EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Brandon Jacobs was back in a Giants uniform again but he appeared different.
Even though he's still 6-foot-4 and a muscular 265 pounds, Jacobs returns to the Giants with a new attitude to go with his new jersey number (No. 34).
"Well I think of necessity he certainly is more humble," head coach Tom Coughlin said of Jacobs.
After spending his first seven seasons with the Giants, Jacobs signed with the 49ers as a free agent in 2012 but played in just two games. He saw five carries for seven yards before being released by the Niners late last season.
"Man, listen last year... that is a curse," Jacobs said when asked about last season. "I don’t want to talk about that at all."
Jacobs said he was humbled by his experience away from the Giants.
"That is accurate," Jacobs said. "It takes people to go through things to learn and be better and to go through a lot of stuff. I am happy I went through what I went through last year. It made me grow up a little bit.
"It is kind of, first, I would say I was immature. Going through that kind of completed the grown man in me. Like I said, I am glad I went through it."
When asked if he thought his career was over after last season's debacle in San Francisco, Jacobs said he didn't think so judging by how the Niners wouldn't allow him to go to another team.
"I didn't think it was done when they didn'’t want to release me (earlier)," Jacobs said. "You know, I was told point blank that, ‘Do I look like a fool to release you to go play for somebody else and come back and play against us? Do I look like a fool?' I felt good about it. I’'m like, ‘OK. I see. Y’all scared of me.' But it was cool. I’m all right.
"But I had a great, great stay in San Fran. Other than that, the place was beautiful. I was cool with a lot of the cats on the team. I had fun. Just other than playing and stuff like that, it was hard for me. It was even harder Week 6 when I got a chance to see everybody (when the Giants played the Niners last year)."
Now that he's back, Jacobs said he's ready to help the Giants in any way possible. He said he lost "30-something" pounds this summer to get back to 265.
"I need every day this week," he said of getting back into football shape. "I’m not cutting no corners. I’m hitting every barrier. I’m jumping over every bit of adversity that gets in my way. I'm trying to be back to where I was [in] ‘06 and ’07. My body feels good."
"It feels like a dream," he added. "I still don’t think it’s real. But after that practice, I was kind of pretty sure, ‘Yeah, I’m back.’ It feels good to be among the boys again, to be among these coaches and being in this organization. It felt good to see Mr. Mara, Jerry Reese. It was awesome. And wearing No. 34 is not bad."