EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- As Doug Martin and David Wilson were drafted back-to-back by the Buccaneers and Giants in the first round of the NFL Draft this year, the two will forever be linked together as their careers developed.
So far, Martin, who went 31st to the Buccaneers, has become the household name, especially in light of his 251 yards and four touchdowns he scored on the Raiders last week. Wilson, meanwhile, has emerged as a premier return man, but rarely runs the ball, with just 17 carries on the year.
Seeing Martin have this type of success as a rookie hasn’t made Wilson envious of the opportunities his fellow rookie has been offered this season.
“Him getting his carries on his team is him. So just cause he does something it’s not going to make me be like 'I want to be like Doug Martin,'” Wilson said. “He wants to be a great football player, I want to be a great football player and I hope everybody on this team wants to be great at their position. That’s when championships are won.
“You have to work hard and play your role and know what you go to do, and right now I’ve been doing that and working hard and playing my part on the team. Whatever they ask me to do, I’m ready to do.”
Wilson, who has 88 rushing yards this year, said he doesn’t keep tabs on Martin, or link their careers together, but he notices when a running back has the type of performance Martin did last week. His 251-yard game against Oakland is one of the best rushing performances in NFL history.
“Congratulations to him,” Wilson said. “That’s amazing to come in and have that great of an impact on the team. I was very happy for him.”
As Martin is running wild lately, Wilson is still bidding his time to try and get more involved in the offense. Since rushing for a combined 79 yards and a touchdown on nine carries against the Browns and 49ers, Wilson has just two carries for one yard in the last three games even as the running game has struggled. While Martin gets fed the ball consistently, Wilson barely gets his chance, although he didn't do himself any favors with his opening-night fumble.
“Not because he went out there and played good do I want to play good,” Wilson said. “I want to play good because I want to play good.”
While Wilson continues to be more of a threat on special teams, averaging 26.8 yards per kickoff return, he continues to work hard in hopes his number gets called. Giant offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride said Wilson is getting better as the season has progressed.
“We try every week to unleash him, but again, you have to put guys in position to do what they’re capable of doing and not asking them to do something that they’re either going to struggle themselves or get somebody else in a difficult position,” Gilbride said. “We are trying to do whatever we can, we’re giving him chances with what we think he can handle.”