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Saquon Barkley looks to leave fewer big plays on field

ORLANDO, Fla. -- New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley comes off a rookie season during which he totaled 2,028 yards (1,307 rushing) and 15 touchdowns.

NFL defenses are effectively put on notice in 2019, though, because Barkley believes he left some potential big plays on the field in 2018.

"There are so many," Barkley told at the Pro Bowl. "Everyone is going to see that. There are so many plays. Every time you go back to the film, if I did this or I would've done that, I could've done this. There are so many plays. That's the beauty of it. You're going to leave plays on the field, but you can learn from it and you can get better."

Barkley, the second overall pick of last year's draft, certainly turned heads last season by establishing an NFL rookie running back receptions record with 91. He also joined Hall of Famer Eric Dickerson and Edgerrin James as the two players in league history to total 2,000+ yards in a rookie season.

And even with all those accomplishments, Barkley feels what he sees on film from the past season will only make him better. Yeah, good luck to defensive coordinators having to scheme a way to stop the electrifying Barkley, who has another thing working in his favor and it surrounds offseason training.

Fresh off a college season, Barkley spent time away from loved ones and concentrated on workout drills specific to the NFL Scouting Combine and his pro day ahead of the draft. This time around, however, the running back can re-energize and shift focus to football-related training once he returns to workout mode.

"Now, you get a little bit more time to kick back and relax a little bit," Barkley said. "Obviously, not too much, but you can spend more time with your family.

"For me, it was hard at that time. I didn't have my daughter yet, but I couldn't really be around my family. I was away and they were home. My mom and dad were home and I was away in Florida training. Now, you know what to expect and you know the work you got to put in, you know what you got to tune up and what you need to fix and get you as best prepared for the season."

Meanwhile, the second offseason for some of the running backs currently at the Pro Bowl certainly paid off during the regular season from a production point of view, and provides a glimpse of what could be in store for Barkley.

After rushing for 641 yards and no touchdowns in his rookie season, Chargers running back Melvin Gordon rushed for 997 yards and 10 scores in 2016, adding 419 yards receiving and two TDs. Saints running back Alvin Kamara improved his rushing output from 728 yards to 883 in 2018, while also scoring 18 total touchdowns. Texans back Lamar Miller, then with the Dolphins, experienced an increase of 250 yards between his freshman and sophomore seasons.

Barkley will enter full offseason mode after the Pro Bowl, and he said some of the biggest takeaways from his rookie season included watching film, work ethic, how to treat teammates and developing into a leader.

He can now apply all those areas to his personal workouts as he looks to not leave any plays on the field in 2019 to help the Giants secure more wins.

"When I've been a better leader and I've been having fun with the game and I'm focused on it, I had more success," he said. "So, that's what I want to do."

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