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Free-agent-to-be Jacobs must stay


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Monday, November 17, 2008

Last updated: Monday November 17, 2008, EST 6:55 AM

By IAN O'CONNOR

RECORD COLUMNIST

 

EAST RUTHERFORD — It was halftime of the final preseason game of 2006, and Bill Belichick was running off the field wearing that bloodless, get-out-of-my-way look when he suddenly veered off script in the tunnel and approached a familiar face.

 

"Where the [expletive] did you find that guy?" Belichick asked Ernie Accorsi, the Giants' general manager.

 

He was talking about Brandon Jacobs, the 18-wheeler who steamrolled the Patriots for 130 yards and two touchdowns, including a 57-yarder that showed off the big man's startling speed.

 

As Belichick forever prides himself on uncovering players in the most unlikely places, and in making champions of his finds, this query amounted to the ultimate compliment. Jacobs was just starting his second season, just breaking away from a past that saw him attend three colleges before he watched as 109 prospects – including 10 running backs – were taken ahead of him in the 2005 draft.

 

And here was the NFL's resident genius knowing little more than Jacobs' number and name.

 

"I look back and laugh at that draft," Jacobs said Sunday evening as he walked toward his car and headed for the Knicks' game at the Garden. "But that's OK. I beat all of those running backs to the Super Bowl, and they all wish they had my ring."

 

Jacobs walked briskly and without a limp in the parking lot, betraying nothing about the physical price he paid in the Giants' 30-10 shredding of Baltimore's fearsome defense. Jacobs had a sore knee that kept him out of a 90-yard scoring drive in the second quarter, kept him out of almost the entire second half and yet he acted like a man who had dealt out far more punishment than he received.

 

For good reason. In the first quarter alone, Jacobs rushed for 70 yards against a defense allowing 65 rushing yards per game. He went for 36 yards on his first carry, the Giants' second play from scrimmage, announcing to Ray Lewis that this would be just as long a day for the veteran linebacker as it was for the rookie quarterback, Eli Manning, in 2004, when the Ravens all but chased Eli back to Ole Miss.

 

"I only had one chance to really run into him," Jacobs said of Lewis, "and he kind of turned to the side."

 

Lewis isn't one to turn the other shoulder, or cheek, but it was easier to terrorize the Giants in the Super Bowl and again in Eli's infancy when their backfield didn't include a 6-4, 264-pound tailback who would've left Ray Nitschke cowering in his cleats.

 

"We don't like people to run on us," Lewis said. "If you're great at stopping the run, it's going to happen one day that you don't stop the run. … The first play of the game, we've got Jacobs dropped for 5 yards. He cut back and nobody contained."

 

Jacobs contained only himself, pounding away for two 1-yard touchdowns before a hit on his knee convinced him to let Ahmad Bradshaw and Derrick Ward finish the job. Jacobs said he could've kept playing, but didn't see the need.

 

He finished with 73 yards on 11 carries, and with Ravens flying off his back, rag-doll style, Jacobs could've become the first back to clear the 100-yard mark against Baltimore in 29 games.

 

Either way, Jacobs declared he actually expected the Giants to do better than their sum of 207 rushing yards. "I'm not surprised about anything that we do," he said. "We're capable of doing anything. You might see one of us fly one day."

 

He cited "technical difficulties" for the team's failure to fly higher on the ground than the stat sheet reported. "Due to one bad wheel and a 265-pound guy not being able to be out there," Jacobs said. "It could've been a lot worse."

 

For the Ravens, he meant.

 

Jacobs has come a long way from his humble roots, a million country miles from his days as a troublemaker and truant out of Napoleonville, La., a town of 700 residents wedged somewhere between the sugar cane fields south of Baton Rouge. Jacobs' coach at Assumption High, Don Torres, was listening to the Baltimore game when he stopped to give a caller the answer to the question Belichick posed to Accorsi in 2006.

 

Torres said Jacobs quit football as a freshman, played basketball for a couple of years and asked if he could rejoin the football team as a junior. The coach was no dummy. Torres immediately started the 225-pound Jacobs at fullback, switched him to tailback after a few losses and watched in awe as Jacobs broke an 80-yard touchdown run in the State playoffs.

 

"Brandon's troubles, like getting into fights, were magnified because he was in this little Podunk town and he was so much bigger than everyone else his age," Torres said. "He really matured in high school. He reminded me of Brett Favre in that he's a very emotional player, he loves to play football and he loves to hit people.

 

"Everyone told me I had him at the wrong position, that I should switch him to defensive end. Brandon rushed for 3,000 yards his senior year, so I think I made the right move."

