Saquon Barkley took the NFL by storm in his rookie season with the Giants last year. Barkley ran for 1,307 yards and 11 touchdowns to go along with 721 receiving yards and four TDs. Big Blue's running back is expected to have another monster year in his sophomore campaign.
The difference for Barkley so far is that he was used to winning at Penn State. Coming to the Giants in his rookie season and starting off losing a lot was a complete change for the superstar. The Giants finished 5-11 in 2018.
"It was a struggle in the beginning. I'm not going to lie," Barkley told 'Boomer & Gio' on WFAN Tuesday morning from Giants training camp in East Rutherford.
"Going from college to the NFL, in college you lose two to three games. You lose two games, there's no chance for you to be in the college football playoffs. It was a struggle. It taught me. At one point, we were 1-7. I was like 'what the heck, what is this? We're 1-7? There's no chance.' Before you know it, we come back from a bye week, we won three games straight then we go into the Eagles and the Eagles make the playoffs and they were in a similar situation, continue to win our games and we'll make it to the playoffs. We weren't able to do that. We were able to put ourselves in position to win games, but we weren't able to find ways to finish it. It taught me you can't panic, stick through it, stick through the grind, continue to believe in each other and at any given time, anything can happen."
Barkley will play behind rookie QB Daniel Jones at some point. Barkley was asked his early impressions of "Mr. Jones."
"He can play. You see flashes and glimpses on the field. I'm really excited to see him go out there and play live against the Jets Thursday. You can see he's a competitor."
Nothing says a true bond between a QB and a RB like a little board game competition.
"I'm the best Connect Four player probably in the NFL," said Barkley. "The first time I played Daniel I beat him with ease. We left and we come back to camp and out of nowhere he pulls me inside and we start playing Connect Four and he gets me. He gets me two times in a row. I'm like 'oh man we got to keep going.' We kind of kept playing until I got the win. You can see his fire and competitiveness on the field and really excited for his future."
Some people have expressed concern with the workload put on Barkley, who is going to have to carry a Giants offense that lacks a strong receiving core. The 22-year-old face of the franchise is not worried about that.
"There are probably a lot of people that are concerned about that. I realize that. It's not their body, it's my body," Barkley said. "I know how passionate I am about this game. I know how passionate about my team. When I say I'll do whatever it takes to help my team win games, I really mean it."