Can Killer Bs Run To Daylight?

Sorry, Danny Ware. We didn't leave you out because you're not worthy of mention. It was simply an alphabetical thing. First, there's Brandon Jacobs. Then there's Ahmad Bradshaw. Add to that a little Andre Brown and you have the makings of a marketing campaign for the Killer Bs – New York's oh-so-very dangerous backfield.

There's no doubt this is Jacobs' team – and he's promised to do everything in his power to make it through an entire season. He dislikes the bumps and bruises that have forced him to miss eight games during the past two seasons even more than the fans do. We know Big Brandon has the ability. We know he has the drive. But what we don't know is how well he can stay healthy this coming season. We also know that his partner in crime is now in Tampa Bay. The Giants are going to need at least one of the aforementioned three guys to step forward and help spell Jacobs so that he's as effective as can be late in games. Bradshaw actually did less last season than his rookie campaign, Brown is highly-touted, especially after his performance during the offseason, and Ware – even though he doesn't have the letter ‘B' anywhere in his name – is someone the Giants think very highly of as well. It's going to be very fun and interesting to see how the race for spots two, three and four on the RB depth chart goes. Significantly less interesting will be the competition for the fullback spot, which is a very good thing. That's because Madison Hedgecock returns as one of the game's top blocking fullbacks.

Can you spot me a grand?

Say what you will, but it's going to be awful hard to replace the 1,000-yard season that Derrick Ward produced last year. There's a reason why it's so difficult to have two 1,000-yard rushers on the same team. And there's also a reason why it's even more difficult trying to pay both players to keep the duo intact. Ward is gone and the Giants have a trio of guys that they like. Whether anyone jumps out and establishes themselves as the clear-cut number two or the offensive staff uses a rotation is entirely up to the players themselves – and obviously remains to be seen. Watching Bradshaw, Ware and Brown compete on a daily basis in Albany will be as exciting as anything. They each have enough Derrick Ward in them that they can all make a good case to be the 2009 version. And heaven forbid if anything were to happen to Jacobs for an extended period of time, the entire offense would be resting on the shoulders of these three.

Can the big man stay on the field?

Listen, we know Jacobs doesn't miss more games than he plays. And we know he's as tired of hearing about his injury concerns as we are of mentioning it. But the fact is that he's so valuable to this offense and this team that it's an issue that just won't go away. The physical and emotional lift he brings to the o ffense is impossible to replace. That's why it's so important he stays on the field. That's why we in the media stress about it all the time. Jacobs has vowed to play the full 16 games this season. If that turns out to be true, that'd be perhaps the best possible news Tom Coughlin, Kevin Gilbride and Eli Manning could ever hear.

Will they be better in '09?

As much as we love the potential of all three of the secondary backs, there's no way to think that the unit can be any better than it was last year with Jacobs and Ward both topping 1,000 yards. This isn't to say they won't be very good – because they're going to boast among the best running games in the league once again. But to answer the question we posed, we'd be lying if we said ‘yes' they will be better in '09 than they were in '08. Now for years and years to come … that's likely to be an entirely different story.

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