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(Photo by Ed Mulholland/Getty Images)

New York Giants running back Wayne Gallman continues to grow as an NFL player after his sophomore campaign in the pros. 

When you’re a running back on the same team as Saquon Barkley, it can be a tough situation. New York Giants running back Wayne Gallman knows all about that.

Gallman was selected in the fourth round of the 2017 NFL Draft and was the only running back from the 2017 Giants that returned in 2018. This, of course, comes with the exception of running back Paul Perkins, who spent the entire 2018 season on the IR.

After the Giants took Barkley with the second overall pick in 2018, many knew Gallman’s role would change. That new role came with fewer opportunities.

In 2017, the then-rookie Gallman racked up 476 rushing yards, with an average of 8.5 carries per game. He also caught 34 passes for 193 yards through the air and a touchdown. The lone score coming on his 23rd birthday in a Week 4 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

However, Gallman only rushed for 176 yards with one touchdown on 3.4 carries per game in the shadow of Barkley in 2018. He also couldn’t produce as well through the air, catching 14 balls for 89 yards.

Despite his new role, the organization sees his improvement and praises his growth as an NFL running back.

“A year ago, he had good production,” running backs coach Craig Johnson said in the fall, per Matt Cohen of “He was able to as a young player be good in all three phases, but like a lot of players, you’ve got to take the next step. What he had done in the past, while a good blueprint, did not really apply to this year. I had to see him improve in those areas, and for the most part, he has done that.”

Gallman also spoke on his progress this past season, both on and off the playing field.

“I think I made a lot of progress,” Gallman mentioned. “A lot of progress mentally just knowing the systems in football and the defenses. Just in my study habits and overall improvement as a player.”

Going into his third season as a pro running back in 2019, Gallman will look to improve even more. He won’t crack the starting lineup and we know that. However, the former Clemson Tiger and 2016 national champion knows his role within the offense and understands what he needs to do to keep growing.

“Improve on everything,” Gallman said. “From workout habits to what I eat and drink. Just going to go back and do what I do, and get better at everything I can.”

Ryan Honey is a staff writer and host of the Wide Right Podcast.