NFL Offensive Coach Puts Saquon Barkley on Blast, Says New York Giants Star ‘Doesn’t Know How to Play Running Back’

by Dustin Schutte

Saquon Barkley has, quite literally, made his living playing running back. He shredded Big Ten defenses while suiting up for Penn State from 2015-17. He piled up over 1,300 yards in his first year in the NFL and earned the league’s Offensive Rookie of the Year Award in 2018. But, apparently, he doesn’t know how to play the position.

Has a “Sure, Jan,” GIF ever felt more appropriate?

ESPN recently released its preseason top-10 list for NFL running backs entering the 2022 season. Barkley didn’t make the cut but did receive honorable mention. Considering his injury issues in the past, it’s understandable why the fifth-year New York Giant wasn’t included in the top 10 spots. One veteran offensive assistant made an interesting comment, though.

“I’m down on him — he still doesn’t know how to play running back enough,” an NFL offensive coach told ESPN. “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.”

Tell us how you really feel, anonymous coach.

It’s completely fair to criticize Barkley’s recent on-field performance considering the dip in production. ESPN’s decision to drop him outside of the top 10 is completely justifiable. To say he doesn’t know how to play the position, though? That might be a bit harsh.

Saquon Barkley’s Decline in Production

Since that outstanding rookie season with the New York Giants, Saquon Barkley just hasn’t been the same. His numbers have never been as good as his first year in the league and injuries have cost him more than 20 games since 2019.

Last season, Barkley played in 13 games and totaled just 593 yards and two touchdowns. It was his lowest production output among his three healthiest seasons in the NFL. Is recovery just taking a little longer than expected?

With the Giants picking up the fifth-year option on their No. 2 pick from the 2018 NFL Draft, this becomes somewhat of a make-or-break year for Barkley. If he can prove he can still produce on the field like he did during his rookie campaign, plenty of teams across the league will have interest in the running back.

The 2022 season will mark Barkley’s fifth in the league. To date, he’s accumulated 2,937 rushing yards, 1,482 receiving yards and accounted for 27 total touchdowns with New York.