NY Giants running back lands on the top 10 list for performance based grading over the last 3 seasons at Pro Football Focus:
Ahmad Bradshaw, New York Giants
Somewhat overshadowed by his own fumbling problems, Bradshaw emerged as one of the better, well-rounded running backs in the league, and a fearsome pass blocker. He may never be a feature back, but he excelled with the Giants as one punch in a running back by committee approach. Could prove an excellent value pick up for someone.
Good for AB44 establishing himself in good company over the past 3 seasons. Many of us saw it without the numbers, and if he didn’t fumble a couple of those footballs last year the fate of the 2010 Giants would have been a bit different perhaps, as well as the overall perception of Bradshaw’s talent. At one point — AB and AP were far and away the most elusive backs in the league. When Bradshaw was benched toward the end of the season, he still saw carries but didn’t get the nod as the starter and gave up some production to Jacobs, his stats suffered as as result.
But I don’t see why he’ll never be a featured back. He clearly picked up yardage by breaking tackles in the backfield on plays that would have resulted in 3 yard losses if Brandon Jacobs was running… instead they went for 3 yard gains in some instances. That is a HUGE swing that cannot be overlooked. Bradshaw runs with heart, power, and finesse — he just so happens to lose sight of the fact that he needs to keep holding the ball tight to his body and ward off defenders, particularly in the red zone.
I think the Giants NEED to retain Bradshaw, he fits into their offense a lot more often that Jacobs does, he’s quicker, nimbler — and with the myriad options that Gilbride and Manning have installed in the Giants offense I think Bradshaw is the more effective safety outlet. The thing Manning needs to concentrate on, as I’ve said countless times now — he needs to perform his reads a bit quicker and check it down to Bradshaw on a more consistent basis if nothing is there with his other receivers. AB is DANGEROUS as a pass catcher, whether its a designed screen or after the fact as an outlet on a busted play.