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Bruno Rouby, ESNY Graphic, Getty Images

New York Giants running back Wayne Gallman sat down with ESNY to discuss what’s motivating him this season and Pat Shurmur’s new offense.

EAST RUTHERFORD—One of the few bright spots in the disastrous 2017 season for the New York Giants was how fourth-round draft pick (140th overall) Wayne Gallman progressed.

After missing the first three games of the season, Gallman scored his first NFL touchdown on a four-yard pass from Eli Manning in the Giants 25-23 Week 4 loss to the Tampa Buccaneers. Gallman also led the Giants that day in rushing with 42 yards.

The Clemson product would eventually lead the team in rushing in five game last season. His best game of the season came in the Giants season finale 18-10 victory over the Washington Redskins in which he carried the ball 15 times for 89 yards. Gallman finished the season second on the team in rushing with 476 yards on 111 carries.

But despite showing signs that he can be a productive running back in this league, he doesn’t take solace in the fact that last season was the most disappointing season in the history of the Giants franchise.

Earlier this week I caught up with Gallman and asked him if he put last season behind him, or if he’s using it as motivation heading into this season.

“I don’t even take it as motivation, I don’t want that to happen again. So I’m doing everything in my power to help this team and not let that happen again. I never had a season like that but the one thing I learned from last year is how to strive through adversity, you know everybody goes through adversity and there were a lot of things that we encountered last year that for a first year player as myself it was a lot to take in and learn. So I’m actually glad I went through that.”

With the Giants electing not to bring back their leading rusher from a season ago, Orleans Darkwa, Gallman was slating to be the team’s number one back heading into this season until they drafted Saquon Barkley with the second pick in the draft.

I asked Gallman what his impressions are of Barkley.

“Saquon is Saquon, he brings a talent to the room [running back room] that just makes us better. Everyone in the room has their own talent and what they do and what they bring to the table. Saquon is a great talent and that’s why he went number two. So I’m glad to have him in the room as my brother and can’t wait to play the season with him.”

Despite the Giants selecting Barkley with the second pick, as a competitor, players always want to compete and be number one on the depth chart. Young Gallman is no different.

“You want to come out here and be your best period but you know from a business standpoint I understand everything, Gallman said. “You know you have to become an adult at some point in this business and you have to take what’s given to you. So I still come out here and do the best I can. But I also understand the business and what I have to do myself and the roll that I have in this offense.”

One of the many changes the Giants made this offseason was hiring Pat Shurmur as head coach. Shurmur has developed a reputation as an offensive guru, he’s offenses heavily rely on running backs.

It’s clear the kid is also looking forward to the new offense.

“Last year’s offense I would say was not as diverse as this year’s offense,” Gallman proclaimed. “It also took me a little bit more time to learn last year’s offense than it has this one. I know I’m a year in and I have my habits in how I study and everything. But this offense is also a little easier to grasp and I think we can catch a lot of teams off guard with what we do.”

With the diversity of the Giants’ offense, sometimes Gallman or another running back will be lined up in the backfield. Other times, they’ll be lined up wide, and sometimes they’ll be in the slot. The young back revealed many defenders have been surprised with some of the new offensive wrinkles instituted by Shurmur.

“Yeah, they have over the past couple of weeks,” said Gallman. “I’m having fun with all the things that coach Shurmur and everyone is doing with our playbook. It’s just different and I’m having fun with it.”

Finally, Gallman touched on the biggest change in Davis Webb from year one to year two.

“I would say his confidence has risen because he’s been here every single day. I remember during the offseason I came to the facility to train and Davis was here working out and studying the playbook. He’s going to put as much work as he can every single day, he’s a great hard worker and I see it everyday.”

Gallman enjoyed a solid game in the Giants 30-17 win over the Detroit Lions on Friday night. He carried the ball five times for 26 yards and a touchdown. He also caught two passes for nine yards with one of those receptions going for an eight-yard touchdown via Davis Webb.

Jason's first love was football while growing up in northern New Jersey. For the past three years, he has covered the New York Giants, as well as several boxing events along the East Coast.