Former New York Giants great Tiki Barber’s comments regarding Saquon Barkley’s ability to block preventing him from becoming a complete back did not go unnoticed by the team, the fans and surely did not get past offensive coordinator Jason Garrett.
Garrett, who was a backup quarterback for the Giants for four seasons in the early 2000s, was a teammate of Barbers and knows the criticism of Barkley is likely constructive. Garrett was asked on Thursday about Barber’s assessment that if Barkley can’t sufficiently block, he has to come off the field on third downs.
“Great respect for Tiki, first of all,” Garrett said. “He was a teammate of mine. I’ve known him for a long time and I really respect him as a person and as a player in this league. Having said that, we really try to focus on what we need to do with our guys and do internal evaluations of how they play.”
Class answer from a class guy. Garrett then delve into he root of the problem identified by Barber, who unfortunately, is likely correct in his analysis.
“One of the things we love about Saquon is his desire to be a complete back. That’s running the football, both inside and outside, as a pass receiver and also as a pass protector. Having said that, he can improve in all areas. That’s something that we like so much about him, is his desire to come in and get better and strive to be a complete back. There were some examples of him blocking well in the passing game the other night. There were some examples of him not blocking as well as he needs to. He knows that. We’re working on that, we’re trying to get him better in that area. But we love his approach, we love his desire to be a complete back, and that’s going to help him and our team going forward.”
We’ll see if Barkley picks up his game. The Steelers’ rush was non-stop on Monday night and everyone on the line struggled to pick up blitzes and blew assignments. Barkley was as guilty as any of them. The Giants will need that to change of they are to have any chance at turning their fortunes around.