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|There's no doubt Saquon Barkley has the talent to be great NFL running back.Speed Chris Jones Jersey , power, quickness, smarts, good hands. The Penn State product who the New York Giants grabbed with the second overall pick in the draft has it all.
What he needs is knowledge. He has to learn a new playbook for coach Pat Shurmur and then pick up all the little adjustments that turn a college star into one of the NFL's elite. And it all has to be done in roughly four months.
"Physically, he looks the part," two-time Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning said of Barkley. "I'll be excited to see him with pads on, in the open field, and see what he can do. He has done a good job."
Barkley has done everything asked of him so far. He also has drawn some attention. Veteran defensive tackle Damon "Snacks" Harrison quipped he couldn't wait until training camp so he could "hit his ass."
Barkley laughed about it Wednesday.
"I'm just happy that we're on the same team, and he only gets to hit me maybe once or twice a year, rather than facing him for a whole game," Barkley said.
Barkley has spent a lot of time the past few weeks picking the minds of veteran running back Jonathan Stewart, Manning and his coaches. When he is not doing that, he is watching videotapes of Cardinals running back David Johnson and the Steelers' Le'Veon Bell blocking and running inside and outside the tackles.
"There is always room for improvement on anything," Barkley said Wednesday after the second day of a mandatory three-day minicamp. "Playbook is definitely something that I feel like I am getting more comfortable with. I am seeing the field a lot differently. Understanding where I have to be in my pass concepts."
Offensive coordinator Mike Shula said Barkley needs to learn the little adjustments that need to happen before and after snaps. He also has to learn how to adjust to facing different defenses each week.
So not only does he need to know the plays, he has to understand what happens when Manning changes plays http://www.indianapoliscoltsteamonline.com/quincy-wilson-jersey , where the protection slides, and where he needs to be.
Barkley believes good backs run on instinct. He also says they have to help their offensive linemen by setting up their blocks.
"For me, I did it so natural in college that I didn't even notice I was doing it," Barkley said. "Now, understanding and seeing the play before it develops and seeing the linebacker overflowing, that is how you set up cutback lanes."
Defensive coordinator James Bettcher has enjoyed watching Barkley.
"He's a special player," Bettcher said. "He's a guy that's going to create nightmares for any defensive coordinator, and matchup problems on any given down."
After Thursday's workout, the Giants will be off until training camp opens in late July.
Barkley intends to go home to Pennsylvania for his sister's Sweet 16 party and later train in either Florida or California, or a mixture of both.
He is also looking forward to his first season with the Giants and being in the shadow of New York.
"At State College, it is like its own little city. It is a small city," he said. "Then, in New York, you walk around and people know you. It is not like, 'Wow they know me Walter Payton Jersey , I have fame,' but it is like people notice you and what you are doing. I have not played a down of football yet, so I am just handling myself."
ERECK FLOWERS: Ereck Flowers says his adjustment to playing right tackle is going well. He admitted it was tough being told he was being moved from left tackle to the right side after the signing of Nate Solder as a free agent.
"They have to do what is best for the organization," said Flowers, the Giants' first-round pick in 2015. "I don't have any personal feelings about it. For me, I want to prove myself every time I hit the field."
The Giants did not pick up the fifth-year option on Flowers' contract in the offseason, so he will be a free agent after the season.
NOTES: NFL Films was at Giants practice on Wednesday and Shurmur was wired for sound. ... CB Janoris Jenkins says fellow cornerback Eli Apple has matured after a troubled season in 2017. "He understands that there are going to be people that love you and people that hate you," Jenkins said of Apple. "No matter how good you play, it is still going to be the same.'
Put Kevin Love’s name atop the list of the Cavaliers that walked out of Cleveland’s 25-point Eastern Conference finals Game 1 loss to Boston a little staggered, but with an unbowed head.The reason: He’s got a teammate by the name of LeBron James that’s had a way of responding after lopsided playoff defeats.
Just ask the Indiana Pacers.
The Pacers stunned the Cavs at home in their first-round opener, rolling to an 18-point victory. In Game 2, James was all but unstoppable as he replied with a 46-point, 12-rebound performance.
”I expect him to have a big response,” Love said of James on Monday. ”He’s always done it. Even before he came back to Cleveland and since I’ve been here he’s always responded big. …. He’s going to approach this game as one that he’s going to have to lead and bounce back.”
Even if James does have a big Game 2 Tuesday night in Boston, he’ll need some help – and the Cavaliers know it.
Love said he thought the Cavs were a ”little soft” in the first half in Game 1. Getting tougher could mean a lineup change for the Cavaliers.
Coach Tyronn Lue acknowledged that he was at the least considering inserting Tristan Thompson into the lineup after Boston’s Al Horford had his way in Game 1 Authentic David Desharnais Jersey , scoring 20 points on 8-of-10 shooting.
”It’s definitely something we have to weigh,” Lue said. ”We weighed it before the series started, but we’d won seven out of eight and we weren’t going to adjust until someone beat us and we didn’t play well with that lineup and that got us to this point.”
Lue said numbers showed that in the last three years, out of all the players that have guarded Horford over at least 30 possessions, Thompson is No. 1 in the league defending him.
”So that’s a good thing to know,” Lue said.
Boston also outscored Cleveland 60-38 in the paint. That, JR Smith said, is a sign James’ supporting cast needs to do more.
”We’ve got to help `Bron,” he said. ”We can’t just expect him to do everything. As role players, we’ve got to play our role.”
Thompson came off the bench Sunday but has fared well opposite Horford in the past. Change would mean going away from the three-guard lineup of Smith, George Hill and Kyle Korver, along with James and Love. That lineup tormented the Raptors last series.
Thompson said the Cavs weren’t able to ”clean up the boo-boo on our lips” after the Celtics‘ initial run in Game 1.
”I think as a team, 1 through 5, we gotta all play tougher,” Thompson said. ”Obviously Wayne Simmonds Jersey , when I check in the game I try to bring that toughness and that energy. But our starters gotta be ready to throw the first punch. We need them to do that, we need them to be physical and set a tone early.”
He said his past playoff success against Horford has come by him being himself, which means being active early.
”Horford is playing very well right now and he’s shooting the crap out of the ball,” Thompson said. ”When I go check into the game, whether it’s him or (Aron) Baynes I just try to run the floor, set pick-and-rolls and just try to work him on both ends so that hopefully by the second half his legs might be a little tired where he might not make that three that he makes in the first half.”
Boston doesn’t seem concerned about who the Cavs put on the floor.
The Celtics feel they are a much different team than the one that trudged into last year’s conference finals matchup with Cleveland still toting the emotional baggage of helping teammate Isaiah Thomas cope with the death of his sister.
Boston also started that series on just a days’ rest following a draining seven-game series with Washington.
None of that is a factor this time around for a rebuilt roster that despite being down two All-Stars in Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward, has found a synergy with its remaining group.
This incarnation of the Celtics is not only young and athletic but playing with a physicality that was missing at times last season.
The Celtics’ starters scored 88 points in Game 1, while shooting 58 percent from the field and going 10 of 21 from the 3-point line. Cleveland’s starters scored 46 points, shooting 33 percent from the field and going just 3 of 19 from beyond the arc.
”We got a lot of guys where we just don’t care,” Marcus Smart said. ”(Cleveland is) here for a reason, because of the talent that they have. But we have talent as well.
”We have guys that are fearless. So we just go out there and do what we do.”
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