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Giants’ Brian Daboll backs Saquon Barkley’s confidence, learned immediately how competitive he is

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Saquon Barkley is entering his fifth season with the New York Giants with a full head of steam.

The 25-year-old former Penn State standout appeared on the “2nd Wind” podcast and expressed his frustration with how his 2021 season ended and now going into 2022, he said he has a “kill mindset.”

On Wednesday, Giants head coach Brian Daboll was asked how Barkley’s new sense of defiance was going to carry into this year.

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Saquon Barkley, #26 of the New York Giants, makes a run during the preseason game between the New York Giants and the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium on August 11, 2022 in Foxborough, Massachusetts.
(Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

“I think that’s probably a good question for him. I just know that – I’ve said this before – since spring and since summer, he’s done everything we’ve asked of him,” Daboll told reporters. “He’s been really a pleasure to coach. He’s had a good mindset. He’s learned our stuff. He’s played hard, and he’s ran hard. What’s in his head or what he’s thinking? I think is better off for him. I just know he’s done a really good job for us really since we’ve been here.”

Daboll said when he took the job he learned immediately just how competitive Barkley was.

“He’s ultra-competitive. He’s very, very competitive. Not just on the field. Just really with anything. And you like to see that with your players. I wasn’t around him physically. You scout him coming out of the draft; he was a pretty talented player. But all of those things have shown up out here. But his talent, his competitiveness has stood out.”

Running back Saquon Barkley, #26 of the New York Giants, walks off the field after the team's mandatory minicamp at Quest Diagnostics Training Center on June 8, 2022 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

Running back Saquon Barkley, #26 of the New York Giants, walks off the field after the team's mandatory minicamp at Quest Diagnostics Training Center on June 8, 2022 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
(Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

STERLING SHEPARD RETURNS TO GIANTS' TRAINING CAMP 8 MONTHS AFTER TEARING ACHILLES

Barkley has been ravaged by injury the last three seasons, with his torn ACL in 2020 being the most damaging of them all as he played just two games that season.

Heading into the 2021 campaign, Barkley still did not look like himself. However, after a solid Week 4 against the Saints in New Orleans, some believed he had turned a corner. Then he suffered an ankle injury against the Dallas Cowboys that shut him down for four weeks.

The effects of that injury looked to be felt even when he returned as Barkley totaled just 593 yards on 162 rush attempts last season, scoring only one touchdown in Week 14 against the Los Angeles Chargers post-injury. Barkley said earlier this offseason that he feels much better than he did at the same point in 2021.

Barkley is playing on the fifth-year option of his rookie contract, which means he’ll become a free agent once the season is over unless he and the Giants work out an extension.

Running back Saquon Barkley, #26 of the New York Giants, talks to the media after mandatory minicamp at Quest Diagnostics Training Center on June 8, 2022 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

Running back Saquon Barkley, #26 of the New York Giants, talks to the media after mandatory minicamp at Quest Diagnostics Training Center on June 8, 2022 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
(Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

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In 44 games, the All-Pro running back has 2,937 rushing yards and 19 rushing touchdowns.

Fox News' Scott Thompson contributed to this report.

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