NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York Giants rookie running back David Wilson, who has not been shy about touting his abilities, will have a chance to back up his boasts after a broken leg put Andre Brown on injured reserve on Monday.
Wilson, a first-round draft pick from Virginia Tech, has been relegated to returning kickoffs after fumbling on his second running play early this season but he will now be sharing backfield duties with Ahmad Bradshaw when the Giants travel to Washington to play the Redskins on Monday.
“Monday Night Football. Going through the whole school day waiting to watch their game,” Wilson said reflecting on his childhood memories of the nationally-televised game.
“(Now) I‘m playing in it, so hopefully I can provide for my team,” Wilson told reporters at the Giants’ training facility the day after Sunday’s 38-10 mauling of the Green Bay Packers.
In 11 games for the NFC East-leading Giants (7-4), Wilson had just 24 rushes for 102 yards and caught two passes for eight yards.
The 21-year-old Wilson, who told New York’s Newsday newspaper last month that he believed he will be a Hall of Fame player, will get his chance to perform.
“It’s his time,” Giants coach Tom Coughlin said on Monday.
“If he has been very vigilant, and paid attention to the way that people have been corrected in front of him, then he’s going to give himself the best opportunity,” the coach said.
“It is a great opportunity for him and I think for our team as well, in terms of what could develop here in this stage of the season for David.”
Wilson, whose pass protection blocking has also come under criticism, has insisted that all he needed was the opportunity. Even after his opening-game fumble sent him to the bench, the fleet-footed back said he would prove himself over time.
”I‘m like birth control. You have to believe in me,“ Wilson had told Newsday. ”Like birth control, 99.9 percent of the time I‘m going to come through for you.
“When I do get that opportunity, I‘m going to get lost in the moment and keep it going. Once I get my chance to go out there and play football and do what I do, I‘m not going to want to let go of that.”
Wilson said on Monday he was determined to be prepared.
”Going through practice, shadowing Andre and Ahmad at practice and making sure I‘m watching them and paying attention when they’re in the games and seeing how I would react in the situation they’re in.
“Andre played a big role in our offense, so with his absence somebody is going to have to definitely step up on the offensive side of the ball, and the coaches told me that I‘m the next guy.”
Wilson said being patient were keys to success on the NFL level.
“I think the most important thing I learned is go to the next play,” said Wilson.
”You’re used to in college having a lot of big plays, and you watch Ahmad and Andre and all across the league it’s all about consistency and the pace.
“So just execute, execute and then move to the next play.”
Editing by Greg Stutchbury