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Giants news, 12/7: Rookie wall? Not for Saquon Barkley ... or B.J. Hill

Rookies excelling as season winds into final stretch

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Chicago Bears v New York Giants Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

Good morning, New York Giants fans! Here are your Friday morning headlines.

James Bettcher lauds B.J. Hill’s maturity

After being credited with three sacks last week, rookie defensive lineman B.J. Hill leads the Giants with five. Defensive coordinator James Bettcher said Thursday that the third-round pick is not a typical rookie.

“The thing about him is when he came in, the thing that stood out the most, is that he’s ahead of his time in terms of his maturity level,” Bettcher said. “In the meeting room, on the practice field, the way he works, the conversation, you can rip his butt, you can coach him hard, lift him up, he can handle all that beyond what many rookies I’ve been around have been able to and I think that’s why you’ve been able to see him late in the season, a rookie play well late in the season is probably not as much as you see rookies flash early in the season. That probably speaks to his maturity level and how he’s worked in the process.”

What rookie wall?

If there is such a thing as a rookie wall, Saquon Barkley has already hurdled it. The rookie running back has surpassed 100 yards rushing in each of his last three games.

“I’m not really worried about the rookie wall at all,” said Barkley, who is third in the NFL in both rushing yards and scrimmage yards. “I really don’t believe in it, to be honest. I don’t even know what it is, to be honest. I don’t know what to believe in. Maybe I did hit a rookie wall and I didn’t know, but if it has anything to do with how your body’s feeling or getting out of bed, I haven’t felt that yet.

“My mindset is just wake up every single day, try to stay on my routine, surround yourself with the right people to take care of your body, whether it’s inside the facility or outside the facility, and grind and go out on Sundays and play your tail off for your teammates.”

Odell: Giants can’t look back

It’s easy to play the “what if?” game. What if Graham Gano had missed that 63-yard field goal? What if the Giants had held the lead against the Eagles. What if they found a way to win just a couple more games along the way?

Odell Beckham Jr. said Thursday, though, that all the Giants can do now is worry about the present.

“At this point, we really can only focus on Washington. There’s no ‘what if’. We’re going out there to win and if our season’s over, I’m making sure somebody else is coming home with us, that’s the goal,” Beckham said. “The goal is to win all these games and see what happens, but if not, you’re going to have a tough game to play against us for the last four games.”

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