Eventually, the New York Giants will have to decide what to do with Saquon Barkley. The running back appeared to have limitless potential in his rookie season, but injuries and bad offensive lines have left everyone wondering just how much he can really do. This season, Barkley will play under another coaching staff and will once again be under pressure to perform for a future contract.
As for what Barkley can actually improve on, former Giants kicker Lawrence Tynes has some advice. Surprisingly, it doesn’t have to do with Barkley’s physical speed.
Lawrence Tynes tells Barkley to find his “why”
Saquon didn’t lose a step, he lost the more important piece “WANT TO”
I’m pulling for you 26 but you need to find your “WHY” again not your speed. #TogetherBlue https://t.co/cVrbCZ0MB0
— ???????? ????? (@lt4kicks) February 13, 2022
Tynes is taking the angle of questioning Barkley’s motivation, which is a bold statement. After all, Barkley spent much of the previous year telling everyone just how motivated he is to get back to playing well.
Despite those statements, though, it’s clear something is still amiss with Barkley. It could be physical or it could be mental, but he hasn’t lived up to the level of performance from his first two years in the league.
His 593 yards and two touchdowns isn’t the worst statline in the world for a player coming off an ACL injury, but it leaves room to wonder if Barkley’s injuries have impacted his ceiling.
Of course, Barkley had less overall rushes in 2021 compared to his first two years. But even looking at the average instead of the total, there was a drop-off. After averaging 5 yards per attempt in 2018, he averaged 3.7 in 2021.
Some of that is indeed on a poor offensive line. The Giants have gotten worse in that area during his time with the franchise, not better.
But it’s likely not the only problem impacting Barkley’s game.
Maybe Barkley lost a step from the ACL tear, or maybe it’s a mental thing as Tynes suggested. Regardless of the true answer, the pressure on Barkley will be at an all-time high this season as a large future contract is at stake.