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Joe McDonald

McDonald: Saquon Barkley Comes In As Advertised

Neil Miller/Sportsday Wire

Sure it’s just one preseason game, but Saquon Barkley came in as advertised.

It’s something according to SBG Global sportsbook that should happen quite often. A 39-yard run from scrimmage, that got the Giants rolling in the eventual pre-season loss vs. the Browns.

“I loved his first run,” said coach Pat Shurmur. “If only they all could be like that. You could see, it wasn’t too big for him. He’s probably played before bigger crowds at Penn State. It really wasn’t too big for him and I think he took the next step in his progress to get ready for the season.”

This is what the Giants expected when picking Barkley with the second overall pick. A quarterback would have been a project and someone who would have helped the Giants down the line, with Eli Manning still ready to go. But Barkley gives Big Blue something that was missing for a long time – a huge running game.

And that’s what they got tonight. With one big run, the Giants can see the future is now and the offense will be revamped to center around their new star. This will help Manning, who doesn’t have to do it all himself and star receivers like Odell Beckham, because they will less likely be double-teamed in regular situations, because the defense will have to stay in for Barkley.

Of course, this is just one pre-season game against a team that failed to win a game last season. Things will have to continue along for Barkley and he will have to focus on his job and that is learning.

“One definitely was pass [protection], knowing what I needed to do and seeing my guys. I didn’t really get a chance to pick up a block today,” he said. “I didn’t have one to pick up really, it wasn’t my responsibility, and being patient in the run game, creating a pull, setting up pulls. The third thing was being me, go back to being me. I have so many people outside of my family saying I’ve got to do this, I’ve got to be this, they have expectations for this and that, but the main focus was just to put that all aside, put that all to rest and not even focus on it. Just go out there and be a little kid again and play football.”

And that’s what will make this Giants offense fun again. It’s easy for the Giants to get excited here, but we all know it’s just one run.

Manning knows that better than most.

“It’s just a run,” Manning said. “Let’s not go beserk, yet. It was a good run. The offensive line blocked things well, he had a good cutback. It was a good play.”

And one that was advertised when the Giants picked Barkley, No. 2 overall.

The excitement is just starting.


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