Nevertheless, Wilson said this week that he wasn't all smiles when he heard the news.
"It was mixed feelings, because we had a close relationship," Wilson said Friday. "You hate to see one of your friends go -- not only a friend, but a mentor. But everybody has got to move on. The NFL is a business, and I was just happy to see him land on another team, and a team that’s got potential. I was also excited knowing that I would get the opportunity to step up and play a big role in this offense."
Bradshaw wound up with the Colts -- and even though he's currently working his way back from a foot injury and won't play Sunday night, he is expected to be at MetLife Stadium when the Giants and Colts play their second game of the preseason. Wilson is looking forward to seeing him.
"He was in this offense and he knows what it takes to be successful in this offense, and he tried to teach me everything he could while he was here," Wilson said, "so we just have a good relationship."
Wilson had five carries for 16 yards, and two receptions for six yards, in the Giants' first preseason game. The starters only played one quarter against the Steelers. When asked to evaluate his performance, Wilson initially said he wasn't happy with it, but then corrected himself.
"I can’t say I wasn’t happy with it. It’s kind of what I expected," Wilson said. "It was the first preseason game and we were going to come off the field with some things we need to correct. I think it was just good to have something on film and to go out there. Most people executed really well and some people were executing good enough, so you can go back and watch it on film and reevaluate and see what you need to fix and work on."
The starters are expected to play a little longer against the Colts -- about 20 snaps, according to coach Tom Coughlin. Wilson hopes to see more action, in both the running game and the passing game. He had 71 carries for 358 yards as a rookie, but only four catches for 34 yards.
"That’s what I’m trying to show, is that I can be that every-down back," Wilson said. "There’s only one way to show it and it’s to get in there and do it."
Wilson lost a fumble in last year's regular season opener, on just his second NFL carry, and ended up in Coughlin's doghouse for a while. But he's come a long way since then.
"I was young last year and came in and this offense, the running back plays a big role and it’s a lot thrown at you," Wilson said. "It’s kind of complicated for the running back. When I came in, I just tried to grasp as much as I could and take it one day at a time and learn something and get better at something each day, and I’m still doing the same thing now.
"I still haven’t learned everything that the running back needs to do like a second nature. That’s the point I’m striving to get to, where I can be like, ‘Hold on. Eli, look at this,’ where I learn the offense that good that I can correct some things. And there have been running backs in this system that know it that well. And I’m just taking it one day at a time, trying to get better and better each week."