel like I got the size, I got the speed and strength to go out and whoop any tackle on any given day.”READ MORE: NYC Primary Day: Polls Open For Voters To Choose Next Mayor
After eight seasons away from the game, the big question is why now? What made this moment the right time to make the switch to the defensive side of the ball and attempt to return to the league? Jacobs says it’s simple. He wants to prove to his athletes the power of believing in yourself.
“I’m a high school football coach and I run a youth program. Believing in yourself and never saying I can’t. That’s part of the reason for this whole thing to motivate the kids around me,” Jacobs said. “‘Coach Brandon went back and played and coach Brandon doing good and coach Brandon taught us and coach Brandon coached us. I want to go do what coach Brandon did. I’m going to believe in myself like coach Brandon does.’ That’s my whole reason for any of this.”READ MORE: Primary Election Day Guide For Voters In New York
The Super Bowl winning running back says that ever since walking away from the game he’s felt like he had more to give particularly on the defensive side of the ball noting that he probably should have been playing end from the start.
“I’ve been feeling since I’ve been done that I still had something left in the tank. I think defensive end is something that I should have been playing to begin with but I was real stubborn when it came down to moving to that position,” Jacobs said. “I feel like I can do that. I feel like I can play not even just this season but another three or four years at that position.”
A 5,000 yard rusher over the course of his nine year career, Jacobs was known for his physical, punishing running style more often choosing to run through tacklers than around them. That type of mentality could serve him well on the defensive side of the ball. But, in order to do so, he’ll need an opportunity. He says his agent has had some conversations but he’s not sure how that process is going. Either way he just wants a shot to prove what he can do.MORE NEWS: Road To Reopening: Dance Parties, Watch Parties Feature Happy Crowds In New York City And Beyond
“There are a few out there that my agent is talking to. I’m not quite sure how it’s going. I just want to get an opportunity and get in training camp. Whether I make the first cut or the last cut I want an opportunity to get in training camp and show what I can do,” Jacobs said.