 

Jacobs enrolled at a Kansas community college, transferred into an Auburn backfield that already featured Ronnie Brown and Cadillac Williams and left for Southern Illinois when Auburn coaches talked of moving him to linebacker. Brown and Williams were among the top five picks of the 2005 draft.

 

Jacobs wasn't chosen until the draft's second day.

 

"And now Brandon's the prototype, the kind of back everyone's looking for," Torres said. "Now he's playing in the NFL the way he played in high school, where kids were afraid to tackle him."

 

The Ravens don't scare easily. But the Meadowlands' winds scrapped the Giants' plan to throw and turned the game into a mano-a-mano – the best rushing offense against the best rushing defense – that Jacobs would win with relative ease.

 

"A lot of money out there to be made," he shouted in the winning locker room. "Free agent, baby."

 

At 9-1 and booked to return next weekend to the desert site of their Super Bowl triumph, the Giants should borrow from the Yankees' budget and pay Jacobs whatever it takes.

 

If they don't, the genius they beat in Arizona last February certainly will.

Page 1 2 >> Fit story on 1 page

 

EAST RUTHERFORD — It was halftime of the final preseason game of 2006, and Bill Belichick was running off the field wearing that bloodless, get-out-of-my-way look when he suddenly veered off script in the tunnel and approached a familiar face.

 

"Where the [expletive] did you find that guy?" Belichick asked Ernie Accorsi, the Giants' general manager.

 

He was talking about Brandon Jacobs, the 18-wheeler who steamrolled the Patriots for 130 yards and two touchdowns, including a 57-yarder that showed off the big man's startling speed.

 

As Belichick forever prides himself on uncovering players in the most unlikely places, and in making champions of his finds, this query amounted to the ultimate compliment. Jacobs was just starting his second season, just breaking away from a past that saw him attend three colleges before he watched as 109 prospects – including 10 running backs – were taken ahead of him in the 2005 draft.

 

And here was the NFL's resident genius knowing little more than Jacobs' number and name.

 

"I look back and laugh at that draft," Jacobs said Sunday evening as he walked toward his car and headed for the Knicks' game at the Garden. "But that's OK. I beat all of those running backs to the Super Bowl, and they all wish they had my ring."

 

Jacobs walked briskly and without a limp in the parking lot, betraying nothing about the physical price he paid in the Giants' 30-10 shredding of Baltimore's fearsome defense. Jacobs had a sore knee that kept him out of a 90-yard scoring drive in the second quarter, kept him out of almost the entire second half and yet he acted like a man who had dealt out far more punishment than he received.

 

For good reason. In the first quarter alone, Jacobs rushed for 70 yards against a defense allowing 65 rushing yards per game. He went for 36 yards on his first carry, the Giants' second play from scrimmage, announcing to Ray Lewis that this would be just as long a day for the veteran linebacker as it was for the rookie quarterback, Eli Manning, in 2004, when the Ravens all but chased Eli back to Ole Miss.

 

"I only had one chance to really run into him," Jacobs said of Lewis, "and he kind of turned to the side."

 

Lewis isn't one to turn the other shoulder, or cheek, but it was easier to terrorize the Giants in the Super Bowl and again in Eli's infancy when their backfield didn't include a 6-4, 264-pound tailback who would've left Ray Nitschke cowering in his cleats.

 

"We don't like people to run on us," Lewis said. "If you're great at stopping the run, it's going to happen one day that you don't stop the run. … The first play of the game, we've got Jacobs dropped for 5 yards. He cut back and nobody contained."

 

Jacobs contained only himself, pounding away for two 1-yard touchdowns before a hit on his knee convinced him to let Ahmad Bradshaw and Derrick Ward finish the job. Jacobs said he could've kept playing, but didn't see the need.

 

He finished with 73 yards on 11 carries, and with Ravens flying off his back, rag-doll style, Jacobs could've become the first back to clear the 100-yard mark against Baltimore in 29 games.

 

Either way, Jacobs declared he actually expected the Giants to do better than their sum of 207 rushing yards. "I'm not surprised about anything that we do," he said. "We're capable of doing anything. You might see one of us fly one day."

 

He cited "technical difficulties" for the team's failure to fly higher on the ground than the stat sheet reported. "Due to one bad wheel and a 265-pound guy not being able to be out there," Jacobs said. "It could've been a lot worse."

 

For the Ravens, he meant.

 

Jacobs has come a long way from his humble roots, a million country miles from his days as a troublemaker and truant out of Napoleonville, La., a town of 700 residents wedged somewhere between the sugar cane fields south of Baton Rouge. Jacobs' coach at Assumption High, Don Torres, was listening to the Baltimore game when he stopped to give a caller the answer to the question Belichick posed to Accorsi in 2006.

