Not long ago, Jacobs was angry at seemingly everyone for his reduced role at running back, as the backup to Ahmad Bradshaw. But now there is a kinder, gentler Jacobs. Although it may seem counterintuitive, his new outlook has helped to revive his identity as a punishing back.
“I feel more accepting of my role,” Jacobs said. “Now I tell them every week, ‘Let me know when you’re ready for me, and I’ll do my job.’ I’m here when they’re ready.”
In the past two weeks, Jacobs has run more like the , even though his carries have been limited.
“I think what he’s doing, he’s being a little bit more trusting of his reads and of his decisions,” Kevin Gilbride, the offensive coordinator, said. “And when he does that and he turns himself into a north-south with the correct read, he’s a special guy.”
Jacobs leaned on his family, speaking frequently with his aunt, Dianne Cheavious, whom he lived with as a child. She told him to remain faithful and be patient.
“I told him that everything happens for a reason,” Cheavious said in a telephone interview. “You don’t question every decision. It’s a business, and you’re only as good as your last game.”
Now Jacobs sounds different. He seems at ease. He looks happy.
“I don’t mind watching Ahmad run and try 4 yards out of something that was supposed to be nothing,” Jacobs said. “I can’t do that. He’s so pinballish in there where he can make something out of nothing. And I like watching him do that. When I get my opportunities to get in there and run over somebody and get some yards, that’s just what I do.”
If Bradshaw is a pinball, Jacobs is a bowling ball. But Coach chastised Jacobs for not running that way, saying he was trying to run with too much finesse for a 6-foot-4, 264-pound back.
After , Jacobs said that he was not happy being used merely as the pile-driving rusher and that he wanted to showcase his playmaking ability. He said that he would be willing to maintain his punishing style but that it would be unfulfilling.
Jacobs said Thursday that he realized that serving as the counterbalance to the shifty Bradshaw was his best means for success — and playing time. At least publicly, he has seemed to embrace it.
Before , Jacobs stood at the center of a pregame huddle and delivered an impassioned speech to his teammates, only days after he had complained about his role.
In the fourth quarter, Jacobs fumbled, and Coughlin had stern words for him. But Coughlin showed confidence in Jacobs by calling his number at the Bears’ 2 on the next possession, allowing him to score. Jacobs finished with 62 yards on six carries.
Last Sunday, Jacobs had another solid performance. He rushed for 41 yards on 10 carries, running with authority and punching in a 1-yard touchdown in the first quarter of the Giants’ win over the .
About 15 members of Jacobs’s family made the trip to Houston, the first time they had been to a game this season. He spent two hours with them Saturday night, then had breakfast with them before the game. Cheavious noticed that Jacobs seemed happier in their conversations. He seemed comfortable again, and he showed it on the field.
“You could just see him relaxing,” Cheavious said. “He was back to being himself. There’s still a lot of football left for Mr. Jacobs.” REVIS COULD PLAY Coach said Darrelle Revis would travel with to Denver on Friday.
“He wants to be with his team whether he can play or not,” Ryan said.
If it were unlikely that Revis would play Sunday, the Jets would have left him home to receive treatment and rest his left hamstring, which has bothered him since Week 2. Ryan said he told his defensive coaches to prepare as if Revis were not playing.
Outside linebacker Calvin Pace, who played his first game of the season against Minnesota last week, will also make the trip, Ryan said. Pace is recovering from a broken foot, which is sore but less so with each day. Pace is more likely to play than Revis, Ryan said. GREG BISHOP
RODGERS EXPECTS TO PLAY Quarterback Aaron Rodgers was cleared by doctors and returned to practice for the after sustaining a concussion last Sunday in an overtime loss at Washington. Assuming he does not have a setback in his recovery, he said, he was optimistic he would start Sunday’s game against Miami. (AP)
AVOIDING LOCKER ROOMS Ines Sainz, a reporter for Mexico’s TV Azteca who said the Jets made her feel uncomfortable in their locker room, is returning to work next week and said she suggested to the that she talk to players on the field or on the sideline rather than in locker rooms. (AP)