The New York Giants, thin at running back and looking for help in the wake of David Wilson's two-fumble performance in their season-opening loss to the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday night, signed former Giants running back Brandon Jacobs, the team announced Tuesday.
The sides agreed to a one-year deal, according to a league source.
"Whatever they need me to do," Jacobs said in a statement released by the team. "Whatever role they want me to play, I'll come in and do it. I know the offense. I know they've made some tweaks here and there, and I'll do whatever I have to do. ... The Giants have given me a great opportunity. This is where I wanted to be. These are the coaches I want to play for and I wanted to come back with my teammates. This is the place I love most."
Jacobs was one of several veteran running backs who worked out for the Giants on Tuesday, and the source said he impressed the team enough with his conditioning to earn a roster spot. The Giants cleared the spot Monday by placing defensive end Adewale Ojomo on waivers.
The source also said one of the reasons the Giants decided to sign Jacobs was his familiarity with their offense, particularly their pass-protection schemes. That's an area in which Wilson struggled last season as a rookie and again Sunday night. The Giants believe Jacobs can help mentor Wilson in that and other areas, and possibly spell him on passing downs and maybe at the goal line.
In an interview Tuesday on ESPN Radio's "Mike & Mike" show, Giants receiver Victor Cruz explained what Wilson is doing to change his mindset when it comes to holding on to the ball.
"It's just an attention to detail with him," Cruz said. "I mean, he's got to be able to tuck the ball under his chin. He's walking around with the football 24/7, around the meeting rooms, around the locker room, even during practice when he's not in that specific play -- he's gonna have a ball in his hand to just get used to keeping it high and tight and putting it under his chin and really paying attention to detail to it.
"That's the only way you can help with that, is to change your mindset from what it used to be, to really locking the football down under his chin and covering it up."
Wilson took to Twitter Tuesday night to answer his critics.
Ayy to fantasy participants and pissed Giants fans ur irrelevant to me!!! Nobody wants me to succeed more than ME!!! WATCH US WORK!
— David E. Wilson (@4stillRunning) September 10, 2013
The Giants had planned for RB Andre Brown to play a significant role heading into the season, but Brown broke his leg in the final preseason game and will miss at least the first eight games.
Jacobs played for the Giants from 2005-11, winning two Super Bowl rings along the way, before he and the team parted ways prior to the 2012 season. He signed with the San Francisco 49ers but did not play well enough to keep his job there. He did not attend a team's training camp this offseason.