 

Torres said Jacobs quit football as a freshman, played basketball for a couple of years and asked if he could rejoin the football team as a junior. The coach was no dummy. Torres immediately started the 225-pound Jacobs at fullback, switched him to tailback after a few losses and watched in awe as Jacobs broke an 80-yard touchdown run in the State playoffs.

 

"Brandon's troubles, like getting into fights, were magnified because he was in this little Podunk town and he was so much bigger than everyone else his age," Torres said. "He really matured in high school. He reminded me of Brett Favre in that he's a very emotional player, he loves to play football and he loves to hit people.

 

"Everyone told me I had him at the wrong position, that I should switch him to defensive end. Brandon rushed for 3,000 yards his senior year, so I think I made the right move."

 

Jacobs enrolled at a Kansas community college, transferred into an Auburn backfield that already featured Ronnie Brown and Cadillac Williams and left for Southern Illinois when Auburn coaches talked of moving him to linebacker. Brown and Williams were among the top five picks of the 2005 draft.

 

Jacobs wasn't chosen until the draft's second day.

 

"And now Brandon's the prototype, the kind of back everyone's looking for," Torres said. "Now he's playing in the NFL the way he played in high school, where kids were afraid to tackle him."

 

The Ravens don't scare easily. But the Meadowlands' winds scrapped the Giants' plan to throw and turned the game into a mano-a-mano – the best rushing offense against the best rushing defense – that Jacobs would win with relative ease.

 

"A lot of money out there to be made," he shouted in the winning locker room. "Free agent, baby."

 

At 9-1 and booked to return next weekend to the desert site of their Super Bowl triumph, the Giants should borrow from the Yankees' budget and pay Jacobs whatever it takes.

 

If they don't, the genius they beat in Arizona last February certainly will.

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He's not going anywhere...they will resign him, probably let Ward go, and move up Bradshaw on the depth chart.

 

It maybe very difficult as it is reported he wants top money. He is worth it but the Giants also have Pierce, Webster and Eli's contract to extend; I think I am missing one or two players. Anyway depending on what Jacobs asks the Giants may not be able to sign him anyway. Considering all 3 running backs can produce at a high level I am not worried if Jacobs cannot be resigned.

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It maybe very difficult as it is reported he wants top money. He is worth it but the Giants also have Pierce, Webster and Eli's contract to extend; I think I am missing one or two players. Anyway depending on what Jacobs asks the Giants may not be able to sign him anyway. Considering all 3 running backs can produce at a high level I am not worried if Jacobs cannot be resigned.

Eli is signed through 2011

 

Jacobs, Pierce and Ward are currently in the final years and I believe O'Hara has a year left.

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Eli is signed through 2011

 

Jacobs, Pierce and Ward are currently in the final years and I believe O'Hara has a year left.

 

I believe it's just Jacobs, Ward and Webster who are in the final years.

 

Pierce signed a 6 year deal in '05.

O'Hara signed a 5 year deal last year.

 

 

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I believe it's just Jacobs, Ward and Webster who are in the final years.

 

Pierce signed a 6 year deal in '05.

O'Hara signed a 5 year deal last year.

 

Hmmmm....I thought I read about Pierce not being happy with his contract. The three you stated are the big ones plus Toomer. I doubt Toomer will want much money and should be kept as he can be very clutch. Webster could be franchised or he will get a big payday somewhere else. I think there will only be room for one with Jacobs or Ward and I've heard that the Giants want to lock down Eli long-term soon (contract expires 2010). If the Giants win another SB I am sure there will be a few more re-structuring wanted.

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Hmmmm....I thought I read about Pierce not being happy with his contract. The three you stated are the big ones plus Toomer. I doubt Toomer will want much money and should be kept as he can be very clutch. Webster could be franchised or he will get a big payday somewhere else. I think there will only be room for one with Jacobs or Ward and I've heard that the Giants want to lock down Eli long-term soon (contract expires 2010). If the Giants win another SB I am sure there will be a few more re-structuring wanted.

 

Beautiful sig Wolf. ;)

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Our draft is going to be critical this coming April.

 

Do you keep Webster, or let him go and see if Thomas can do the job? He's been looking pretty good as well. Webster might become our Ty Law: very good, shame to lose him, but we lose him to the cap.

 

I'd rather keep Jacobs than Ward, because Ware is more like Ward, but that may simply not be possible.

 

Sorry Antonio, you're just going to have to cope with your contract. We're back to ground zero with Danny Clark's 1 year contract. Wilkinson has disappointed, and Kehl and Goff haven't exactly set the world afire.

