Ex-Giant Delivers Strong Saquon Barkley Take, Backs Wayne Gallman

Ottis Anderson says Saquon Barkley can learn from Wayne Gallman

Getty Saquon Barkley #26 of the New York Giants.

Ottis Anderson knows a thing or two about toting the rock.

The former 15-year pro amassed over 10,000 rushing yards during his NFL career. A perceived home-run threat early on with the St. Louis Cardinals, Anderson evolved into an efficient bruiser as father time began to creep up on him. The former No. 8 overall pick in the 1978 draft, Anderson’s willingness to alter his game kept him effective well into his mid-30s, even taking home a Super Bowl MVP in the New York Giants‘ Super Bowl XXV victory along the way.

Anderson sees a bit of both of these play styles occupying the Giants’ current backfield. On Wednesday, Anderson joined the Valentine’s Views podcast where he told Big Blue View’s Ed Valentine what the home-run hitting Saquon Barkley can learn from his running-mate, Wayne Gallman.

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Anderson on Saquon: ‘Sit Down and Show Him Wayne’

“I’ve said for a long time the Giants should never get rid of that kid [Gallman],” Anderson said. “I’m glad they kept him around because he’s very valuable and I love what he’s done. He’s a one-cut and take what you give. He’s not trying to hit the home run every time he gets the ball in his hands. That’s the difference between him and Barkley.”

Anderson continued, stating the team should “sit down and show him Wayne. Show him films of Wayne … look at what Wayne did. Wayne took what the defense gave him and he didn’t try to get those home runs every time he touched the football, but you saw them come.”

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Gallman Seized His Opportunity in 2020

It may sound far-fetched at the moment, but Wayne Gallman was a longshot to make the Giants’ 2020 roster entering training camp. Falling out of favor with the previous coaching regime, ESPN’s Bill Barnwell went as far as to claim that “Gallman doesn’t have a role on the roster,” back in last April. And believe me, he wasn’t alone in this assumption.

While Gallman did beat the odds to capture a spot on the 53-man roster, it’s not as if the team viewed him as a viable workhorse early on as they featured multiple bodies ahead of Gallman before ultimately handing the backfield over to him.

When Saquon Barkley suffered a season-ending injury in Week 2 of the season, Gallman was nowhere to be found, as he was a surprise healthy-scratch. By Week 4, he was jumped on the depth chart by Devonta Freeman, who was signed off the street just 12 days prior. Over the first six weeks of the season, Gallman totaled just 15 carries for 76 yards rushing.

It wasn’t until a season-ending injury struck Freeman in Week 7 that New York finally began to hand the reigns over to Gallman. While they were still a bit hesitant at first, giving Alfred Morris and Dion Lewis arguably too much run in the backfield, Gallman would go on to average 13.2 attempts per game, leading to the most prolific campaign of his four-year career.

The former Clemson Tiger standout set career highs in rushing yards (682), attempts (147), touchdowns (six) and most important, yards per carry (4.6). The latter number highlights Anderson’s point of Gallman’s ability to take what the defense gives him. While there were other factors at play, namely a struggling offensive line early in the year, Barkley averaged just 1.8 ypc in 2020, albeit in a largely abbreviated season.

Barkley is an otherworldly specimen. In reality, Gallman can’t hold a candle to Barkley when it comes to strictly a talent perspective. However, if Barkley can take a page out of Gallman’s book and reel in his game a bit, he could take his production to new heights in 2021.

As for Gallman, the impending free agent’s days in New York may potentially be over. However, if this proves to be the case, he’s likely earned himself a hefty payday and an equally hefty workload elsewhere, thanks to putting Anderson’s guidance into motion.

“I always talked to him and I said listen, you’re a play away from being on the field you’ve just got to always be ready, when your time comes to shine you’ve gotta do it,” Anderson said of Gallman. “You’ve gotta make people remember that you are in this league for a reason, and that given an opportunity you can carry the load. When he had that opportunity he showed what he can do.”

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