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Friday Media Transcript: RB Saquon Barkley

Eric from BBI : Admin : 5/11/2018 2:40 pm
RB Saquon Barkley
May 11, 2018

Q: So what is it like to be here?
A: Itís amazing. It finally hit me. It really didnít hit me after I got drafted, but being able to walk into this building, going on a tour, seeing the facility and being back with football people, my teammates and players and to start building that relationship, it is an honor to play for this franchise. Right when you walk in the building, you see the four Lombardi Trophies and you already know what the standard is for this team and this program. I am just happy to be a part of it.

Q: What are you looking to show the coaches over this weekend?
A:† Just that I am a hard worker. That I am willing to learn and that I am coachable. Obviously, it is a new system for me and for everyone it is going to be different. Everyone will have struggles, but I am willing to learn and I am coachable. Going to try and lead at a young age and start working with the young guys, the rookies. Just try and continue to have fun and play the game I love.

Q: First walkthrough this morning out on the field with the other rookies. From this time out here, what is the difference that you see from being here compared to Penn State?
A: Obviously, the difference is the playbook. Definitely the playbook and the system. Going out and always being in the gun in college and working out of the ĎIí, which I feel very comfortable doing. That is the difference. It is a different feel and it is obviously the system. At the end of the day, it is football. It is just like we are freshmen all over again. I keep telling those guys that we are starting stuff all over, but we are going to get the system and the playbook down. Just take it day-by-day and step-by-step. I am learning stuff everyday.

Q: How is the playbook for you right now?
A:† I think personally, I learn really quick. A lot of things are different I guess you could say, but we ran a lot of similar stuff in college except it had different terminology. Instead of running out of the gun all the time, they run out of the ĎIí. That is really the biggest difference in terminology. It is harder to learn by yourself. I had the playbook before and was looking over it and it is hard to learn there. It is easier to learn when coach Johnson is in front and he is telling you this and this. This is why we do this and this is why we do that. It starts to come to you quicker. The best way to learn is actually doing it on the field.

Q: What are you doing to become a leader?
A: When I say leader, you have to start off by leading by example. Try and be one of the first ones in and one of the last ones out. Try and take care of my body. Try and do all the things on the football field. Run in every spot. When you have to be vocal, obviously it is hard to be vocal because we are all learning and our minds are boggling right now. Whether it is a break down or you are learning something a lot faster than someone else and you try and help them in that area or someone is learning faster than you and you ask them. Those are the ways I will try and grow and to lead.

Q: Have you been a vocal leader yet?
A:† I had a breakdown. I was able to breakdown the team for the Giants. Not many people can say that, and a lot of people wish they could say that. Just to be on an NFL team and be here with these guys and my teammates. We have been able to start the relationship and build the relationship. Guys I have met before and teammates that I have had in the past. Getting to meet and build relationships with guys like Kyle and all of them. It is like a brotherhood. It is football and it is special.

Q: Did you have the opportunity to meet any of the veteran guys?
A: I got to talk to Eli. I talked to him over the phone. When I was looking for apartments, Davis drove by where I was at. Odell, obviously. I know Odell personally. I did not get to meet Jonathan Stewart yet. I am just looking forward to meeting the rest of those guys. Obviously they were here yesterday, but we had physicals and stuff to do. I look forward to meeting those guys and picking their brain. I look forward to meeting guys that have won championships and guys that have gone through struggles, ups and downs. Guys who are veterans in the NFL and great pros. I just look forward to continue to learn from them and follow them by example, learn, continue to grow and help myself develop as a player.

Q: What kind of advice have you received from guys since you have been drafted?
A:† The best advice I got from not only teammates and guys here, but from my parents and other vets from other teams, NFL legends, was to be who you are. Stay true to yourself. You are here for a reason. What got you here is going to continue to help, but obviously, continue to grow in those areas, your game and work ethic. Be disciplined and be coachable. Be passionate about the game. That is the best Iíve gotten. Not only from my teammates here but from everyone. Stay true to yourself and be yourself.†

Q: Do you like the expectations that are sky high for you?
A: I donít see them. I know a lot of people try and set expectations for me. No offense to you guys, but I set my own expectations. I donít care what anyone says in terms of that I have to rush for this or score this. It does not matter to me. I set my own expectations and have my own standards. If I follow you guys, not saying you guys but the media, and try and reach expectations of the fans and the media because I am a high draft pick, if I follow that, I will never become a great player. It starts with myself. I have to believe in myself, set goals for myself, set expectations for myself and continue to work for those goals every single day.

Q: What about the expectations from your own team and GM? Your GM said that you have been touched by the hand of God and that the No. 2 pick should be a Hall of Famer†
A:† That is a great compliment. Hall of Famer and the number two guy should be a Hall of Famer, but when you think about it and you come into the NFL, that is the goal. You want to get a gold jacket and work yourself and your butt off to get a gold jacket. Touched by God, he talked to us yesterday and said that everyone in the room is touched by God. You are, it is true. You have the talent. You are blessed to be in the NFL and to be able to play in the NFL. Not many people are able to accomplish that and have that talent to do that. It is a great compliment and I am so happy that I have a guy that believes in me and in my talent. Like I said, it is not really an expectation that he set for me. If it is something that he saw on film, he believes in me and believes that I can achieve that one day but if he believes in me but I donít believe in myself and my own goals, I wonít get anywhere.

Q: What are the expectations you have?
A: Right now, it is just to continue to come in, be humble. I donít want to be that guy that thinks he is a high draft pick and that he has it all. Nothing is given to you. Everything is earned. You have to have that mindset that you have to work every single day. Learn every single day. Be a student of the day, learn from the guys and the coaches. The Eliís and the Odellís on the field and off the field. Just work. Hard work got me here. Obviously, you know me from back home where I started. Just have to continue to work my butt off. Obviously be a pro. Be a veteran pro at a young age. That is the approach I want to take. Have the mindset that I have been in the league for four or five years. That is the advice I got from a lot of teammates and other players. A lot of people say that it hit them in the fourth year or it hit them in the fifth year. I donít want it to hit me then, I want that to hit me now. I just want to take care of myself and take care of my body. Everything else will take care of itself.

Q: Do you view yourself as a running back or more than that?
A:† More than a running back. Completely more than a running back. That is why when people try and put the Ďwhy should a running back go that high?í Obviously, you look at the past three years and the position of the running backs and what the Zekeís and the LeíVeonís have been able to do, they are more than a running back. I look at myself as more than a running back. I am not a guy that just lines up in the back field and is going to bang his head, bang his head, bang his head. I am a guy that is willing to do anything for his team. Whether it be a kick returner or a punt returner, running down on kickoffs, lining up in the slot, running a dummy play or a fake play, whatever it takes. I want to be an athlete, not just a running back. Obviously, I play the running back position but I want to be an all-around guy and an all-around player.

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