Giants Benching of Ahmad Bradshaw is Quite Puzzling



New York Giants running back Ahmad Bradshaw has only played in nine games this season. The fifth year Marshall product is averaging four yards per carry thus far and is an effective contrast to the bruising style of Brandon Jacobs. Keeping the defense on its toes is a major factor in the effectiveness of any offensive unit in the NFL.

My favorite hobby while viewing any sporting event is dissecting the coaching moves made by both sides. Tom Coughlin certainly could be labeled as “old school.” There are obviously strengths and weaknesses that come with this moniker. He damaged his team’s chance of winning the game on the road in Arlington on Sunday night by being this way.

He sat Bradshaw for violating the team’s curfew policy.

This isn’t as noticeable as his counterpart  Jason Garrett’s timeout error, but it could have had the same effect on the ultimate outcome of the game. Coming into the game the Giants had the lowest average rushing yards per game and per carry in the NFL. There were alternatives to taking away Bradshaw’s game time.

I am always a fan of punishing through conditioning in practice. It can have a positive outcome for the player’s strength and stamina. It also demonstrates the necessary authority by the coaching staff. A monetary fine also makes sense with this scenario. Charities are trying to make their annual goals this time of year and a contribution by Bradshaw would certainly assist any worthy cause. Jerry Jones has a long relationship with the Salvation Army, so that would have been a win-win.

Rex Ryan, head coach of the New York Jets, played some mind games with quarterback Mark Sanchez this season by having the backup take some repetitions in practice. This would have sufficed for Bradshaw this week as well. Having a lack of comfort is a beneficial component on any roster. It creates an increased work ethic among the competitors.

There was an incident last season with Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant and his duties as a rookie. Coughlin could have humiliated Bradshaw with menial labor. Shining helmets and carrying bags can be a humbling experience, especially for an accomplished veteran in the league. It would also garner him respect from his teammates if he completed the tasks in a professional manner.

In the past I have suggested a chaperone for Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera. Maybe the same is necessary for Ahmad Bradshaw. Having this done for a finite period of time would send the message that the lack of freedom is due to bad choices. A member of the coaching staff could easily take on this responsibility.

The DeMarco Murray right ankle fracture in the first half on Sunday night is proof of how time is of the essence. The return of starting fullback Tony Fiammetta was seen as the key for an increase in production for Murray. The entire plan didn’t come to fruition due to the foot issue. Coughlin must be nuanced in his approach to his mandates.

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