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Bucs' goal vs. Daniel Jones-led Giants: Stop Saquon Barkley

New York Giants' Saquon Barkley celebrates his touchdown

New York Giants' Saquon Barkley celebrates his touchdown against the Buffalo Bills on Sept. 15, 2019, at MetLife Stadium. Credit: AP/Adam Hunger

Bruce Arians doesn’t care who the Giants play at quarterback.

"We still have to stop Saquon [Barkley],” the Bucs coach said on a conference call with New York area reporters on Wednesday. “I think that Saquon is one of those guys that he’s on another planet with his size, speed and also his pass-catching ability… I think Saquon is probably the best in the league right now."

For the better part of the past 15 years, every opposing coach the Giants have faced has been asked about playing against Eli Manning. On Wednesday, that name never came up.

Arians was, however, asked about newly crowned starting quarterback Daniel Jones. He sounded excited to welcome the rookie to the NFL.

“We look at their offense, they are not going to change what they are doing, it’s Pat [Shurmur]’s offense, he’s just going to run it,” Arians said. “For us, it’s trying to stop Saquon and force him to throw the ball."

Jones certainly excelled in the preseason, but this will be his first time facing starting NFL players and a defense that has been game-planning against him. He likely will confront fronts and stunts and blitzes and coverages from the Bucs and defensive coordinator Todd Bowles that he never has seen before.

“I think the biggest thing is the mobility of Daniel,” Arians said. “He’s a more mobile guy so you have to be a little more cautious of rush lanes and things like that. Expect a little bit more movement passes. But he’s still a rookie.”

Do the Bucs think they can take advantage of that?

“It’s a very hard position to play and I won’t say yes or no,” Arians said.

So… yes.

Notes & quotes: WR Sterling Shepard (concussion) was limited in practice and wore a non-contact jersey. “He looked good running around,” Shurmur said … G Kevin Zeitler (shoulder), WR Cody Latimer (concussion) and CB Grant Haley (illness) did not participate on Wednesday.

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