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Ex-Giant Lawrence Tynes: Saquon Barkley didn't lose a step, he lost his 'want to'

Giants Wire logo Giants Wire 2/13/2022 Dan Benton
EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY - JANUARY 09: Saquon Barkley #26 of the New York Giants reacts in the third quarter of the game against the Washington Football Team at MetLife Stadium on January 09, 2022 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Dustin Satloff/Getty Images) © File photo EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY - JANUARY 09: Saquon Barkley #26 of the New York Giants reacts in the third quarter of the game against the Washington Football Team at MetLife Stadium on January 09, 2022 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Dustin Satloff/Getty Images)

New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley appeared on the Pat McAfee Show this week and had a message for both his doubters and haters.

It was a similar message to one Barkley shared previously, but the sentiment remains the same: if you doubt him, don’t do a magical 180 and start supporting him when he returns to form.

“You can say what you want about me . . . but when things turn around, I can see how everyone shifted to the other side. And make sure you stick to the other side,” Barkley said. “Keep the same energy.”

Those words are nearly identical to ones Barkley shared in mid-January.

“For everyone outside in the world who were fans but may not be fans right now, for you guys [in the media] who are going to write something positive or mostly something negative about me, just make sure you guys stay on that side of the table when things turn around,” Barkley said at the time.

The notion that Barkley has “lost a step” is not universally agreed upon. However, there’s no denying that the second overall pick in 2018 has fallen off considerably in recent years.

Some may blame Barkley’s lack of production on injuries — a fair argument — while others stick to the “lost a step” narrative. But former Giants kicker Lawrence Tynes isn’t in either camp. Rather, he believes the cause for Barkley’s regression is internal.

Those are some strong words and a damning indictment of Barkley from someone who spent many years on the field, winning a couple championships in the process.

Tynes doesn’t come off as someone being intentionally disrespectful, just honest in his opinion. And it’s likely one that others also silently share.

Is it true? Has Barkley just lost his love of the game and desire to be great? We certainly wouldn’t go that far as Barkley worked hard to get through various serious injuries, played hurt and grinded to get back on the field. You don’t do that if you don’t love the game — and Barkley clearly loves the game.

Unfortunately for the 25-year-old, the crickets will continue chirping until he returns to his Rookie of the Year form. And if he does, they’ll fall silent again very quickly. If not, they’ll only grow louder.

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