Tuesday, June 18, 2024
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Saquon Barkley quickly building chemistry with Jalen Hurts; how new RB is already becoming an Eagles leader

PHILADELPHIA — Saquon Barkley is built to be competitive, making the pairing with Jalen Hurts even more intriguing as he enters his first season with the Philadelphia Eagles. That competitiveness showed when the Eagles posted a video of Barkley and Hurts engaging in a squat competition during offseason workouts.

While it’s well known in Philadelphia that Hurts can squat up to 600 pounds, Hurts may have met his match with Barkley. The newest Eagles running back wouldn’t reveal the winner. 

“I don’t think it was competition,” Barkley said at the NovaCare Complex this week. “That’s the thing you love about being here. You come in you buy into the culture. I haven’t squatted like that for a long time. It’s amazing when you have your quarterback doing that. 

“We’re just all there trying to set the standard, buying into the culture. When you got your better players doing that, working hard and pushing each other, everybody else have no reason but to follow.” 

Barkley and Hurts are already trying to create a culture on and off the field so that the Eagles can avoid what they experienced at the end of last season. The Eagles were on a 29-6 run with Hurts from 2021 through 2023 before losing six of seven (including playoffs) to close the season. 

They believe Barkley’s presence can get them back to those winning ways. Barkley doesn’t have to be the guy in Philadelphia, not with Hurts, A.J. Brown, DeVonta Smith and Dallas Goedert as established skill players on that side of the ball. 

The centerpiece of all this is Hurts, of course. Barkley can already see “the standard” Hurts placed upon himself when he was facing Philadelphia twice a year. 

“I’ve always admired his game from afar,” Barkley said of Hurts. “It’s been fun to learn the system, get in the weight room with these guys, get on the field with these guys, especially Jalen and continue to build something.”

How does Barkley fit in to what the Eagles want to re-establish in the locker room? He’s just another piece to the puzzle. 

“Me being new here doesn’t bother me,” Barkley said. “I believe I’m a leader. I see a whole bunch of leaders here, which is great. You see a whole bunch of leaders in the room and I feel like I can add to that.” 

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