Brian Mitchell was released by the New York Giants along with running back Dorsey Levens. How much does this raise Barber's stock now? The Giants had a pathetic 6 rushing TDs last year, 3 of which were vultured by Levens and 1 by Mitchell. Even in an awful year, Tiki still rushed for 1216 yards. In 2002 he had 11 rushing TDs, is there a chance we could see numbers like that again in 2004? If you're in a league that doesn't penalize for fumbles with negative points, does Tiki crack the top 10 of your running back list now?
Hell no. Tiki doesn't even make my list of RBs in the Greater New York area. Hes probably about the 16th best back. The way I see it, the dropping of Levens and Mitchell opens the door for one man. That's right, the big guy from Wisconsin: Ron Dayne.
Bank on 2000 yards for sure.
I hope everyone who read that knew I was kidding, but I seriously think Ron Dayne will be pretty decent this year.
I ain't no suit-wearin' businessman like you... you know I'm just a gangsta I suppose... - Avon Barksdale
I like dayne as a sleeper pick for next year. I think it doesn't help or if anything might hurt barber's value. This means dayne could easily see goaline action unless fumbleonia is a spreadable disease.
Roseman wrote:Dont think Levens ever really effected Barber's value. Barber is still a top 15-20 back. There are better younger guys out there that I would go after as my second back before I even looked at Barber.
Agreed, let some tool pick up Tiki in the 4th round thinking he is getting a steal. You'll be better served grabbing guys like Suggs, Bennett, or Westbrook (whom I would probably use as backups) if you are in a big league and want to wait on a second back. They will all be available later than Barber.
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Out to Prove a Point New opportunity rejuvenates Dayne. By Michael Eisen, Giants.com
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February 24, 2004
East Rutherford, N.J. - Ron Dayne never really had a 2003 season, so it's no surprise he's ready for the 2004 campaign a full five months before training camp opens. The veteran running back is sporting a new look, having recently shaved off his thick head of hair. More importantly, he is working out daily at Giants Stadium, preparing to take advantage of an opportunity to play for new coach Tom Coughlin.
It's safe to say this is the best shape Dayne has ever been in during the last week of February.
RB Ron Dayne has been working hard this off-season as he prepares to show new head coach Tom Coughlin he deserves a shot at being a part of the offense. "Most definitely," Dayne said after a workout this week. "Usually around this time I am about (2)65 (pounds) because I just relax and sit around. I've gotten back into it now and I'm about (2)52. By the time we start playing I'm going to be down to about (2)40. I'm comfortable with it. I don't have to worry about what I am eating, or stuff like that."
Dayne has been promised nothing by Coughlin except a chance to show what he can do. That's all the frustrated running back is seeking.
"The whole thing is that I just want an opportunity," Dayne said. "I'm not really good at talking, making a big deal about it. But I want to play. If it takes being here every day, then that's what I am going to do.
"With coach coming here it has given me another opportunity and chance to show that I can play in this league. He never really said he is going to have a main running back or stuff like that, or who the man is. I guess we will find out in camp or when we start getting on the field."
Dayne's early arrival at the stadium and his brighter playing time prospects are both sharp contrasts from a year ago. In 2003, Dayne chose not to participate in the Giants' offseason conditioning program, drawing the wrath of then-coach Jim Fassel. For Dayne, it was the first incident in what became a truly forgettable season. He did not suit up for one regular season game, instead finding himself on the inactive list 16 times.
Dayne was asked if he believes his offseason absence was the reason behind his regular season inactivity.
"I kind of think so," Dayne said. "I was the only person who didn't come. I was the only person who didn't play. If you look at it like that, then I guess so."
For Dayne, standing on the sideline in street clothes and watching every game was the most unpleasant and unhappy experience of his football life.
"It was real hard," he said. "The hardest game was probably the first game (a 23-13 victory over St. Louis). The team was going out on the field and I was not going to dress. It was hard. Then we start losing and (I thought), `Can I get in, now?' I went to coach and asked him. He really had no answer for me, so I just stuck it out. My family stayed behind me and my friends did, my teammates. I went out and practiced hard and tried to give the defense a good look because I was on the scout team and just doing what I had to do to help the team. I want to win, I hate to lose."
"I am getting another opportunity and I have to go out and handle it the best way I can. Whatever coach asks me to do I'm going to do." - RB Ron Dayne Prior to his lost season, Dayne's football career had always been marked by high achievement. At the University of Wisconsin, he set the NCAA Division 1A regular season rushing record with 6,397 yards. Including bowl games, he became the first player in college history to rush for more than 7,000 yards (7,125) in a career. As a senior in 1999, Dayne was a unanimous All-America and All-Big 10 Conference 1st-team selection and won the Heisman Trophy, Doak Walker Award and the Maxwell Award as the nation's top college player.
The Giants made him the 11th overall pick of the 2000 draft. As a rookie, Dayne rushed for 770 yards and scored five touchdowns for the NFC champions. He and Tiki Barber quickly became the Thunder and Lightning backfield. His 1,888 total rushing yards in his first three seasons were a higher total than seven of the top 10 rushers in Giants history had in their first three seasons with the team.
But Dayne's rushing totals declined in his second and third seasons as Barber ascended to become one of the NFL's most productive running backs. Dayne still had high hopes of increasing his production in 2003, but he never stepped foot on the field. And to his critics, Dayne is another Giants first-round draft choice that has not panned out. But Dayne insists it's still premature to make that determination.
"I would say, mainly, if you are a fan and you come and watch the games, you can kind of see what was going on," Dayne said. "I don't want to say too much about it, but you look on paper, people are saying, `Oh, he isn't doing anything yet.'
"I didn't get the opportunity. But then after a while I kind of saw it wasn't me. I came in in great shape. I was running fast and doing everything they asked me to do. I still didn't get to play. I couldn't make coach start playing me. I couldn't really change his feelings. That was the whole thing, and I just wanted the opportunity to show what I could do. I've always had to prove one thing or another. People said I was too big, or I gained weight, and that was why I was too slow or didn't score. (But) you don't see too many big running backs like me that get out there and run with the guys and do everything all the smaller guys can do. Once I get a chance to show what I can do, hopefully I'll prove to everybody I can do those things."
Dayne is noticeably more relaxed and comfortable this year. He talks and laughs easily with teammates like Shaun Williams and Brian Mitchell, who are also regulars at the winter workouts. And Dayne has found the silver lining in last year's dark cloud of a season: his body got a break from the pounding that is inescapable in football.
"I feel great," he said. "I can still help the team, I am still young, my legs have never really had bad injuries and I am ready to play. I have a great attitude about football and I love the game."
And after a year as a reluctant spectator, Dayne has never been more determined to succeed as a player.
"It's almost like your first time you got thrown into a big game and you really helped the team win, and how you feel excited about your team and about how you played," he said. "I am just ready to go. I'm anxious to play and I'm ready to start winning again. Especially after my first year being here, when we went to the Super Bowl, I thought it would be a regular thing. But when we didn't make it back the next few years it was tough - it was tougher than anything. Just losing, I hate to lose."
"I am getting another opportunity and I have to go out and handle it the best way I can. Whatever coach asks me to do I'm going to do. Getting ready for the season and then not getting an opportunity to play fueled my desire. It made me do what I have to do to win and to help the team."