Former Giants running back Tiki Barber welcomed current Giants running back Rashad Jennings to CBS Sports Radio on Wednesday to discuss New York’s upcoming football season.
The Giants finished 6-10 last year but were hit harder by the injury bug than perhaps any team in football. With the regular season rapidly approaching, the Giants can’t wait to show that 2014 was an anomaly.
“It’s excitement, there’s no question about it,” Jennings said on Tiki and Tierney. “First of all, it’s football and everybody out here loves the game, loves the sport. We’ve been doing this since we were little kids. A lot of times you get a chance to escape from reality for a little bit and go out and play a game that you love. But to be doing it in New York with the greatest fans is great. And also, year two in the same system, we want to go prove what we can do on this offensive side of the ball.”
Indeed, offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo brought his explosive system to New York last season, but there were a few bumps in the road. Injuries were partly to blame for that, but so was the simply act of learning and executing a new playbook.
Jennings, however, believes the Giants’ offense will be clicking on all cylinders this season. He is sure – not confident, but sure – that the offensive line will open up holes in the running game and give Eli Manning time to find Odell Beckham Jr., Victor Cruz and others.
While Jennings will start for the Giants, Andre Williams and Shane Vereen figure to see plenty of reps. Williams, 22, rushed 217 times for 721 yards and seven touchdowns last season, while Vereen, who was acquired from New England, accounted for 838 total yards and five touchdowns (two rush, three receiving).
“I think Andre Williams has just been showing tremendous growth from the offseason,” Jennings said. “He was a guy that came down from Miami and trained with me some, and it’s just so fun to watch him grow up and learn the art of playing running back in the NFL. And then you have Shane Vereen. (He’s) known for being able to catch the ball out of the backfield, but I also think he can run the ball probably better than people want to give him credit for. So there’s going to be an opportunity for him to showcase that as well.”
Indeed, from running back to wide receiver to tight end, it appears Manning has countless weapons at his disposal. In fact, Jennings believes the Giants can be one of the best offenses in the NFL.
“Of course,” he said. “With everybody being able to come back healthy, year two in the same system, (we should be good). Last year, we installed a system, and this year we kind of get to run our offense. So having more ownership over it, more (control) in the huddle by Eli and changing the line of scrimmage to put us in the best position – we all know (what to do) when we’re lining up. There’s not that confusion. Eliminate the false penalties and the self-inflicted wounds. We’re going to be a tough team to beat, especially when we have weapons that can take it to the house when the ball’s in the air.”