49ers running back Brandon Jacobs has developed a habit of saying things he shouldn’t, quickly realizing it, and then trying to smooth it over. (Psychologists refer to it as the “stay cute and shut up” phenomenon.)
He did it last week, lobbying for goal-line duties over new teammate Frank Gore before deferring to the team’s No. 1 tailback.
In a recent appearance on KNBR in San Francisco, Jacobs addressed the question of whether he can still go north-south in a short-yardage situation. (It’s a good question because, recently, he hasn’t.)
“You gotta have the attitude to do it, and also you gotta have the offensive linemen in front of the back to be able to get it done,” Jacobs said, via SportsRadioInterviews.com. “I think the 49ers have what it takes to be able to get that yard. No one’s perfect — somebody’s gonna get a step on you at some point somewhere and you’re not gonna be perfect. Because we had issues. When I was with the Giants, we had issues down the line. Of course I took the blame for those [because I was] holding the ball.”
And then, in apparently the same breath, Jacobs backtracks.
“But ultimately, at the end of the day it is my fault because I do have the ball and that’s what people see,” Jacobs said. “But there’s a lot more than that going on. But like I said, I think the 49ers definitely got what it takes to be able to get that one yard. I think they had the highest percentage in the league all of last year with those conversions.”
While blocking has something to do with the ability of most running backs not named Jim Brown or Barry Sanders to get yardage, Jacobs widely has been viewed as a guy who no longer uses his size the way he once did. And so even though he quickly tried to put the toothpaste back in the tube, look for one or more Giants linemen to eventually respond.
Maybe they’ll simply tell him to “stay cute and shut up.”