Three running backs were chosen in the first round of this year’s NFL draft, and two of them are carrying the load as rookies: Tampa Bay’s Doug Martin has 173 carries for 862 yards and Cleveland’s Trent Richardson has 152 carries for 575 yards. And then there’s Giants rookie running back David Wilson.
Wilson has 18 carries for 89 yards this season, including a grand total of three carries for two yards over the last four games, and Giants running backs coach Jerald Ingram says that’s because Wilson hasn’t learned how to play like a professional.
“David has to learn you can’t be just a runner, that’s not what we do, you have to be a complete running back, you have to be knowledgeable, you have to be smart, you can’t just accept your mistakes,” Ingram told the New York Post. “It’s about winning games, it’s not a popularity contest. It’s time for you to grow up and be a man now and see what you can do with the whole ball of wax. Until he proves that it’s hard to stick him out there and feel comfortable.”
Ingram suggested that Wilson thinks as long as he can make plays with the ball in his hands, he should be on the field — even if he doesn’t know his responsibilities in blitz pickup.
“Just because you’re a first-round draft pick doesn’t mean you’re ready to play or they all would be great,” Ingram said. “Yeah, he is explosive, but at what cost is he explosive? Is he explosive at the cost of not being able to protect well, not being able to know his job well, not being a pro?”
Wilson has been a good kickoff returner this season, so his rookie year hasn’t been a complete waste. But Ingram’s comments make clear that the Giants view Wilson as a disappointment.