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Giants coach names Perkins starting running back

By
Alex Butler
Cincinnati Bengals' Carlos Dunlop grabs the jersey of New York Giants running back Paul Perkins in the first half in Week 10 of the NFL season on November 14 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. File photo by John Angelillo/UPI
Cincinnati Bengals' Carlos Dunlop grabs the jersey of New York Giants running back Paul Perkins in the first half in Week 10 of the NFL season on November 14 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. File photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

May 1 (UPI) -- Second-year running back Paul Perkins has a clear path to the starting job for the New York Giants.

Coach Ben McAdoo confirmed that Perkins is his lead back when talking to Mike Francesa on WFAN 660 Monday. He said that Perkins will play on first and second downs.

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"Paul Perkins is a guy, he's going to be our starter out there on first and second down," McAdoo said. "We have added some competition in the room in a variety of ways. With Shaun Draughn, Shane Vereen is coming back. We drafted Wayne Gallman. So it's going to be interesting to see how the running back room shakes out."

Perkins, 22, was a fifth rounder in the 2016 NFL Draft. His father Bruce played two NFL seasons in 1990 and 1991. His uncle Don played eight seasons for the Dallas Cowboys, earning an All-Pro nod in 1962.

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The UCLA product had 456 rushing yards on 112 carries in 14 games last season, starting once. Perkins is due $540,000 this season and is signed through 2019.

The Giants also have Orleans Darkwa on its depth chart at running back. It drafted Gallman Saturday, out of Clemson, in the fourth round of the 2017 NFL Draft.

"Wayne Gallman, productive third-year player out of Clemson," McAdoo told reporters Saturday. "Upside in the pass game. Comes from a winning program. Glad we have him."

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"He had a tremendous interview," McAdoo told reporters. "He provides a spark, change of pace type. He has a lot of upside. He's a different type of player. He's a little longer type player. He has some speed and some upside in the passing game."

Rashad Jennings led the team with 181 carries for 593 yards and three touchdowns last season. The Giants cut the seven-year veteran in February after he spent three seasons with the franchise.

"We had the chance to hit the field today," McAdoo told Francesa. "We are working on some perimeter things. Get the ball on the edge a little bit. Get some outside zone going and we will tighten it down as we go through the offseason."

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The Giants haven't had a 1,000-yard rusher since Ahmad Bradshaw in 2012. It hasn't had a running back rush for more than 10 scores since Brandon Jacobs had 15 touchdowns in 2008.

McAadoo's crew rushed for just 88.2 yards per game last season, the fourth-fewest in the NFL. The Giants also scored a league-low six rushing touchdowns.

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