Coughlin Says Jacobs Needs Ball More

Tom Coughlin told the New York media at the combine that Brandon Jacobs could have used more work last year. But it's only a guess if he'll get those carries in a Giants uniform in 2011.

Tom Coughlin will definitely be coming back next year, especially after ownership finishes hammering out an extension to his four-year, $21 million contract that expires after next season.

Whether the same can be said for running back Brandon Jacobs is another story. Though he has two years remaining on his contract, it's possible the Giants won't be able to keep both him and unrestricted free agent Ahmad Bradshaw. That will all depend on how the new rules surrounding free agency will read when -- make that if -- the owners and players can hammer out a new collective bargaining agreement in time to save the 2011 season.

Even Coughlin can't predict that future. But if he gets his wish, Jacobs will not only wear the Giants' uniform next year, but he'll get a lot more carries, too.

"Yeah, he does need to carry the ball a little bit more," Coughlin told the local media gathered in Indianapolis for the NFL Scouting Combine Friday. "You look at the end of the year numbers, you'd want him to have a few more carries."

Jacobs' 147 carries marked his lowest workload since 2006. Though he still rushed for 823 yards, a career-high 5.6-yard average, Coughlin said he was certainly healthy enough at the end of the season to bring those totals up. Not that it was Jacobs' fault, though. The coaches made him share time with Bradshaw. And it was hardly an even split, with Bradshaw taking almost twice as many carries as Jacobs.

"There was no cut and dried circumstance that would indicate (why)," Coughlin said. "I just said from looking at it as you look at everything at the end of the year, Brandon was fresher than he's ever been, healthier than he's ever been and probably needs to carry the ball a little bit more."

So, one can assume that if Jacobs is back in 2011, and if there is indeed a football season in 2011, he'll get enough work to justify the remaining two years and $9.55 million the Giants still owe him on his contract.

A lot has to happen before that, though, as the owners and players approach March 1's last-ditch, mediated effort to find common ground in the battle over a new CBA. It appears that there is no averting a lockout now. The only question is how long it lasts.

It could last long enough to make Coughlin's wishes moot. But if there is a season, and Jacobs is a part of it, Coughlin said he wants him to see the ball a lot more.

"He's got a lot of gas in the tank," Coughlin said.

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