The praise just doesn’t stop for New York Giants rookie Saquon Barkley. The Offensive Rookie of the Year contender is not only the best performing offensive player from this year’s draft, but one of the best backs in the entire league despite not even getting a full season under his belt. Barkley has been praised by fans, other players, and retired stars alike, and one of those stars that has recently praised Barkley will be a familiar name to NFL fans in general but specifically to New York fans.
The player in question is Joe Namath, former New York Jets quarterback and Super Bowl champion. Namath may have a lot of years out of the league at this point, but even he’s caught onto the Barkley craze that’s spreading around the NFL and had some positive things to say about the rookie.
“From what Iâ€™ve seen on my television and from what the people have said about him that are the closest to him, I can only admire him and I look forward to seeing when he plays,” Namath told MSG Network. “When Iâ€™m switching games on the TV on Sunday, Iâ€™m switching to see people. Iâ€™m switching to see teams, yes, but Iâ€™m switching to see people and heâ€™s one of the people I tune in to see how heâ€™s doing on that day. Heâ€™s that kind of player. Heâ€™s special.”
Barkley is indeed that kind of player. He had his best performance of the year against the Washington Redskins and his 170 yards on the ground and one touchdown played a crucial role in the Giants getting a blowout victory. It’s these types of performances, which have helped the team to win despite not drafting a quarterback, that make Barkley the special player that others have described him as.
Namath touched on the draft in his comments, and the choice that the new Giants front office made to take a running back with the second pick instead of a quarterback such as Sam Darnold.
“One of my old coaches â€“ it could have been coach Bryant [said] â€˜Quit dealing with coulda, woulda and shouldasâ€™ â€“ thatâ€™s not running through their minds. I donâ€™t want to go there. I think the Giants team is very happy with him.”
That last statement is likely very true, with Barkley sitting at third place in the NFL’s rushing standings behind Todd Gurley and Ezekiel Elliot, two backs who play for better teams and have more experience at the professional level. With three games left in the season, including Sunday’s game against the Titans, it’s quite possible that Barkley will manage to take the top spot. An impressive accomplishment for a running back that hasn’t completed a full season yet.