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Giants' Saquon Barkley Says He's 'Fed Up,' Sounds Off on Criticism of Running Style

Erin WalshAugust 19, 2022

Rich Schultz/Getty Images

New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley is sick of the criticism surrounding his running style.

When asked by a reporter Friday if he's making an effort to run more "north-south," Barkley responded, via Sports Illustrated's Dan Lyons:

“This is probably the last time I’m going to speak on this. I know people want to say, ‘Dancing… He don’t get north-south,’ but I’m not going to just run into my linemen’s back. That’s not how I play the game, that’s not how I’ve been playing since I was eight years old. I’ve been playing the position for a very long time, and by no means am I the perfect running back, I’ve still got so much work to do...

“I know that’s been a conversation… ‘He don’t know what he’s doing, he’s just dancing back there.’ I’m really kind of fed up with people who’ve never played the position and try to speak on how I run the football. We call them All-Pros with clickers in their hand.”

Following New York's first preseason game against the New England Patriots, head coach Brian Daboll complimented Barkley's performance, saying he did a good job of moving the ball and "didn't dance."

Barkley responded to those comments Friday:

"When he says get north and south, he’s talking about the physicality of me trusting myself, me getting downhill… People are trying to use that as an example of me back there dancing. Dancing’s like stuff you do in high school, in little league football."

Barkley's best response to the criticism will be putting together a solid season. Injuries have limited him over the last couple of years, so everyone will be looking for him to bounce back in 2022.

The Giants selected Barkley No. 2 in the 2018 draft, and he went on to have an impressive rookie season, rushing for 1,307 yards and 11 touchdowns in 16 games, in addition to catching 91 passes for 721 yards four scores.

Barkley was named Offensive Rookie of the Year and earned a Pro Bowl selection.

The Penn State product's production dipped in his second season, but he was still productive as he rushed for 1,003 yards and six touchdowns in 13 games, in addition to catching 52 passes for 438 yards and two scores.

Barkley missed all but two games in 2020 after suffering a torn ACL and returned in 2021 to rush for just 593 yards and two touchdowns in 13 games, in addition to catching 41 passes for 263 yards and two scores.

Still, he wasn't fully healthy last season, which likely led to the dip in production.

If he's healthy in 2022, look for Barkley to turn in a solid year and play a significant role in the New York offense.

The Giants open the 2022 campaign against the Tennessee Titans on Sept. 11.

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