Former New York Giants running back Jonathan Stewart has been anything but bitter since his release earlier this year, repeatedly finding time to praise the Giants organization and running back Saquon Barkley.
Stewart had recently called Barkley the best running back in the NFL, but took that a step further while appearing on “Fair Game” last week.
“I’m gonna go say this on the record: He’s gonna be the best running back to ever play this game,” Stewart said. “As long as he can stay healthy. He’s more than just his talent … He’s not just trying to be the best running back. He’s trying to figure out ways that he can get the ball in space, whether he can line up in the slot. He believes he can do any and everything on the field, and he really can.
“He’s a spectacular football player. Great, level-headed kid, got a good support system behind him. It was great working with him.”
Stewart also acknowledged that once Barkley was drafted, he knew what his role was going to be and took it in strides. Once he began actually working with Barkley however, the transition became much easier.
“At the end of the day, this was my 11th season in the league. You, at some point, have to come to grips with the fact that ‘Hey look, you’re older,’” Stewart added. “The NFL is all about production and looking forward to the future. And that kid is the future. So when they drafted him I knew exactly what time it was.
“I was definitely gonna compete, I was gonna show him what it looks like to compete. What it looks like to be an eleven year vet and still getting after it, and still going through the routine and still preparing to be a starter. Because at the end of the day, you never know when your time’s up or when you’re being called on. The preparation is key, and he’s got all the tools.”
Stewart provided a great example for Barkley to follow even if it was just for one season, but it doesn’t sound like he needs constant supervision. The Giants not only got a great player in Barkley, but one with a head on his shoulders.