Legendary New York Giants running back Tiki Barber thinks Saquon Barkley may not be an every-down back. Barkley has thus responded.
Earlier this week, current New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley drew criticism from a former Big Blue workhorse. During his “Tiki and Tierney” show on CBS Sports Network, Tiki Barber stated that he believes Barkley may not be an every-down back. This was due to Saquon’s struggles in the pass-blocking department, an on-field issue that really came to light amid the Giants’ loss to Pittsburgh on Monday night.
But initially, Barkley noted he was using the comments as a “challenge,” per ESPN’s Jordan Raanan.
Saquon Barkley called Tiki Barber a "legend." Said he doesn't view that comments as disrespect. Instead he's going to use it as a "challenge." #Giants
— Jordan Raanan (@JordanRaanan) September 17, 2020
Some time thereafter though, in the same Thursday media session, Saquon stated, “the reason why it doesn’t bother me…I truly don’t care about other people’s opinions…it’s easy to be an All-Pro clicker,” per Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News.
Barkley’s pass-blocking struggles contributed to Daniel Jones not receiving enough time in a multitude of scenarios on Monday night. Jones was sacked a trio of times and pressure is what led to a third-quarter mistake when he threw a goal-line pick to Steelers defensive lineman Cameron Heyward.
No one is denying the on-field issue. It’s certainly something Saquon will need to work on, as is the same with other young running backs in this league. Nonetheless, he’s most definitely an every-down back considering his versatility and athleticism.
With a young quarterback who’s too inexperienced to truly put an entire team on his back, the Giants will need Barkley on the field in every which way possible. Despite the fact that his numbers were extremely low on Monday — six rushing yards on 15 carries — Big Blue must look to run its offense through the 2018 first-round pick, given the sheer talent he brings to the field.