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Saquon Barkley unlikely to suffer same fate as me

3 min read
Saquon Barkley unlikely to suffer same fate as me


Barry Sanders accomplished just about every milestone a running back can expect to accomplish in his 10-year Hall of Fame career with the Detroit Lions.

When he abruptly retired in 1998, he had 15,269 rushing yards — only the heat, Walter Payton, had more — and an NFL record seven seasons of over 1,400 yards rushing.

In college, Sanders had won the Heisman Trophy at Oklahoma State, then in the pros took the 1989 NFL Rookie of the Year Award, was named the 1997 NFL MVP and was either a first or second-team All-Pro in all 10 of his NFL seasons.

Sanders was a first ballot Pro Football Hall of Famer in 2003 and is considered one of the greatest running backs in the history of the NFL, getting named to the league’s 100th Anniversary All-Time Team.

But Barry Sanders has one glaring hole in his hard-to believe resume. He’s never been to the Super Bowl.

Saquon Barkley of the New York Giants has drawn many a comparison to Sanders, an impressive feat in and of itself and one both players are proud of.

Sanders spoke about Barkley this week on Radio Row at the Super Bowl in Miami and believes Barkley may not be in for the same championship-less fate he suffered.

“At least it’s a franchise that has won multiple Super Bowls,” Sanders told the New York Post. “They know how to put together a winner. At this point, I wouldn’t be that concerned about that. I would lean toward them at least understanding there is a method in being able to do it. You have to get the right guy in there coach-wise.”

The Giants hired Joe Judge, who won three Super Bowls as an assistant with the New England Patriots as their head coach. Judge also won two National Championships during his time at Alabama.

Sanders elaborated on his assessment of the Giants, beginning with quarterback Daniel Jones.

“We’ve seen a lot of promising things from the quarterback,” Sanders said. “They have a blueprint for how it’s done. It’s a matter of shaping it around the best player you have.”

Sanders made a suggestion that all Giant fans hope general manager Dave Gettleman adheres to.

“They should probably draft offensive linemen in every round of the draft the next few years,” Sanders said. “The ones they don’t keep, they can turn into tight ends or something. The point is you have to invest something in protecting in him (Barkley) and Jones because they could have a bright future with those two great young players.”

So, will Barkley be anywhere near the player Sanders was?

“He could easily be one of those historic-type runners that you see in this game every so often,” Sanders said. “It reminds me of my journey and how I always loved running backs, hearing about guys like Gale Sayers and Jim Brown. It’s great I can be an inspiration in that way, and it made a big difference in my career.”

Barry Sanders: Giants' Saquon Barkley unlikely to suffer same fate as me

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