The thought of Saquon Barkley taking the field during the regular season not only makes New York Giants fans excited but football fans in general. The quality he brings to the game and the physical traits he possesses makes him a must-watch plater.
The game-changing ability and magnificent plays he carries out every week lay the foundation of what he’s capable of on the offensive side of the ball. For the Giants, though, his influence comes in more ways than just handing the ball off to him.
His intangible traits are prolific — leadership, authority, control, discipline…
Barkley contains all of the attributes that form a world-class player, but it’s what he does without the ball in his hands that help the other play-makers.
Just having the dynamic back on the field is the difference between success and failure. Opposing defenses are forced to game-plan for Barkley and allocate defenders to track his every move, which ultimately gives the rest of the offense opportunities to succeed.
For example, against the Cincinnati Benglans on Thursday, the Giants utilized a fake running back screen and split tight end Evan Engram as a blocker on the opposite side – Eli Manning faked the throw to Wayne Gallman and dumped it off to Engram for the first down.
I absolutely LOVE what the Giants are looking to do with Evan Engram this year. Getting him into space and running full speed. Picks up extra yards and formation distracts the defense with trips on the left side, completely forget about Engram.#giantschat pic.twitter.com/27BJlPaJp8
— Alex Wilson (@AlexWilsonESM) August 24, 2019
This play is far more successful and efficient with Barkley on the field drawing the middle linebacker from his position. The influence Barkley has on opening-up the middle of the field and exposing single-coverage is significant, and I fully expect head coach Pat Shurmur to scheme around him to keep the defense guessing.
What makes New York Giants RB Saquon Barkley so great?
As one of the league’s best tailbacks, Barkley has an exciting way about finding space in the defense to operate. Compared to runners like Ezekiel Elliot, Saquon is not quite as efficient or disciplined in sticking to run designs. What makes the Giants’ player so great is his ability to create space for himself and improvise.
A pair of massive thighs and low center of gravity allows him to change direction on a dime and shed tackles at an impressive rate. Having incredible east-west fluidity is essential to his play-style — he almost seems like a glorified scat-back, but his strength and power allow him to plow ahead for extra yardage.
A multi-tooled player, Barkley, helps the team in various facets, but his tangible traits are hard to ignore.