 

If we continue like this, we are going to have to get used to the idea that we will lose players in free agency, and have to pick replacements in the draft. The good news is that we'll have plenty of compensatory picks to go with, and older free agents from other teams will find us more appealing as their "last stop."

 

More good news is both our lines will be intact: and that is the real bread and butter of this team. The offensive line has been extremely productive with a number of running backs the last few years, so there's no reason to believe that they wouldn't be able to do it with other talented running backs as well.

 

What happens to Sam Madison after this year? I'm guessing he retires, but do we hire him as an assistant to Giunta? Wouldn't be a bad move, especially if Spags leaves: It would probably be between Wauffle or Giunta over who becomes the new Defensive Coordinator.

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I'm wondering who made up the quote in that article introduction: O'Conner or Accorsi.

 

My guess is Accorsi. He's been doing a fantastic job mesmorizing the local media (Francessa, O'Conner, etc.) into believing he was the visionary architect of the Super Bowl Giants. No surprise, he was always a better publicist than manager.

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In this year's draft they need to address the o-line as these guys are starting to get older.

 

 

I don't think so, I could be wrong but I think the oldest one out of the group is probably McKenzie or

O'Hara and they I think are just 30 or 31 years old.

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I'm wondering who made up the quote in that article introduction: O'Conner or Accorsi.

 

My guess is Accorsi. He's been doing a fantastic job mesmorizing the local media (Francessa, O'Conner, etc.) into believing he was the visionary architect of the Super Bowl Giants. No surprise, he was always a better publicist than manager.

 

 

But there is no Bert Jones reference!

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Hmmmm....I thought I read about Pierce not being happy with his contract. The three you stated are the big ones plus Toomer. I doubt Toomer will want much money and should be kept as he can be very clutch. Webster could be franchised or he will get a big payday somewhere else. I think there will only be room for one with Jacobs or Ward and I've heard that the Giants want to lock down Eli long-term soon (contract expires 2010). If the Giants win another SB I am sure there will be a few more re-structuring wanted.

They won't use the franchise tag on Webster, the Giants don't believe in using the franchise tag.

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Our draft is going to be critical this coming April.

 

Do you keep Webster, or let him go and see if Thomas can do the job? He's been looking pretty good as well. Webster might become our Ty Law: very good, shame to lose him, but we lose him to the cap.

 

I'd rather keep Jacobs than Ward, because Ware is more like Ward, but that may simply not be possible.

 

Sorry Antonio, you're just going to have to cope with your contract. We're back to ground zero with Danny Clark's 1 year contract. Wilkinson has disappointed, and Kehl and Goff haven't exactly set the world afire.

 

If we continue like this, we are going to have to get used to the idea that we will lose players in free agency, and have to pick replacements in the draft. The good news is that we'll have plenty of compensatory picks to go with, and older free agents from other teams will find us more appealing as their "last stop."

 

More good news is both our lines will be intact: and that is the real bread and butter of this team. The offensive line has been extremely productive with a number of running backs the last few years, so there's no reason to believe that they wouldn't be able to do it with other talented running backs as well.

 

What happens to Sam Madison after this year? I'm guessing he retires, but do we hire him as an assistant to Giunta? Wouldn't be a bad move, especially if Spags leaves: It would probably be between Wauffle or Giunta over who becomes the new Defensive Coordinator.

 

I hope the Giants draft a LB first round or make a package deal of drafts to move up and get a stud. The LB core has been the weak point for a while and needs addressing. Kehl and Goff are supposedly good but a stud LB would really cement this D with Pierce being the general.

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that's like 70 in football years...LOL

 

McKenzie is 29 and will turn 30 in May. O'Hara is 31 and will turn 32 in June. OL can usually play well into their mid-30s, so I wouldn't be preparing for their departures any time soon.

 

For what it's worth, here's the DOB for our other three starters:

 

Diehl -- Sept. 15, 1980

Seubert -- March 30, 1979

Snee -- January 18, 1982

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HA!

 

(You were joking, right?)

 

Not really. Sure, Reese has done a fine job, but Reese wouldn't even be GM without Accorsi.

 

If Young gets credit for building the Championship Teams of the 1980s, he deserves criticism for deconstructing the team following Parcell's departure.

 

It would be unfair to blame Parcells' departure on Young, but certainly, the ego clashes between the two had a lot to do with it.

 

But not since the Giants let Landry and Lombardi leave in favor of Allie Sherman have the Giants fucked up a head coaching move like letting Belichick leave and keeping Ray Handley.

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