After making the playoffs in 2016, the New York Giants won just a combined eight games the following two seasons. The trade of wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. to the Cleveland Browns hasn't deterred superstar running back Saquon Barkley from believing that the Giants will make it to the playoffs in the 2019 season.“I know why people may not think [so], but yes,” Barkley said in an article written by Greg Joyce of the New York Post when asked about the Giants’ chances of making the playoffs next season. The Giants finished the last two seasons with a 3-13 and 5-11 records, respectively.

Barkley has cited the New England Patriots as inspiration to back up his conviction, saying the Bill Belichick-coached squad strengthened his belief that the Giants will become a playoff contender in the 2019 season.

Barkley says role players also contributed to Patriots’ success

“At the end of the day, it’s about the team. I think about the Patriots,” said Barkley. According to Barkley, quarterback Tom Brady mostly gets the credit for the Patriots’ success, but the team has other players who have contributed heavily to their six Super Bowl trophies. "They’re people that come out, they work, they do all the things right, they win situational football and they win games,” Barkley explained. Barkley won the Offensive Rookie of the Year award last season after running for 1,307 yards and 11 touchdowns and catching 91 passes for 721 yards and four scores for the Giants, who drafted him second overall in the 2018 NFL Draft.

The Giants will enter the 2019 season with Eli Manning as starting quarterback, but they drafted quarterback Daniel Jones with the sixth overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft to emerge as a possible heir-apparent to the veteran signal-caller. The Patriots also expressed interest in drafting Jones, but they were beaten to the punch by the Giants.

The Patriots eventually settled for quarterback Jarrett Stidham, whom they selected in the fourth round.

Former Patriots players helping in OTAs

The Patriots recently hired former star Jerod Mayo as inside linebackers coach, but he isn’t the only retired New England player assisting the coaching staff during the voluntary organized team activities (OTAs).

Zach Cox of NESN reported that retired wide receiver Troy Brown and retired running back Kevin Faulk were spotted helping the coaching staff and working with their own position groups. Cox said the role of Brown and Faulk remain unclear, but running back James White welcomed the opportunity to learn from the team’s Hall of Famers. “They had a lot of success in this league, and to be able to pick their brains is awesome,” said White. Brown and Faulk both spent their NFL careers and won three Super Bowl titles each with the Patriots, who are thick in preparation for their Super Bowl title defense.