RB Saquon Barkley
August 16, 2018
Joint Practice with Detroit
Q: How are you feeling?
A: Iím feeling good. Itís coming along. Obviously you guys heard what happened so itís frustrating just to watch the guys be out there and not being able to compete with them, but you know, you got to trust the team, the coaching staff and the trainers and the strength staff. They have a great plan in place and doing the best they can to get me back as quick as possible.
Q: Were you scared on Monday when it happened?
A: No. I mean I wasnít scared because I knew it was nothing crazy. I was just frustrated because a lot of those things are preventative. Itís about taking care of your body, treating your body, making sure youíre hydrated. I thought I was doing all of those things right, but it kind of just showed me that even when you think youíre doing enough, you got to find a way to do more.
Q: If there were a playoff game tomorrow, could you play? Would you be healthy enough to play if you had to?
A: To be completely honest, as a competitor, Iíll find a way. I want to play tomorrow, I donít know what the game plan is to be completely honest. I just know that Iím day to day and taking it step by step.
Q: Whenís the last time you missed a game due to injury?
A: My freshman year, I missed two games. It was kind of similar, it was like an ankle injury and I probably couldíve came back earlier. Like I said, the trainers and coaches at Penn State had an idea when they wanted me to come back and make sure I was coming back healthy and wanting to think about longevity and my future career.
Q: Do you feel like you need some preseason action to get ready for week one?
A: I think a lot of people say yeah. Obviously Iím going to say Ďyeahí because Iím a student of the game and anytime you take more reps in a game, itís going to prepare you more. I do think we do a great job here, obviously going against the Lions or going against our defense, getting real good game looks in. Even though Iím not able to participate on the field today, itís still an opportunity for me to learn and opportunity for me to get better and prepare myself for the next Iím able to play.
Q: What did you get out of these past couple of days here?
A: Just learned that you could still be a leader even though youíre not on the field. Continue to stay vocal, continue to stay active and focus on the objective and understand the play calls, know what youíre doing and watching the backs, see how they set up runs and learn from the good things and learn from the bad.
Q: Have you ever had a hamstring injury in the past?
A: No, never had a hamstring injury in the past. Never really had one.
Q: Something you think can linger if you donít take care of it this time?
A: Yeah obviously, talking to a lot of vets, talking to a lot of guys, even just talking to JB from the Lions over here when he had a little problem with his foot, not his hamstring, saying how a little injury like that could linger on and you just got to continue to take care of your body. It kind of just opened my eyes up. I thought I was doing the right things and I was in there, working hard, pushing myself, taking care of my body, but you got to find a way to get better
Q: What could you have done differently?
A: Everything. When stuff like that happens, you kind of just Ė you got so much time to reflect, so you kind of just reflect on things you couldíve done differently and I probably couldíve done everything differently. Couldíve got a little more of this, little more of that and I got to continue to grow there, continue to grow and be a vet in that area, be a pro.
Q: Has Odell (Beckham Jr.) talked to you yet? He had a similar situation his rookie year.
A: Oh yeah, O had a hamstring injury. Mine was a strain; I think he kind of pulled it, so thank God I didnít pull mine. Heís saying that those are things that could linger on too and you got to be in the weight room, you got to be in the training room, you got to attack it. You got to take care of yourself and take it day by day.
Q: As you were more of a spectator these past few days, you got to see Odell run his first one-on-one routes against a defense. Whatíd you think watching him?
A: That guy is very impressive. I would say heís, in my opinion, the best wide receiver in the league and if not, one of the best players in the league. He ran this curl and the way he set it up and it was on Slay, whoís a very, very good corner too and seeing those guys go at it all week was very impressive. The way he just sells his routes, his speed. Obviously he didnít get to show what he was able to do after the catch, but we all know what heís able to do after the catch. Not only him, but the wide receiving corps just Ė I love how they compete. Sterling Shepard is so feisty, he wants to compete and go after every rep. We got Cody (Latimer), we got Evan (Engram), we got so many guys that continue to get better every single day. I think we grew a lot this week as a team, also, and the offense.
Q: How well do you know Kerryon Johnson from the Lions, another rookie running back?
A: I really donít know him that well. Was able to have conversations with him at the combine. He seems like heís a cool dude, obviously watching his film in college at Auburn, heís a heck of a back. As a running back, you want to see other running backs succeed, especially the rookie class and the guys you come in with and the guys youíre familiar with. Thatís why when I saw (Derrius) Guice got hurt, hurt me really bad. I know Guice pretty well, but not only Kerryon but Nick Chubb, Sony Michel, Ronald Jones, all those backs I want to see them succeed and have a healthy and great career.
Q: You were out here doing the jugs machine yesterday. Do you need clearance for that or is that just something you need to do something each day just to make sure youíre getting better?
A: My hamstring might be hurt, but thatís not going to stop my hands or stop my arms or really you could do stuff with your hamstring. Whether itís in the weight room, doing extra stuff in the weight room or extra stuff in therapy or treatment, catching balls, being locked in on the plays. Even though Iím not able to practice, Iím not going to let this be a negative setback, Iím going to let it be a positive and continue to grow from it and become a better player from it.
Q: Have you done any jogging before today?
A: Yeah Iíve done jogging before today, but we were doing more in here (inside). Coach wanted to get a different feel from turf and the grass. Open up a little bit more out there (on the grass), so Iíve done it before.
Q: Does being back in Big 10 territory bring back any memories from your college days?
A: Yeah, I was actually in the Uber the other day and I asked how far is Michigan from here and I guess itís 45 minutes, 50 minutes without traffic. Yeah definitely bring back memories. I reflect on college so much time, I follow Penn State on everything theyíre doing. Just keeping up with those guys, see how theyíre doing and hopefully I think they have great a chance on being a successful team this year and competing for a national championship. Whenever I get a chance to go out there, I would love to make a game.