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Giants’ Kevin Zeitler excited to block for Saquon Barkley

Kevin Zeitler, Saquon Barkley, Giants

New York Giants guard Kevin Zeitler was as surprised as any when he was part of a deal that sent wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. to the Cleveland Browns. Regardless, it seems he is already looking forward to blocking for running back Saquon Barkley.

The trade was undoubtedly a lot to take in for Zeitler. He said during an appearance on SiriusXM NFL Radio that the prospect of paving the way for Barkley was one of his initial thoughts:

“I mean, obviously, the first thought that popped in my head is like, ‘All right, we got Saquon!’,” Zeitler said. “I know he’s a heck of a player so that can only make life more fun for me. Right after I got traded, Eli Manning reached out, so did Nate Solder. Both sound like great guys that are in it, ready to work and whatever I can do to help, it’ll be great.”

Zeitler’s excitement is certainly understandable. Although Barkley is entering only his second year in the NFL, he has already established himself as one of the premier running backs in the league. The former No. 2 pick is coming off a historic season in which he tallied over 2,000 yards from scrimmage en route to Pro Bowl and Offensive Rookie of the Year honors. He will have a chance to follow up his stellar campaign with still more improvements in his level of production, given the upgrade on his offensive front.

Kevin Zeitler spent the bulk of his career blocking for a number of different running backs after stints in Cleveland and in Cincinnati with the Bengals. He will now have an opportunity to watch a player of Barkley’s caliber make the most out of his run blocking. With Beckham gone, it is safe to say that the Giants will be relying heavily on the run game in 2019. Zeitler will be an essential part of that process.