Play, pause, rewind. Play, pause, rewind. Play, pause, rewind.
All around the NFL, players gather daily with coaches in meeting rooms to study a never-ending reel of film, which can become a grind over the course of a week. That's why years ago running backs coach Jerald Ingram instituted a change of pace as it got closer to game day.
Each Friday, a different running back brings in highlights from his glory days before the big leagues.
Including – but not limited to – high school football, the "oohs" and "aahs" accompanied with trucking a hapless 11th grade safety is a welcome change from the usual critiquing and game planning that's going on the rest of the week.
With all the rushing records, state championships and other letterman jacket decals, you can be sure pro athletes of any caliber look back fondly on those years of, well, absolute dominance. And it all starts with the godfather Brandon Jacobs, whose YouTube-worthy clips were being made before YouTube even existed.
Just imagine Jacobs, who was close to his current 6-4, 264-pound frame as a prep star, running full speed at the 17-year-old you.
"I was a dominant force," Jacobs said. "But a lot of times, I'd just run straight ahead and holes would – we had a good team -- but the holes were like, poof, 90 yards later."
The All-American Jacobs rushed for 3,022 yards and 38 touchdowns in his senior season at Assumption High School (La.) in 2000, and his current Giants teammates just have one reaction when they watch the old clips.
"He's just the biggest guy on the field," Ahmad Bradshaw said. "You just laugh at it."
"Oh man, there was nobody out there that wanted to tackle him," said DJ Ware. "He used to break tackles left and right and run over people. It looked like an offensive lineman running the ball."
"It was just so funny. All 6-foot-4 of him, whatever he weighed in high school…240, just nobody could bring him down," fullback Henry Hynoski said. "They'd just try to tackle him around his legs and he'd hit them and knock them down. You'd just see guys shying away."
"It wasn't even fair in high school," Andre Brown added. "Brandon was the same size he is, and it was just him running around little, short guys. Nobody wanted to tackle him. It was just him breaking 80-yard runs every time he touched the ball."
Jacobs could marvel at it any day of the week.
"I watch it all the time. Even when I'm at home, I watch it all the time," he said. "I just sit there and watch some high school highlights and watch some college highlights. It just brings me back and makes me smile."
Jacobs is only the beginning.
Bradshaw rushed for 5,265 yards, scored 92 touchdowns and averaged nearly 10 yards a carry during his high school career at Graham High School in Virginia.
"It's just fun watching yourself regardless if it's high school, college or pros," Bradshaw said. "It's fun just to bring back the old times and realize where it all started. And just to check everybody else out and see how they were and try to put yourself in those shoes against them."
And then there's their slow, only-good-for-blocking fullback Hynoski. He managed to run for a mere 7,165 yards, 113 touchdowns at Southern Columbia Area High school, good for sixth in Pennsylvania history.
With the most high school yards in the room, Hynoski's turn to brag is coming up.
"I have to get on that," Hynoski said. "(Coach Ingram) is going to yell at me. I think this was actually supposed to be my week."
In the meantime, Corey Webster can rerun his basketball – yes, basketball – highlights, which he brought in the other week from across the hall. Webster averaged close to 30 points in high school and led his team to a Louisiana state championship.
"We just like to go back," Webster said. "Not everybody knows what you're capable of. They only see football, football, football. So people like to see you do different things in life. So they asked me to bring in basketball highlights…We're athletes here. We can do anything."
In fact, Webster and Jacobs played on the same basketball team growing up. So Jacobs knows full well how much Webster likes to shoot the ball.
"A hundred times a game? He didn't pass the ball," Jacobs said.
Ware saw the same thing when breaking down film.
"Corey was nice in basketball," Ware said. "He was a shooter. He shot the ball a hundred times a game, but he was on point with it. He was making them. If he shot the ball a hundred times, he made 98 of them."
Perhaps the greatest highlights of all, though, are when Ingram shows video of himself when he was an All-State running back at Beaver Area High School in Pennsylvania.
"It was black and white. They've got the music playing around that time," joked Brown, a former North Carolina Associated Press Player of the Year who set the state season record with 3,479 yards rushing as a senior. "You look in the audience and it's all during the hippie days and you just see him – he was huge. He's like 6-3, 215, towering over kids. He'd play running back and then turn around and play defensive line."
"You know what, coach was a beast, coach was a beast – no fear, dodging, he'd run over people and run by you," Jacobs said. "He was a beast. He was a big boy back then, too."
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