By Danny Cox
Name: Ahmad Bradshaw – RB – #44
Weight: 214 lbs.
Experience: 7 years
Two years ago, the Indianapolis Colts put together one of the worst seasons they have had in a very long time. It was a year where Peyton Manning sat on the bench the entire year due to an injury and afterward, was shown the door. Former Stanford quarterback and first pick of the 2012 NFL Draft, Andrew Luck stepped into what many thought would be a rebuilding process, and in a way, it is. But not as bad as people think.
Luck was able to step right into the quarterback role that a future NFL Hall of Famer left, and drive the Colts to the playoffs. They didn’t get far though, and that’s because certain parts of the team were still rebuilding. One of those parts was the running game.
The Colts had seen former running backs Edgerrin James and Joseph Addai tear things up on the field years ago. Former first round pick, Donald Brown was expected to be the next big weapon behind Luck, but that didn’t develop quite as expected. Indianapolis had to go out and find a player to not only up the running game, but to also be a veteran leader for the young offense.
That player was Ahmad Bradshaw.
Bradshaw amassed 1,015 yards on 221 attempts and six touchdowns during the 2012 season for the New York Giants. It was the second highest yardage total of his career, and he did it in just 14 games, but rookie David Wilson had shown better promise and younger legs for less money.
With that being quite evident, the Giants also needed some extra cap space and Bradshaw was the obvious casualty. He was released by the Giants in February of 2013 and signed by the Colts just four months later when free agency started.
Ahmad Bradshaw had a great career in high school and was all set to play college football at the University of Virginia, but encountered some early law troubles. He was kicked off the team before the season started due to underage drinking and running from the police; so he enrolled at Marshall University.
As a freshman, Bradshaw had a mere 462 yards on the ground, but showed glimpses of brilliance as a receiver coming out of the backfield and in the return game too. He showed improvement in his sophomore year and racked up 1,382 all-purpose yards to land a spot as a second-team All-Conference USA selection.
In his junior year in college, Bradshaw showed true talent and had his best season yet. He had 1,523 yards rushing, 19 touchdowns on the ground, and 129 yards receiving. The best out put of the season for Bradshaw came against the University of Texas-El Paso (UTEP) when he rushed for 261 yards and five touchdowns. He then declared for the NFL Draft.
The New York Giants drafted Ahmad Bradshaw in the seventh round of the 2007 NFL Draft with the 250th overall pick. He ended up with only 23 attempts for 355 yards, one score, and two fumbles.
His fourth season was his breakout year, and it showed as he accumulated 1,235 yards on the ground with eight touchdowns as he jumped ahead of Brandon Jacobs for the starting spot.
That great season got Bradshaw a new contract from the Giants and a career-high in touchdowns in 2011 with nine. He also scored the winning touchdown in the final minute of Super Bowl XLVI to help defeat the New England Patriots 21-17.
After being cut by the Giants, the Colts saw a talented player and pounced. The Colts needed a veteran player who has championship experience.
Once again, that player is Ahmad Bradshaw.
For more NFL player features, visit 32 Players, 32 Days.
Danny Cox knows a little something about the NFL, whether it means letting you know what penalty will come from the flag just thrown on the field or quickly spouting off who the Chicago Bears drafted in the first round of the 1987 draft (Jim Harbaugh). He plans on bringing you the best news, previews, recaps, and anything else that may come along with the exciting world of the National Football League. His work can be found on Examiner.com.