Ahmad Bradshaw has a most vivid way of describing his role in the Indianapolis Colts’ offense.

“I’m going to bring some dog to the offensive side of the ball” the veteran running back said. “We have a lot of dogs on the defense. I want to be that guy on the offense.”

A puzzled initial reaction might be forgivable. But a look at Bradshaw’s past provides some context about his edgy attitude. It’s been developed over many years of overcoming long odds obstacles and more than a few defenders left sprawled on the turf in his wake.

“This is a new chapter for me” Bradshaw said. “But I’m pretty far into the book.”

The events that shaped Bradshaw in some cases were self-inflicted. At other times he had no control over the situation.

His stepbrother’s death in 1995 at only 24 would fall into the latter category. Bradshaw was just 10 when Ronnell Mason died. But the two were always close. Perhaps Bradshaw holds those memories close when he’s running with abandon.

Bradshaw created his own setback when he was charged with underage alcohol possession as a freshman at the University of Virginia and reportedly ran from police officers. That got him kicked off the squad landing him at Marshall where Bradshaw had a minor theft charge that ultimately was dropped. Still there would be a cascading effect.

Things came to a head on draft day 2007 when 249 players were selected ahead of him. Six more spots and he wouldn’t have been drafted at all. Though he was picked at the end of the seventh round the Giants saw him as a mid-round draft choice ... were it not for the character concerns.

Bradshaw lived down that reputation and has developed a different one: one of the better running backs in the NFL during the past several seasons. But that could only happen after another one of those character-building moments that have made Bradshaw the man — and player — he’s become.

He arrived in New York as the fifth back in a quintet that included Brandon Jacobs Ryan Grant Ruben Droughns and Derrick Ward. Bradshaw’s outlasted all of them the only one currently on an NFL roster.