A: No, no. There are no excuses for things and like we all say, in the running game, it all falls on the runner and in the pass game it falls on the quarterback. How we progress as a team, that’s the key. Where are we as a team right now? It doesn’t fall on one guy or one situation; we have to gel as a team. I don’t see those situations at all with him; I think he fights through a lot of situations. I think he helps us out as much as he can in pass protection situations. I think defenses are afraid of him because he makes plays. He makes more out of what’s not there than what’s there.
Q: Can you talk about the progress of
A: To be a complete running back in the NFL, the difference between college and the NFL is it’s so complicated, the things that the defense is doing. The blitz packages, within the pass game, you have to be extremely knowledgeable. You either have that base behind you in college, or you didn’t. If you didn’t have that base in college, well, you have to learn it here. You’re playing catch-up a lot. You’re also playing against linebackers that are between 230-250 pounds. There’s certain things that you have to learn how to do to make a difference in your size. There is a mismatch. What are you going to do with that mismatch? Ahmad Bradshaw is not afraid of that mismatch. He also knows how to play within himself and that mismatch. That’s where the young guys have to learn. Andre has come a long way. He’s come a long way in his learning process here and learning the system. He started the game last week because there were certain things that he does very well right now for us, after losing Danny Ware, that he can catch the ball out of the backfield. He has the size, he’s been running very well. Ahmad hasn’t really been able to practice, but the young guys have been able to get the reps in practice to learn how to play. As the process goes on, hopefully we’re comfortable enough that David can do some things; we want him to come out there early. You saw him come in there the third or fourth drive. We want to do things, but then we have to shift gears and do some other things so we kind of threw that out of there.
Q: A lot of the past running backs have been selected in the later rounds, what’s the urgency of having a first-round running back?
A: What is expected and what is reality is the game. That’s the fact. Just because you’re a first-round draft pick doesn’t mean you’re ready to play, or they all would be great. Also, the difference in makeup of size. David is not a big man. He’s not 265-270 pounds. He’s not 230-225. He is a situational player as a rookie right now. Yeah he’s explosive, but at what cost is he explosive? Is he explosive at the cost of not being able to protect well, not being able to know his job well enough being a pro? That all has to develop.
Q: Thoughts on the comparisons between Doug Martin and David Wilson:
A: You can understand, Doug Martin was in a pro-style type offense. We don’t like to compare their offense and our offense, but Doug Martin is a bigger guy. That’s a guy who was in an offense that was taught to do a lot of things that the NFL teams are doing. David was on a team that was taught basically to give him the ball and be explosive and be a great runner. It’s apples and oranges right now. It’ll come in time. We don’t think David is afraid of anything, it’s just him learning the offense, being comfortable, being physical, being tough. Those kinds of things.
Q: What was it about him that you guys still selected him despite the offense he ran in college?
A: Because he was exciting and explosive, because he has that running ability, because he can go the distance. He has a lot of positives about him, but learning and trusting is a whole other thing with a rookie. It’s not a second-year player right now, he’s a rookie.
Q: Your runner typically goes between the tackles; David seems to be able to go outside:
A: I totally agree, but how many teams actually let you outside? They have to have a scheme that allows you to get outside. You just can’t outrun people. That’s what you’re able to get away with in high school and college, but at this level of ball, it’s hard to get away with that. I don’t see many people just outrunning people to the sideline unless it’s being blocked to the sideline. There are good players at this level of ball.