Rook dancing back into Coughlin's good graces

Befitting his outgoing personality Giants rookie halfback Brandon Jacobs has been searching for a stylish way to express his individuality in the end zone. It's a place he's growing very familiar, having already visited five times on only 26 carries in just eight games, which ties him with Tiki Barber for the most rushing touchdowns on the team.

Since he expects to visit many more times, and wanted something people could associate him with, he packed a piece of choreography for the trip to California. Just in case he needed it.

After he scored for the second time in San Francisco Nov. 6, Jacobs debuted what he calls "The Worldwide," a disjointed looking thing he put together with the help of a couple of teammates at a college bowl game.

"What you saw isn't really the way it goes," Jacobs said. ""I'm supposed to point all around the sky at first, but I didn't do that because I had to get off the field. I'm really supposed to give the whole look. And then the hips go that way and your arms go.

"It's something I'm going to do. Everyone has their dance. It may not look good, but don't tell me the Ickey Shuffle looked good, either. And that giddy-up thing the Denver Broncos do. That's terrible. Now I've got mine."

Not for long, it seems. Jacobs' boss, Giants coach Tom Coughlin, doesn't approve of demonstrative behavior and has promised to speak to Jacobs about curtailing his show.

"I don't think it's necessary," Coughlin said.

After the Giants 24-6 win over the 49ers, Jacobs said Coughlin approached him when he returned the sideline after loafing into the end zone on his cut-back 1-yard score to the right.

"It [the play] was designed to go left, but I didn't see anyone over on the right and no one followed me, which is why I took my time," Jacobs said. "Coach let me hear about it, so I doubt I'll do that again. You can't take your time getting into the end zone like that."

Jacobs also said Coughlin questioned him about his dance, but Coughlin said his comments were misinterpreted or misunderstood.

"He [Coughlin] said, ‘Where did that "Cabbage Patch" stuff come from?'" Jacobs said.

With customary abruptness Coughlin dismissed that version of the conversation when asked by the media.

"Well, again, I see where everyone is making a big deal out of this," Coughlin said. "First of all, I didn't say what's been attributed to me. He [Jacobs] misunderstood me, too. I said, ‘Where did the cutback come from?' That's what I first went to him for. He had cut the ball all the way back and quite frankly, I didn't even notice whatever that was he was doing in the end zone. What did you see that forced you to do that? I could see on tape after looking at the film why he did it.

"But, he's very coachable and he'll do the right thing."

Coughlin doesn't want his affection for Jacobs overlooked. Along with being the biggest back in the NFL – he's 6-4, 267 pounds – he also one of the most enthusiastic. And Coughlin loves energy.

"I understand you can't take your time getting into the end zone like that," Jacobs said. "But it was a great game for me because we needed those two touchdowns to put it away. The [49ers] defense played hard. They were really getting after it on us. He was giving me stuff about the dance, but it was nothing all that important."

Jacobs has fulfilled his promise as a potent short-yardage back. All of his touchdowns have been in the shadow of the goal line, a weapon the team did not have when Ron Dayne was getting those carries.

Against the 49ers he became the first Giants rookie to score two touchdowns in a game since Sept. 2, 1984, when Bobby Johnson caught scoring passes of 35 and 16 from Phil Simms in a 28-27 victory over Philadelphia.

Jacobs became the first Giants rookie with two rushing touchdowns in a game since Greg Bell scored on runs of two and 21 yards in a 28-16 victory against Seattle on Nov. 28, 1976.

"He has a role on this team, which is something we've been talking about since training camp," Barber said. "All the running backs on this team have roles and functions and he performs his very well."

Jacobs has also recovered from his most ominous error, his goal-line fumble in Dallas on his only carry in the 16-13 overtime loss.

"There are times in short-yardage situations when he's placed in far too predictable situations," Barber said.

Jacobs did not carry the next week against Denver, the only game this season he hasn't had at least one chance to run. But he said that was just coincidental.

"We didn't have any opportunities near the goal line that week," Jacobs said. "We just didn't have any situations for me to have those carries. That's where my carries come, on the third-and-short situations."

And when he scores again, Jacobs will get another chance to let his energy bubble over in the end zone.

Will he walk or dance?

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