Saquon Barkley’s goal for his sophomore season is simple – win games

Saquon Barkley’s goal for his sophomore season is simple – win games

Saquon Barkley seemingly did it all for the Giants as a rookie. Big Blue just didn’t do enough winning.

Now with the man the Giants offense once relied on, Odell Beckham Jr., traded to the Cleveland Browns, Pat Shurmur’s playbook fell right into the lap of the team’s star running back.

“I guess you can say I’m the focal point of the offense, but we don’t view (it like) that,” Barkley, the 2018 offensive rookie of the year on a 5-11 team, said as he preps for his sophomore season in the NFL and the extra pressure of being a leader in the locker room.

“That’s the perception of everyone outside of us. Our mindset is to just be a team, we all got to step up, we all got to make plays. The focal point of our offense is winning games.”

Saquon Barkley, seen here at a Nets playoff game in April, is ready to carry a bigger load of the offense for the Giants this season.

Barkley is watching all of his rookie teammates go through the same transition he went through last year. As the “veteran,” in the room, the 22-year-old has been in the young guys ears, giving them advice on how to become a pro.

“I tell all those guys just come in every single day ready to work,” Barkley said Wednesday night as he joined Super Bowl XLII hero David Tyree to host the fifth annual charity bowl at Lucky Strike on 42nd street in Manhattan, in support of “Children of the City,” a Brooklyn-based non-profit organization.

“You just gotta have that mindset, you don’t got school anymore, you don’t got classes anymore, you got all the time in the world to focus on yourself and become a better player.”

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While Barkley is establishing himself as a leader, Giants 2019 first-rounder Daniel Jones is just getting his feet wet. The rookie quarterback will have big shoes to fill once Eli Manning calls it quits. In the meantime, Jones is trying to soak up anything he can from the two-time Super Bowl MVP.

“It’s been awesome (learning under Eli),” the 6th overall pick said. “I think it’s a big opportunity for me to learn and to be around a guy like that who’s done it for a really long time at a really high-level, it’s been great.”

In addition to keeping tabs on Manning, Jones has been assessing the team’s progress as a whole. So far, the 22-year-old has liked what he’s seen.

“It’s been good, I think we’re making progress as a team,” said Jones. “I’m certainly trying to improve every day myself, but I think we’re going in the right direction and it’s been a good start so far.”

Tyree was grateful for the support he received from the Giants players for the “Children of the City” organization whose mission is to change the culture of poverty through education.

“Tonight it’s just indicative of the support of these players, the Giants, every person whose given their time and resources to it,” said Tyree. “I’m just trying to do my part and serve as well.”

The Children of the City’s “High Impact” summer program has proven to increase reading comprehension by 90 percent, and math skills by 80 percent through tutoring, mentoring and social skills training.

Barkley has been highly involved in Tyree’s program. Despite all the newfound fame, he never forgets where he came from and acknowledges the importance of helping people in need.

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“I just stay true to who I am,” Barkley said, an average 236 bowler in middle school. “Be that same kid from Whitehall, Pennsylvania that my parents raised me to be. It’s all about giving back, especially for me. Poverty was something big in my life, I have a lot of family members that were in poverty.”