The offense is just as big of a question mark for the New York Giants this year as the revised secondary. With no Odell Beckham Jr. and the addition of new offensive line players and receiver Golden Tate, things are going to be different this year. The big question is whether they’ll be different for the better, or for worse. One of the biggest parts in the Giants performing well will of course be running back Saquon Barkley, who spoke after Tuesday’s OTAs about the current state of the offense.
“Last year, we played at a high level, definitely in that second half. Now, no one is new to it. Aside from the rookies, for myself, Eli, Shep and Evan, all those guys, no one is new to it. We had a whole year of it last year and now we get a jumpstart. I feel like I am seeing the field a lot better and understanding the offense. I think we have a lot of talent and we showed flashes of it last year,” Barkley said about the offense. “When the opportunity comes, we are going to be ready.”
Sterling Shepard will have his largest role yet after a four touchdown season last year where he broke his career record in yards. Shepard still hasn’t broken 1,000 yards however and that will be a goal as he takes over the number one role vacated by Odell Beckham Jr. Evan Engram, who was also mentioned by Barkley, had half as many touchdowns as he did in his rookie year and will be looking to bounce back after struggling with injuries and low usage for many parts of last season.
“I donâ€™t think any number is too high for me personally. At the end of the day, I know I sound like a broken record, but you will hear this for as long as I am in the NFL, as long as I take care of my body, my body will take care of me,” Barkley also said about his potential workload this year, despite Pat Shurmur claiming earlier that the team wants to spread the ball around more.
“I will continue to have my team around me. Obviously, have a great strength staff here and a great training staff here. Have to be a pro outside the facility. Whether it is 350 touches, 400 touches or less touches next year. Whatever I have to do to have this team compete for a championship, I am going to do.”
Barkley was already the second leading rusher in the league last season so it will be hard for him to top his performances from last year. However, if Barkley doesn’t top his numbers, it clearly won’t be for lack of effort.