Barkley cred­its line­men

Hartford Courant - - Sports - News­day

EAST RUTHER­FORD, N.J. — Saquon Barkley doesn’t think he will rush for 1,000 yards this sea­son.

Oh, sure, he fig­ures to reach the sta­tis­ti­cal mile­stone. After 125 yards against the Bears last week, he is just 46 yards shy. There’s a pretty good chance he ac­com­plishes that on Sun­day against the Red­skins.

What he doesn’t buy into is that “he” will do it.

“When you get 1,000 yards, it’s not just your­self get­ting 1,000 yards,” Barkley said this week. “It’s your team get­ting 1,000 yards, the of­fense, and es­pe­cially the of­fen­sive line.’’

Which is why Barkley wants to cross the four­digit thresh­old in his rookie sea­son not for his own sat­is­fac­tion, but as a sort of thank you gift for his block­ers.

“I know we’re pretty close to it and that just speaks vol­umes to the of­fen­sive line,” he said. “Def­i­nitely want to get that for those guys.”

Those guys have helped Barkley rush for over 100 yards in each of the past three games. In the nine games prior to that, he’d done it just twice. It’s pretty clear to the naked eye that the Giants’ of­fen­sive line has im­proved since the bye week. They have set­tled in as a co­he­sive group after spend­ing the first half of the sea­son grap­pling with in­juries and bench­ings. The ad­di­tion of Ja­mon Brown, ac­quired off waivers and in­serted at right guard, seems to have been a key piece to the puzzle.

“You def­i­nitely do sense it be­ing dif­fer­ent,” Barkley said. “Just be­cause of in­juries and peo­ple mov­ing and re­plac­ing here and re­plac­ing here. Now we got a so­lid­i­fied five… [The rush­ing yardage] speaks vol­umes on their part and the way they’ve been play­ing and the con­fi­dence they’re hav­ing as they con­tinue to grow through every game we’re play­ing this year.”

So what does block­ing for a 1,000-yard run­ning back mean to an of­fen­sive line­man?

“It’s very ex­cit­ing for us,” said fel­low rookie Will Her­nan­dez, who has played every snap of the sea­son at left guard. “Our job is to make th­ese guys the best pos­si­ble and let them make the most out of their ca­reers, you know? That’s our only job, to make sure th­ese guys are suc­cess­ful.”

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