EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — The firing of Jason Garrett as New York Giants offensive coordinator isn’t going to drastically change the way the team plays when it has the ball.
Star running back Saquon Barkley admitted Friday there might be a few new wrinkles on offense and players have been asked by the coaching staff to discuss plays they like to run so they can be included in the game play. However, he also noted the playbook isn’t rewritten 12 weeks into a season and the terminology is the same.
What has to change is the way the players execute the game plan on Sunday, when the Giants (3-7) face the Philadelphia Eagles (5-6) at MetLife Stadium.
Coach Joe Judge is hoping the staff shakeup get his offense to perform better.
“You can say what you want about coaches, but at the end of the day, like I said after the game against the Bucs, as players we’ve got to take some responsibility about it, too, and go out there and make plays,” Barkley said.
The Giants were held to season lows in total yards, points and time of possession in their 30-10 loss to Tampa Bay on Monday night. They have had a short week to prepare for the Eagles, who have won two straight and three of four.
Judge said the remaining offensive coaches combined to come up with a game plan for this week. The coaches turned to the players for help.
“We’re going to be the ones running the plays,” Barkley said. “If you’ve got your five top runs, come let me know your five top runs. Like these five plays that you know and you believe that are going to work, let me know the play that you believe is going to work. Just be open, be honest, the plays that we like, the plays that we don’t like.”
It kind of put the players on the spot, and Barkley is definitely one of them. He missed all but one game last season after tearing an ACL against the Bears in Week 2. He went through a major rehabilitation to return for the opener but things have not gone as planned. The offensive line was banged up early, then Barkley sprained an ankle against Dallas on Oct. 10 and missed the next four games.
The 2018 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year returned against the Bucs but didn’t do much. He had six carries for 25 yards and caught six passes for 31 yards.
Barkley seems to be searching for the things that made him one of the NFL’s most feared running backs in his first two seasons. He has carried 60 times this season for 220 yards and two touchdowns.
“It feels weird, it’s frustrating. But you know, that comes with some of the unfortunate things that happened to me the last two years,” Barkley said. “It’s part of it, it’s part of it, it’s part of the journey, it’s part of the story.”
Barkley said his goal is the work through the problems and re-establish his career.
“I’m going to look back on these moments and these dark times and these frustrating times and know that these are the moments that helped mold me, become the player that I am and the player that I am going to continue to be and going to be in the future,” he said.
Barkley has been listed as questionable for the game after limited practice this week, but he says he will play.
“It should be a really good game,” Barkley said. “It’s always a good game when we get to go against each other. Just got to do what we do and hopefully come out with a win.”
NOTES: The Giants placed defensive back Nate Ebner on injured reserve on Friday with a knee injury. He will miss Sunday’s game along with wide receiver Sterling Shepard (quad), tight end Kaden Smith (knee) and fullback Cullen Gillaspia (quad). Tight end Kyle Rudolph (ankle) and receiver Kadarius Toney (quad) are doubtful after being hurt on Monday.