Tom Coughlin's decision to play the starting offense on Thursday night paid off. Eli Manning looked crisp, the offensive line finally showed some ability and Ahmad Bradshaw continued a strong preseason with 26 yards on four carries.
Not everyone in blue was too excited about the offense's performance. While many smiled and exhaled in relief, Brandon Jacobs was on the sideline stewing in his own unhappiness. Even though the first team had two full series, Jacobs didn't get a single touch on Thursday and isn't happy that Bradshaw has clearly beaten him out for first position in the running back pecking order. He decided to share that unhappiness with Jane McManus of ESPN New York after the game.
"To be in this business, you have to know that. No one's your friend in this business. This is a cutthroat, backstabbing business. That's just the way it goes. It's been like that before me. If you expect anything else out of a business like this, you're crazy. ... It's almost hard to stay positive in a situation like this, but that's what I've got to do."
That's a big difference from the happy-go-lucky Jacobs of earlier this summer who said it didn't matter who got more carries as long as the team was winning. Of course, that Jacobs hadn't yet proven to be the same lethargic and ineffective runner that he was all of last season. Jacobs was once a violent rusher who would run people over just to gain a yard. Now he's a guy who can't score from the one in less than three tries. On top of that, he's been hurt already this summer in a continuation of last year's broken down running back theme. The Giants have adjusted their priorities so that successful backs get more carries, so Jacobs has decided to start throwing a few grenades.
He told McManus that he wouldn't request a trade, although his reason had nothing to do with the fact that no one would be lining up to take on the remaining three years and $13 million-plus left on the contract before last season. In the proud tradition of players who have been better at making themselves victims than at making themselves integral parts of their teams, Jacobs found a way to avoid blame for his predicament.
"If I would have stayed making minimum, this wouldn't be a problem," Jacobs said. "Once you get paid, you're always in danger of running into problems like this. It doesn't matter who you are or what team or organization you play for, that's just the way it is."
You're wrong, Brandon. Even guys making minimum salaries catch hell when they can't contribute anything but a scowl to the offensive effort.