Ward intrigues Giants

Among the several roster moves the Giants made during the bye week, the signing of running back Derrick Ward off the Jets practice squad raised the most eyebrows. That's because Ward impressed many, especially with a standout performance at the Blue-Gray Classic, which was believed to be the best running back performance since Pitt product and current Jets star Curtis Martin tore up Mobile, Ala. in 1994. <BR><BR>

His presence as a possible short-yardage back could further damage the current situation of Ron Dayne, who apparently is being phased out of New York's offensive game-plan. Coughlin said he plans to immediately add Ward to the running back mix.

"We're going to take a good look at him,” Coughlin said. "He's got outstanding power, good size, so we're excited about working him and finding out really what he can be.

"He's just a big, wide runner, but to me that's the description of him, not necessarily converted over into any one particular area. Hopefully he's the kind of kid that will be an effective runner inside and maybe even be okay on the outside because of it."

Ward was selected by the Jets on the seventh round (235th overall) of the 2004 Draft. He was released at the end of training camp and signed to the practice squad. At Ottawa University in Kansas, Ward set an NAIA rushing record in 2003 with 2,061 rushing yards and 28 touchdowns. His 7.8 yards-per-carry also set an NAIA mark. Ward, who did not play football in 2001 and 2002, rushed for 875 yards and seven touchdowns as a freshman at Fresno State in 1999.


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