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Mailbag: Impact of Saquon Barkley's return


Robert in New York: In the past, the Giants have used a fullback to lead block for their star running back. Any chance they go back to that for Saquon Barkley?

John Schmeelk: The reason the lead fullback has gone out of vogue in the NFL is simple: high-level blocking fullbacks who can also do other things are not developed in college anymore. Tight ends are taught more blocking techniques than running backs and are also often better receivers, which is why they are used more frequently in that role. There are exceptions to the rule, but that's they way it's been playing out. Unless the Giants can find one of those exceptions, I would not expect them to change their style.

Ronald in Tennesee: Do you see Saquon Barkley returning from his injury as the same player, or won't he be the same?

John Schmeelk: Medical technology and recovery/rehabilitation methods have come a very long way in the last couple of decades. Players are able to bounce back quickly from even serious surgeries like ACL repairs, and there is no reason to think that Barkley won't be able to do it. Adrian Peterson looked like the same guy when he returned from a similar injury.

Barkley is very serious about his craft and a strong player who is very hard worker. He will be diligent and listen to the medical staff to give him a chance to return to his original level. There are no guarantees and it might take some time for him to reach peak form, but there is no reason to think he won't get there.

Lee in Arizona: Why don't we run play-action passes off of running sets?

John Schmeelk: The Giants ran play-action on 26.7% of their passing plays, which was just above league average. On plays with multiple tight ends on the field, which indicates a potential run, the Giants ran play-action 93 times, which was the 7t- most plays in the league out of those sets. They used play-action often, especially when defenses would be expecting the run based on offensive personnel.


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