Saquon Barkley is in prove-it mode for the New York Giants. After becoming injury-prone, the former Pro Bowler is looking to get back to being a star player. He has looked healthy this offseason and could be in for a big season under a new coaching staff and with a better offensive line.
Not everyone is convinced he can turn it around, though. According to Jeremy Fowler of ESPN, the Saquon Barkley problems go well beyond his injuries. One rival coach told him that the Giants running back lacks patience as a runner and is a very bad blocker.
“I’m down on him — he still doesn’t know how to play running back enough,” a veteran NFL offensive coach said. “He’s a bouncer. He wants every run to be a home run. He’s going to have to learn that 4-yard runs in this league are good, instead of stopping, cutting it back and losing 2. And he gets his ass kicked in protection.”
Last season certainly fueled the coach’s comment. Barkley did not look very good in the 13 games he played in. His rushing yards per attempt were down by nearly a full yard since his last full season and got fewer looks per game. Other running backs on the Giants roster looked way more competent very frequently.
Saquon Barkley is not only playing for his role on the Giants but for a new contract. If he wants to receive a sizable contract that other star running backs have received, he will need to step up his level of play. The former number two overall pick is on the verge of becoming just another player.
New head coach Brian Daboll has big plans for Saquon Barkley. As he looks to get back to superstardom, his ability to become a more well-rounded player in Daboll’s scheme will be one of the key factors.