During the assistant coaches’ usual bye week availability to the media, Jerald Ingram stood in the hallway of the Timex Performance Center last year talking about his running backs. Andre Brown’s name eventually came up.
At that time, Brown was a member of the practice squad with the primary responsibility of preparing the defense for its next opponent. It’s an integral role on the team, but Brown was waiting for more. Ingram, a 21-year assistant to Tom Coughlin, knew he had to keep him motivated.
So he laid out the example of Ryan Grant, a former scout teamer for the Giants who went on to have back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons and win a Super Bowl with Green Bay.
Fast-forward to Monday and there Ingram stood in the same corridor in between the weight room and locker room with his pupil tied for second in the NFL in rushing touchdowns. The other NFL backs with seven scores: Adrian Peterson, Ray Rice, and Doug Martin.
Not bad for a 25-year-old who has been waived eight times by five teams.
“We’ve seen him develop in our program for the last three years or so,” Ingram said. “And that’s the reason we drafted Andre because when he came out of N.C. State, we thought he could be an every-down kind of guy. He caught the ball well there. He has the great size. He’s got good speed. He just had to have time to learn our offense, and he’s a young rookie out there that’s developing.”
While he’s technically a third-year player, Brown, the Giants’ fourth-round draft choice in 2009, had played in just four games with minus-one rushing yard heading into the season. Through 10 weeks this season, Brown has 60 carries for 321 yards (5.4) and 12 receptions for another 86.
Like all backs in the system, he had to first earn the trust of the coaches. He learned how to do that from Ahmad Bradshaw, who learned from Brandon Jacobs, who learned from Tiki Barber and so on.
“He’s a little brother to Ahmad Bradshaw,” Ingram said of Brown. “Ahmad has taken him underneath his wing, and he’s learning the game now as opposed to just cards in practice and situations and how to help the offensive line and little techniques that Ahmad uses. There are subtleties that never get spelled out that you see that Ahmad does that defenses are like, ‘I don’t want to get cut by him, I don’t want to get chipped by him.’ There are little things as a pro that these guys are learning through Ahmad.”
Tags: Andre Brown, Jerald Ingram
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