RB Saquon Barkley
August 22, 2018
Q: Whatís it like to be back involved in practice today?
A: It felt good. It felt good to actually participate in indyís (individual drills) and a little bit in practice drills. Like I said, been feeling really good, feeling strong, continue to strengthen it. The strength and the trainers have been doing a great job with me, conditioning me a little bit over there too, making sure Iím continuing to get ready for the game or the next time Iím able to play. Just felt great to be back out there.
Q: When was the last time you were out this long?
A: I donít know. In college I didnít really practice that much, so I guess itís kind of very similar. Just Iím doing more stuff on my own conditioning, but in college I didnít really take crazy loads in practice, so itís kind of similar to me. So I guess that kind of helped me prepare for moments like this.
Q: From all the mental reps and having that first taste in a preseason game, if you donít play against the Jets or the Patriots, would you feel comfortable week one?
A: Yeah. Obviously I would love to be out there and to play as quickly as I can, but thatís part of the game. Injuries are a part of the game. Thatís even in the role or position I am right now. Thereís some guys that donít take as much reps as they would like and still have to go out there every single week and produce. I have to take that mindset and when my time is called and when Iím able to play, I need to be 100 percent ready.
Q: Yesterday, Eli (Manning) said he actually likes that you ask so many questions. As you sat out for the most part lately, have you continued to ask him questions?
A: Itís kind of hard to ask him as much questions as I like because most of the time Iíve been out on the side on my own, kind of away from the team and just rehabbing and running and conditioning so I can stay physically in shape and strengthen my hamstring and continue to grow every single day. I guess the questions havenít been as much as they usually are.
Q: Are you able to go out there in your mind and just play and theyíre just trying to be careful with you or do you still feel like the hamstring is something that needs to be built up, not quite 100 percent yet?
A: Personally, the way I feel, my body feels, Iíll be honest, I feel good, feel pretty good. Iíve been moving pretty well, but thatís what the trainers get paid for. They tell me stories all the time and I talk to other guys, even guys like O (Beckham Jr.) that hurt their hamstring before. Itís when you feel 100 percent and thatís when you give it that push, boom, and it happens again as a setback. I donít want any setbacks at all, so thatís why Iíve been trying to be a team player there. Just listen and follow the instructions and I know they have a great game plan set out for me and when itís time for me and when they feel Iím ready, thatís when Iíll be ready.
Q: Youíre always going to be linked to (Sam) Darnold, drafted 2-3 and in the same city. Just curious on what your thoughts are that your careers are always going to be compared. The Giants couldíve made a different decision and the Jets took him.
A: Thatís kind of really something that doesnít cross my mind. We play two different positions. I see what youíre saying, but I donít really look too deep in that. I only can focus and control what I can control. Iím just thankful that the Giants picked me and Iím here and Iím a New York Giant. Iím playing for the best franchise in the league and Iím going to continue to take advantage of the opportunity every single day and continue to work every single day.
Q: How well do you know Sam Darnold?
A: I got to know him a little bit during the draft process and I wasnít a big Sam Darnold fan after they beat us in the Rose Bowl game my sophomore year, but thatís just a competitive thing. We joke around about that all the time. I got to know him a little more. Actually we were on the whole flight together going to the rookie premiere (out in Los Angelese), so definitely got to know him a lot more. Like I said, not only him, I said about the running backs, but with Sam, with Baker (Mayfield), with (Bradley) Chubb, with all those guys in my draft class, I want to see those guys succeed. I donít want to see Sam succeed much this week against us, but I wish nothing but success for all those guys. I hope they have great careers.
Q: How hard is it to focus and get the full benefit of mental reps? Some guys when they get pulled to the side, they lose focus and they canít necessarily get the mental stuff down and as sharp as they want it. Is that a hard thing for you at all?
A: Personally for me, I donít think so. I donít think so because everyone learns differently. Some people learn better on the field and actually doing it. Some people learn better not doing it and just learning from watching film and studying the playbook. For me, I kind of do a little bit of both, I like doing a little bit of both. I like learning on the playbook, learning on film and watching film and then go out there, doing it full speed so actually Iím not able to have that side of it, but like I said before, the difference between NFL and college, I donít have class to worry about. Only thing I got to worry about is going home and taking care of my family. So I got football family, football family, and football family for me, so I kind of have no choice but to Ė especially how good I want to be and how passionate I am about the game and thatís part of life that I have to continue to grow. Obviously I have to continue to get better with the mental part of the game, Iím not going to sit here and lie to you and say Iím 100 percent perfect with the playbook, like Iím some vet and Iíve been playing in the league for 10 years. No, Iím still a rookie, I still have to get better in that area, but I definitely have a lot more time on my hands to continue to get better with the mental part.
Q: Do you have to convince your dad to not wear a Wayne Chrebet jersey on Friday night?
A: He got the tattoo soÖ I think my dad Ė I donít think, I know and I hope he sees this, that he switches sides a little bit. I think heís going to come with his son and wear a Barkley jersey, I hope. If he didnít, Iíd be a little upset. I canít truly be upset about that. Obviously I donít know what Iím doing (Friday), but just to be out there and be at MetLife and seeing my family and being across and seeing the Jets and growing up, itís all kind of coming full circle. This puts you back and think of the past, all the hard work and determination when I said I was a little kid I wanted to be in this position, that little time is all coming together.
Q: How excited are you for Jacksonville?
A: Iím excited of taking advantage of the opportunity I have right now with practice and when the regular season comes, thatís going to be a fun time, too.