Tiki Barber highly critical of Saquon Barkley, says he ‘cannot pass protect’
New York Giants fans are optimistic that Saquon Barkley will one day be considered the greatest running back in franchise history. The man who currently holds that title feels Barkley has an awful lot of work to do before he can even begin thinking about that.
During his CBS Sports Radio show Tuesday, Tiki Barber was highly critical of Barkley. The three-time Pro Bowler said Barkley may not even be an every-down back because he “cannot pass protect.”
“He cannot pass protect, and it’s starting to become glaring,” Barber said. “It’s probably the only issue he had to deal with coming into the NFL because he wasn’t asked to do it at Penn State. You see him diving on the ground, not sticking his head in people’s chests — it’s gonna be a liability. People see it now. It’s on tape and it’s gonna come out.”
Barkley is one of the stronger backs in the NFL, but Barber believes he is hesitant to hit people.
“Recognition is one (thing). And, two, you’ve gotta go hit a dude,” Barber said. “Saquon Barkley’s a big man. He doesn’t want to hit anybody. That’s frustrating to watch. I know he’s a great back, but he’s frustrating to watch trying to pass protect. … He’s a big back who wants to play small.”
The comments from Barber come on the heels of Barkley rushing for just six yards on 15 carries in Monday night’s loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. The former No. 2 overall pick eclipsed the 1,000-yard rushing mark in each of his first two seasons, but many people are expecting him to explode in his third year.
Barber has shown in the past that he is not afraid to unload on star players. Perhaps his harsh analysis will serve as motivation for Barkley.
"Saquon Barkley is a great back, but he might not be an every down back. He cannot pass protect. It's becoming glaring & could become a liability"@TikiBarber says Saquon needs to vastly improve his pass-blockinghttps://t.co/XPocW1rdxt pic.twitter.com/qigna0i9Gm
— TikiAndTierney (@TikiAndTierney) September 15, 2020