Saquon Barkley takes Tiki Barber’s harsh criticism as “a challenge”

Getty Images

Tiki Barber didn’t mince words when discussing Saquon Barkley‘s Week One performance. It wasn’t only the 15 carries for 6 yards that prompted the former Giants running back’s criticism of the current Giants running back.

Barber questioned whether Barkley should remain an every-down back because “he doesn’t want to hit anybody” in pass protection.

Barkley heard Barber’s comments and said Thursday he didn’t take it personally.

“Obviously Tiki is a legend, did a lot of great things for this franchise,” Barkley said, via Zack Rosenblatt of “I’m not gonna look at it as disrespect. I’m gonna look at it as a challenge. But it’s the same thing with him as everybody else: I don’t care about anybody’s outside opinions. I’m really only focused on the opinions in this building. I try to come to work every single day and get better.”

Barkley has not talked to Barber since Barber made his comments.

“I guess he addressed something on his show, which is his God-given right,” Barkley said. “He has an opinion, he voices his opinion and . . . it’s opinion to have. I’m taking it more as a challenge, not disrespect. I’m just focused on myself and everyone here in this building.”

There is no denying Barkley struggled in pass protection. Pro Football Focus gave him a pass blocking grade of 25.5, which ranked him 69th of 76 eligible running backs in Week One.

“He might not be an every-down back,” Barber said on his CBS Sports Radio show. “He cannot pass protect, and it is starting to become glaring. It was probably the only issue he had to deal with coming into the NFL. He wasn’t asked to do it at Penn State. And you see him diving on the ground, not sticking his head in people’s chests. It’s gonna be a liability, because people see it now, it’s on tape, and it’s gonna come out.”

31 responses to “Saquon Barkley takes Tiki Barber’s harsh criticism as “a challenge”

  1. Tiki is right, and if the Giants have a top 5 pick again after this year, you have to think about trading Saquon after this season. Why? Because in May you need to either guarantee the 5th year option or give him the huge contract extension… cant have him playing his 4th year as a Giant without 1 of the 2.

    Its not as easy a choice as Im sure many of my fellow Giants fans assume it is (IF we have a lousy 2020 season). Now, if we win 6 or more games, then I say keep Saquon going forward.

  2. nothing that can’t be corrected with good coaching, like Coughlin getting that RB who fumbled all the time (i.e. Tiki Barber) to hold the ball up higher on his chest

  3. Barber is a self over rated back with a big mouth. If he makes into the hall fame, you might as well just let everyone in.

  4. Tiki obviously didn’t watch Barkley at PSU. He was good in pass blocking and delivered the block in the 2016 Iowa that stopped a blitzing LB so McSorley could deliver the winning TD pass.

    Giant’s O-Line needs to block better, he has defender’s in in face before even getting near the line of scrimmage.

  5. I commend Barkley for his attitude and response to Tiki. He very easily could have spouted off on Tiki, who had his own issues, but instead will channel the criticism to make himself better. Nice words, but he has a long way to go to prove Tiki and statisticians wrong.

  6. I remember the Giants winning the super bowl right after Barber retired early. It was a great time to be up in Ny/NJ that year. I’ll never forget it or the public atmosphere. Good times man.

  7. Tiki also said the Giants couldnt win a Superbowl with Eli. Soooo forgive me if I don’t find much value in Tikis opinion.

  8. This was a bad draft pick…not because he isn’t supremely talented (he is) but because he was drafted by a team that has significant needs and very good backs can be found much lower in the draft or in free agency.

    He’s stuck on a poor team breaking in a raw QB – when they could have drafted a ten-year OL or DB stud.

  9. Nothing pains me more than thd overused “disrespect” quote. When did this become a thing?

    Glad Saqoun isn’t looking it as “disrespect”, but when did criticism become disrespect? It is the most overused term in all sports.

  10. ghjjf says: “It’s amazing that the team fell apart when Eli retired.”

    Right. You mean that Eli that went 9-23 in his last three seasons with the Giants?

  11. Barkley is taking the right approach about Barber’s comments. First of all, Barber’s opinions are just his opinions, and they should have no affect on Barkley at all. Barkley simply has to do what his coaches ask him to do and nothing more, or less.
    Barber was a good RB for the Giants, but he rubbed people on his teams the wrong way at times, too. So apparently, nothing has changed with him.

  12. Tiki Barber has his own TV & radio show. If he doesn’t say something hyper-critical about someone every once in a while, people wouldn’t even know he had a show. Good job, Tiki.

  13. ghjjf says: “It’s amazing that the team fell apart when Eli retired.”

    Right. You mean that Eli that went 9-23 in his last three seasons with the Giants?

    6 3 Rate This

    Yup,and despite his average lifelong record and statistics, he will make the Hall of Fame because #1 He is a Manning and Archie & Peyton will promote him relentlessly and #2 He beat the Big Bad NE Patriots not once by twice…Hall of Pretty Good for sure, but It is what it is…

  14. Saquon Barkley is a great fantasy running back.

    But Tiki is right, there are some huge holes in his game. He’s great in space, but they need a bruiser up the middle to punish the defense, and move the sticks. And, obviously to block…

    The GM drafted Barkley #2 that’s on him. It’s not about effort, they’re using him wrong. Keep him rested so he can rip off the big plays

  15. Where they were as a franchise the Giants drafting Barkley was like having a house that’s falling apart, will become unlivable soon, and you deciding the most important thing to do first was renovate the walking closet.

  16. All this could be solved if Jason Garret would just clap harder on the sideline. He’s obviously not in game-shape yet.

  17. Tiki is right, Saquon is a liability in pass blocking, he needs to improve that part of his game to be compared to the best all round back Zeke who is an every down back & picks up the blitz like an o-lineman not a matador like Saquon……..ole!

  18. If Saquon keeps hurdling would be tacklers, he won’t have to worry about improving to prove Tiki wrong. He’s gonna seriously injure himself doing that.

  19. At least Barkley hasn’t had to have Tom Coughlin cure him of “fumbleitis” like Barber did. “High and tight,Tiki!” Who is Tiki Barber to criticize a guy who has a 100% greater attitude than he ever did?

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.