Saquon Barkley got an incredulous look on his face when asked if he was hoping to play in the New York Giants' preseason opener against the Cleveland Browns on Thursday.
Hoping was not an option as far as the second overall pick in the NFL draft was concerned. The halfback from Penn State wants to play Rico Gathers Jersey , even though the Giants cut back his workload last week, leaving many to wonder if he was a little dinged after 10 days of training camp.
Coach Pat Shurmur put the injury speculation to rest when talking to the media on Monday. He said Barkley is physically fine and the team is just managing his workload.
It seemed odd, though, on Saturday when the Giants didn't give Barkley a snap after limiting his carries a day earlier.
Shurmur downplayed it, saying the rookie has been getting plenty of work in drills not open to the media.
Barkley believes he is ready. He has worked hard, picked the brains of quarterback Eli Manning and veteran running back Jonathan Stewart, gotten to know his linemen and seems to have grasped the offense as well as can be expected for a newcomer.
Shurmur said the 21-year-old is making mistakes but learning from every one.
"Hoping? I plan to play," Barkley said Monday. "That's like I don't know; I haven't experienced an NFL preseason game yet, but I think that hoping would be like, I am hoping I am good to go for that game. I am more than capable to playing now. I am just happy inside to play in my first NFL game. Hopefully I can maximize every rep."
Barkley said he never had this much time to take care of his body in college. He noted that in his final season at Penn State he had to juggle training camp with taking finals from summer school classes.
Being hit for the first time in the NFL is something Barkley wants to happen.
"The first hit is something that knocks everything out, whereever your nerve is Womens Cam Newton Jersey , you are overthinking stuff. It definitely helps."
Barkley isn't looking to gain a specific amount of yards or touchdowns. He wants to maximize every chance he gets and to have no missed assignments.
Manning said the best advice he has given Barkley is to take what the defense is giving on each play and realize you are not going to score on every play.
"Understand that expectations are going to be high, and don't worry about that," Manning said. "That's what you have a team for and you have a job to do. Take what they give you and when the opportunity comes and there is a hole and you get to the safety, that's your opportunity to make a guy miss and make something special happen."
Defensive coordinator James Bettcher said Barkley has been a good test for his defense.
"There's no question," he said. "I dealt with a guy of that nature and we've talked about it here at this stand before is (David Johnson), an Arizona guy that can split out and try to create mismatches, a guy that can run the ball extremely well between the tackles, and coordinators are going to have a fun time figuring out how they're going to get their matchups right."
Shurmur said he was still working on how much everyone will play Thursday at MetLife Stadium. He said he wants to see his whole roster since performance in games carries more weight than training camp in determining the 53-man roster.
Derrius Guice walked onto his new home field taking cellphone video of his surroundings and waving to fans.
It's the kind of moment he could have had on stage at the NFL draft had he gone in the first round as projected. Instead, the LSU running back slipped to late in the second round amid some off-field character concerns and will now give the Washington Redskins a very motivated rusher.
"I already ran angry and now I'm going to run angrier than ever," Guice said Saturday. "It's going to be tough for a lot of teams to bring me down."
In getting a run-stuffing defensive tackle in Alabama's Da'Ron Payne at 13th , a powerful running back in Guice at 59th and Louisville offensive tackle Geron Christian at 74th Youth Christian Djoos Jersey , the Redskins hope to solve problems in the ground game on each side of the ball. They were worst in the NFL in stopping the run and fifth-worst in rushing.
"I stop the run for a living, so I think that's going to be something easy," Payne said.
The Redskins addressed most of their needs in one way or another at the draft, trading down to recoup the third-round pick they traded for quarterback Alex Smith, adding Guice to their backfield and stocking up on defensive depth.
Guice could end up being the best value, considering that the SEC record-holder for most 250-yard games dropped amid reports of an argument during his visit with the Eagles. Philadelphia general manager Howie Roseman denied there was any altercation, and Washington was satisfied enough in its meetings with Guice that it ended his freefall.
"No one wants to hear their name be slandered like that," Guice said, repeating that he didn't know where the reports came from. "(The Redskins) didn't just go off rumors, they didn't just hear everything and believe it because they met me. They know me as a person, so they already know who I am as a person. Just to see a team not let rumors and stuff like that affect their decision to bring me in Quenton Nelson Jersey , I have to give my all to these guys. They changed my life, they believed in me, they trusted me."
NEED FOR SPEED: Washington added speedy Penn State safety Troy Apke with its fourth-round pick 109th overall to add to a group that already includes hard-hitting D.J. Swearinger and Montae Nicholson. Apke's 4.34-second 40-yard dash was the fastest among safeties at the scouting combine.
"I think my speed will help with everything," Apke said. "I'm going to make a name for myself on special teams first, and then after that, just make my way into playing safety there."
ON GUARD: Coach Jay Gruden saying that Christian will remain at tackle makes it a strong likelihood that Ty Nsekhe moves inside to fill the hole at starting left guard. That was the Redskins' one starting job left open going in.
"You can never have too many big bodies," Gruden said. "I believe that, and it's about protecting the passer (and) running the football."
ROLL TIDE: Taking Payne and then inside linebacker Shaun Dion Hamilton in the sixth round gives the Redskins four Alabama products over the past two drafts. Payne joked that former teammates and 2017 picks Jonathan Allen and Ryan Anderson were more excited about the Crimson Tide defensive reunion than he was.
"It should be a lot of fun," Payne said. "Just being able to come in and already have some guys that I know there ... they'll help me out with little things and just guide me in the right direction."
NEW D: Swearinger was so happy about adding Payne, Apke, fifth-round defensive tackle Tim Settle Womens Adrian Peterson Jersey , seventh-round cornerback Greg Stroman and Hamilton that he tweeted : "Welcome to the rebirth of the new and improved Redskins defense." Time will tell if he's correct, but after injuries in 2017, at the very least, Washington has more depth.
STILL NEED: Tight end depth and a developmental quarterback prospect. Injuries to TE Jordan Reed and Vernon Davis being 34 make it a position to watch well into training camp, along with QB, if the front office wants to start thinking about the post-Smith era.
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