Feb 5, 2012; Indianapolis, IN, USA; New York Giants running back Brandon Jacobs (27) yells out before Super Bowl XLVI against the New England Patriots at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: William Perlman/THE STAR-LEDGER via USA TODAY Sports

The Impact of Brandon Jacobs

Oooooooh how fun! Our old friend Brandon Jacobs has come back to visit. When we last saw big #27 (although he’ll wear #34 this time around… thanks Stevie Brown), he was moping on the sideline in San Francisco. That is, until he was suspended by the team for complaining about playing time and forbidden from being on the sideline.

Last time we saw him on this coast, Jacobs was helping the Giants finish a tumultuous season during which he openly complained about his lack of carries with a surprisingly epic march to the Super Bowl. Despite the team’s success that year, Jacobs had a very disappointing season, amassing only 571 yards on 152 carries, and earning himself a ticket out of town during the offseason. So given the fact that Jacobs is only one year and 2 rushing attempts in San Fran removed from his last disappointing season in Giants’ blue, what can we expect of him this year?

First, we know (and hopefully Brandon does as well) that he isn’t being brought in to be the Giants’ feature back. Despite David Wilson’s struggles, there’s no way the Giants are giving up on the guy who gave them so much confidence that they decided to let Ahmad Bradshaw sign with the Colts. Wilson is simply more talented and gives the team a better chance to win than what Jacobs can offer at this point in his career.

Second, Jacobs isn’t being brought in to “mentor” Wilson, primarily because Wilson doesn’t need mentoring. He’s been a pretty good runner when he’s gotten opportunities and flashed immense talent when he’s been able to hold onto the ball. Jacobs doesn’t need to tell him that it’s important not to fumble the ball. It’s the coaches’ job to teach him how not to.

But what the Giants’ do need right now is a complimentary runner to Wilson. During Jacobs’ first stint with the team, the Giants running game was at its best when they paired him with a quicker runner – like Bradshaw or Tiki Barber – and subbing in the bruising Jacobs whenever the situation dictated. That was supposed to be Andre Brown’s job this year. But until he returns, the Giants really have no one who can fill that power back role. The Giants need someone to convert the short yardage situations and pound the defense in order to open things up for the speedier Wilson. Once upon a time, that was Jacobs’ specialty.

No one really knows how much BJ has left in the tank at this point in his career – not even Brandon himself. But this time around, the Giants only need him to be a role player, not the star he once was. Only time will tell if this reunion will be a happy one.

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