David Wilson knows exactly what he wants to do in his first NFL game.
"I'm just looking to out there and have double the positives than negatives," Wilson said today.
Wilson, the running back from Virginia Tech whom the Giants selected on the first round of this year's NFL Draft, will see his first pro action when the Giants open preseason play Friday against the Jaguars in Jacksonville. In training camp at the University at Albany, Wilson has demonstrated his quickness and speed. Now we'll see how he does with big bodies hitting him.
"It's my first NFL game, so I'm definitely excited to get out there in a live speed game," he said. "It's been a while since I stepped on the field and played a live speed game, it was January. I'm looking to get into it."
Running backs coach Jerald Ingram is holding off on making any sweeping statements about his pupil's ability or potential.
"He hasn't been in this game a long time," Ingram said. "Practice is one thing, the game is another. The challenge of the game, we're looking forward to it this weekend, and this whole preseason process to see what he can do. It's an exciting thing right now. There are some things that I'm very impressed with, and some things that I'm not. Just because I'm thinking as a coach that I want him to know that I don't think he's ready. We'll decide when he's ready, and his teammates will decide when he's ready."
Wilson's biggest challenge is not running with or catching the football, but understanding the Giants' complex offense.
"It's a new playbook and I'm trying to learn as much as possible," he said. "When you don't know it at a 100 percent, it limits you as far as your ability, because you're thinking a lot. Even on the easy stuff, you'll mess up on because you're thinking about the hard stuff that's coming next. It's just a learning process and a learning curve and I knew it was going to happen and I didn't know how I would handle it. Everyday I'm just trying to get better."
Because of his uncertainty, Wilson has tried to find the right tempo on the practice field.
"Sometimes you don't know something and you're moving too fast," he said. "The coaches even tell me to slow it down because you don't know it and you're just going and when you learn the playbook and who's blocking who and what your assignment exactly is and you're 100 percent sure that's what it is, you can alter it and play smarter than the defense, instead of just relying 100 percent on your ability."
From the say he was drafted, everyone from Ahmad Bradshaw to offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride to Ingram has emphasized that Wilson will not see the field unless he can protect quarterback Eli Manning.
"That's not something I'm really worried about because I'm definitely capable of doing that," Wilson said. "Just stick your face in there and don't let the guy get to your guy. That's something I'm definitely capable of and I'm not really stressing over."
Wilson is a runner first and that's what he anticipates doing when he plays Friday night.
"I'm visualizing the first carry and then take it all the way," he said. "I'm looking forward to getting back out there in competition. I'm a high level competitor. I've been dying for competition since January."
He's about to get it.