Stewart, after all, joined the Giants on a two-year, $6.8 million contract -- with $3.45 million in guaranteed money. The two-year contract likely indicates that the Giants expect him to contribute on the field as well as in the development of Barkley, who was the second overall pick of the 2018 NFL Draft.
"I know they drafted Saquon in the first round, so you know he's got a lot of expectations and stuff like that," the 31-year-old Stewart said, via the New York Post. "But as far as my preparation for this game, it's never going to change. It's always prepare to be the starter because you never know when your name's going to get called."
Stewart amassed a franchise-best 7,318 career rushing yards with 51 rushing touchdowns on 1,699 carries with the Carolina Panthers. He rushed for 680 yards and a career-worst 3.4 yards per carry last season while sharing the backfield with rookie Christian McCaffrey.
But the primary expectation of 5-foot-10, 240-pound Stewart this season is to help Barkley get up to speed.
"Yeah, I think at some point, whether you're a rookie, whether you're an 11-year guy, there's always time to learn, there's always time to share advice and wisdom that's gained through experience," Stewart said. "There's younger guys that might experience things different than I have, so there's always room for me to learn, too."
Stewart will get a good look at Barkley, who was listed as the third-best player on NFLDraftScout.com senior analyst Rob Rang's Big Board.
Barkley rushed 217 times for 1,271 yards and 18 touchdowns last season with Penn State, including a 92-yarder in a Fiesta Bowl victory over Washington. He also caught 54 passes for 632 yards and two scores, as well as returning two kickoffs for touchdowns.
The 6-foot, 233-pounder then lit up the NFL Combine with a spectacular workout, registering a 4.40 40-yard dash, a 41-inch vertical jump and 29 reps on the bench press.
"Stewart is an awesome dude," Barkley said, per the newspaper. "Obviously he is a great vet. I'm just over here trying to watch him, trying to learn from him every single day and all the vets and all the running backs let me come in with open arms and it's been great."
New York had one of the league's worst ground games last season, averaging 96.8 yards per game and producing six rushing touchdowns.