Saquon Barkley Rips Critics Who Attacked His Rushing Style

New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley had some pointed words for those who think he needs to change the way he plays.

The former Penn State standout was asked about criticisms about his habit of favoring lateral movements instead of running straight up the field and using his power to gain yardage. Critics of Barkley’s current style argue that by spending so much time “dancing” he risks losing yards.

Barkley disagrees with this assessment.

“This is probably the last time I’m going to speak on this: I know people want to say ‘dancing’ and … ‘He doesn’t get north-and-south,’” Saquon Barkley said. “But I’m not just going to run into any of my linemen’s backs. That’s not how I play the game. That’s not how I’ve been playing since I was 8 years old.” 

“I know that’s been the conversation or the thought or the thing out there said about me, that ‘He doesn’t know what he’s doing. He’s dancing back there,’ ” Barkley continued. “I’m really kind of fed up with people who never played the position and try to speak on how I run the football.

“We call them All-Pros with clickers in the hand.” 

And with that Barkley dropped a line every professional athlete has probably wanted to use when they’re sick of hearing it from critics.

Saquon Barkley Says He Is Still Working To Adopt A More Physical Style

Barkley acknowledged that he’s always looking to improve, and that includes adding more physical, North-South play to his game.

It’s not just people outside the Giants organization who have been calling for Barkley to make some adjustments, head coach Brian Daboll has as well.

“He is talking about the physicality of me trusting myself and getting downhill,” Barkley clarified. “People — not coach in particular — are trying to use that as an example that I’m dancing. Dancing is stuff you do in high school football or little league football where you run this way, you run that way. That’s not part of my thought process.” 

“If I’m making a run back in the day and someone breaks free and is in my face, I’m not going to run right at him,” Barkley said.

“I’m going to try to get back to the line of scrimmage. That’s part of my craft and my game.”

According to Next Gen Stats, Barkley spends on average 2.89 seconds behind the line of scrimmage per carry, a stat that the Giants — and Barkley’s critics — would like to see come down.

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Written by Matt Reigle

Matt is a University of Central Florida graduate and a long-suffering Philadelphia Flyers fan living in Orlando, Florida. He can usually be heard playing guitar, shoe-horning obscure quotes from The Simpsons into conversations, or giving dissertations to captive audiences on why Iron Maiden is the greatest band of all time.

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