Giants’ Saquon Barkley: ‘I’m not just a running back’

Saquon Barkley doesn’t want to be defined by his position.

Barkley, who was picked second overall by the Giants in last month’s NFL Draft, rushed for 1,271 yards and 18 touchdowns while at Penn State last season. But, he said Friday at rookie minicamp there’s more to his game than taking handoffs.

“He’s a tough player, warrior, and a great worker, and we have a good relationship.”

The Saints were 11-5 last season and return both Kamara, who scored 14 total touchdowns, and Mark Ingram, who rushed for 1,124 yards, to their backfield. Ingram, however, is facing a four-game suspension to start the 2018 season after he violated the NFL’s PED policy.

Mater Dei (Middletown, N.J.) outside linebacker Shitta Sillah has absolutely blown up. His recruitment started out gradually, and has remained steady over time, recently exploding to the tune of 20-plus offers.

The Saints went from a defense that is perennially the worst in the NFL to a top-10 team by DVOA, a highly improbable jump up from 31st in a single season. Ryan Rymcyzk and Alvin Kamara, offensive picks in those same rounds, helped too. The Saints became a running-focused team, but in a modern way, with Kamara fitting in perfectly as a modern air back who can also run between the tackles. He and Mark Ingram were an incredible complement to each other, and a four-game suspension for Ingram shouldn’t derail that. Ramcyzk allows them to watch Zach Strief walk away without skipping a beat.

Now all that appears to be water under the bridge, with Apple saying he’s remorseful for his actions.

“Was I embarrassed? Of course,” Apple said of the way his season ended, via “Nobody wants to go out the way I went out. So, of course.”

Coach Pat Shumer said Apple deserves a clean slate and that he has been completely professional since joining the team at OTAs Monday.

“It’s about just putting things behind me, trying to continue to move forward, and go out here and have great energy on the field,” Apple said. “I definitely feel it. The coaches have told me. I’m trying to be a better person, better player, and better teammate this year.

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