To a point.
With the departure of Derrick Ward to free agency, there's no secret the Giants wanted to draft a similar type of back to replace him. So when the Giants made Andre Brown the team's fourth-round pick, General Manager Jerry Reese proudly compared Brown's game to Ward's style.
"Derrick Ward was a great back here. Thank you for the comparisons," Brown said politely.
A short time later the 6-2, 225-pound back pointed out that although flattered, he wasn't there just to be the next Derrick Ward.
"I want to create my own name too. I'm not Derrick Ward, I'm Andre Brown," he said. "Like him, I can catch the ball and run hard… respect for the comparison, but I'm Andre Brown."
The Giants hope the versatile Brown indeed makes a name for himself.
During the first three seasons at North Carolina State, Brown was part of a running back by committee similar to what Big Blue had done with Ward, Brandon Jacobs, and Ahmad Bradshaw. He showed he was more than a tough inside runner during his second season when he fractured his left foot vs. Florida State and came back after just four games following surgery.
Then during his senior year, Brown was tagged the featured back and promptly led the team in rushing with a career-high 767 yards and 7 TDs, plus he grabbed 29 passes for 209 yards and 2 more scores.
The productive season was even more inspiring considering he fractured the same foot again during spring drills and required a second surgery. Still, he started all 13 games.
Brown also proved to be more than just a bulldozing inside runner. His soft hands helped him snag 70 passes during his career. He also returned kickoffs at 20 yards a clip. All told, he compiled 3,511 all-purpose yards and scored 24 TDs for the Wolfpack.
"I'm a one-cut, downhill runner. That's me in a nutshell," Brown said. "I see a crack in the line and that's it. I hit it. I don't want to bounce or play around; no, I just want to get up field and burn it up."
Of course, like he did in college, Brown knows he can offer the Giants some Ward-ian – uh, sorry – Brown-ian versatility.
"I don't want to be known just as a big back," Brown said. "I want to be known as a versatile back who can run and catch the ball. If I can continue to do those things well, I think I can really help the team win."
And if he does, fans may just forget about old ‘what's his name?'
Andre New Giant - Big RB Ready to Make Impact
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