Observation deck: Searching for replacements

ALBANY, N.Y. -- A few observations on the New York Giants, gleaned from the team's Aug. 14 practice::

1. Spotlight on Brandon Jacobs
The third-year running back is ready to take over the job vacated by Tiki Barber. He has spent the past two years working as the team's short-yardage back and is eager to showcase his other skills. There's no question the Giants' running game will become more of a power-oriented attack -- with Reuben Droughns (5-foot-11, 220 pounds) joining Jacobs (6-4, 264 pounds) -- but coach Tom Coughlin also wants to make sure his backs understand the subtle nuances involved in carrying the football. "The one thing that really made Tiki Barber a great runner was his ability to set up blocks," Coughlin said. "Tiki would be back there waiting for a run to set up, and it wouldn't look like he was running very fast. But then he'd get a block and take off. That's something I hope that Brandon picked up from him."