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Saquon Barkley got an incredulous look on his face when asked if he was hoping to play in the New York Giants' preseason opener against the Cleveland Browns on Thursday.

Hoping was not an option as far as the second overall pick in the NFL draft was concerned. The halfback from Penn State wants to play Courtland Sutton Jersey Elite , even though the Giants cut back his workload last week, leaving many to wonder if he was a little dinged after 10 days of training camp.

Coach Pat Shurmur put the injury speculation to rest when talking to the media on Monday. He said Barkley is physically fine and the team is just managing his workload.

It seemed odd, though, on Saturday when the Giants didn't give Barkley a snap after limiting his carries a day earlier.

Shurmur downplayed it, saying the rookie has been getting plenty of work in drills not open to the media.

Barkley believes he is ready. He has worked hard, picked the brains of quarterback Eli Manning and veteran running back Jonathan Stewart, gotten to know his linemen and seems to have grasped the offense as well as can be expected for a newcomer.

Shurmur said the 21-year-old is making mistakes but learning from every one.

"Hoping? I plan to play," Barkley said Monday. "That's like I don't know; I haven't experienced an NFL preseason game yet, but I think that hoping would be like, I am hoping I am good to go for that game. I am more than capable to playing now. I am just happy inside to play in my first NFL game. Hopefully I can maximize every rep."

Barkley said he never had this much time to take care of his body in college. He noted that in his final season at Penn State he had to juggle training camp with taking finals from summer school classes.

Being hit for the first time in the NFL is something Barkley wants to happen.

"The first hit is something that knocks everything out, whereever your nerve is, you are overthinking stuff. It definitely helps."

Barkley isn't looking to gain a specific amount of yards or touchdowns. He wants to maximize every chance he gets and to have no missed assignments.

Manning said the best advice he has given Barkley is to take what the defense is giving on each play and realize you are not going to score on every play.

"Understand that expectations are going to be high Custom Chicago Bears Jersey , and don't worry about that," Manning said. "That's what you have a team for and you have a job to do. Take what they give you and when the opportunity comes and there is a hole and you get to the safety, that's your opportunity to make a guy miss and make something special happen."

Defensive coordinator James Bettcher said Barkley has been a good test for his defense.

"There's no question," he said. "I dealt with a guy of that nature and we've talked about it here at this stand before is (David Johnson), an Arizona guy that can split out and try to create mismatches, a guy that can run the ball extremely well between the tackles, and coordinators are going to have a fun time figuring out how they're going to get their matchups right."

Shurmur said he was still working on how much everyone will play Thursday at MetLife Stadium. He said he wants to see his whole roster since performance in games carries more weight than training camp in determining the 53-man roster.

In the final game of a forgettable season, the Atlanta Hawks got a glimpse of what the future might hold.

It’s going to take a while to get there.

Getting starting on a painful rebuilding process, the Hawks stumbled through their worst season since 2005, finishing 24-58 to end a 10-year streak of playoff appearances.

”We’ve been in the playoffs every time,” point guard Dennis Schroder said. ”To have a season like that, it was kind of tough for everyone.”

Atlanta closed out the season Tuesday night with a loss to the Philadelphia 76ers Adidas Mikko Rantanen Jersey , who have provided the template for all teams going through a massive overhaul. Just two years removed from a 10-72 debacle, the Sixers are a 50-plus-win team headed to the playoffs with one of the NBA’s most exciting young rosters .

”That’s definitely something we’re going to try to model after in a sense, just having that young talent, building and getting better every year, and getting into the playoffs,” said Hawks forward John Collins, who had a promising rookie season.

In his first year as general manager, Travis Schlenk began stripping the roster of veteran players, stocking up on draft picks and clearing out salary cap space that can be used down the line . With only seven guaranteed contracts on the books for next season – and center Dewayne Dedmon likely to opt out for a better deal elsewhere – it figures to be another offseason of jarring change.

All that losing can make it difficult to come to work each day. But coach Mike Budenholzer got pretty much the most he could out of his limited roster, sending out a team that competed hard every night and rarely got blown out.

The Hawks lost 21 games by less than 10 points, while only seven defeats were decided by 20 or more.

”We showed a glimpse of what we could be,” said second-year forward Taurean Prince http://www.seahawksauthorizedshops.com/authentic-michael-dickson-jersey , another of the building blocks for the future. ”We made a lot teams play harder than they wanted to play.”



Some takeaways from the Hawks’ season:

SCHRODER’S STUMBLES: Presumably the centerpiece of the Atlanta’s rebuild, Schroder is still dealing with his arrest on a misdemeanor battery arrest just before the start of the season and continues to show signs of immaturity despite this being his fifth year in the league.

”To be the leader of any NBA team, it’s a blessing,” Schroder said. ”But it’s tough to get up in the morning, go to practice and see 12, 13 guys looking up to you.”

COLLINS EMERGES: Schlenk’s first draft pick was a winner. After being selected at No. 19, Collins quickly claimed a prominent role with his enormous athleticism and confident presence. Only 20, he should have plenty of upside as he improves his overall game.

Prince, the top pick in 2016, also had a solid season. He averaged 14 points a game, improved greatly from beyond the 3-point arc and can expect an even bigger role in the years to come.

AUDITION TIME: The Hawks used this season to audition several G League prospects and rejects from other teams, hopeful that their emphasis on player development might yield a few diamonds in the rough.

The most promising finds were point guard Isaiah Taylor and forward Damion Lee Authentic P.K Subban Jersey , who both showed they might have a future in the NBA if they continue to improve.

MORE ROOKIES: The upcoming draft will be a major step in the rebuilding process.

In addition to their lottery pick, the Hawks could have two other first-round selections acquired through trades as well as a choice early in the second round.

Schlenk could package that bounty of picks in a trade or stockpile the roster with even more young talent. Whatever he decides, it’s imperative that the Hawks get maximum value this summer to keep the rebuilding process on track.

BUDENHOLZER’S FUTURE: The Hawks coach seemed willing to go along with Schenk’s plan, even though it surely guarantees several dismal seasons before there’s any tangible signs of improvement.

Now the question is: Will Budenholzer stick around for the long haul?

Already, there have been reports that he might be interested in another job with a team that has a better chance of winning right away. Considering the dynamics in Atlanta – Budenholzer guided the Hawks to a franchise-record 60 wins just three years ago, only to be stripped of his power over personnel matters after a several questionable moves – it’s not hard to envision him moving on.

Coach Bud was once THE man in Atlanta. Now, he answers to Schlenk, who has full authority to strip this team down before he builds it back up again.

”I love what I do. I love this team. I’m focused on what we just did and how we can get better going forward,” Budenholzer said Wednesday, without necessarily denying that he might be willing to look at other options.



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