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Wednesday Media Transcript: RB Saquon Barkley

Eric from BBI : Admin : 9/19/2018 3:20 pm
Running Back Saquon Barkley
September 19, 2018

Q: How do you feel after all those catches and touches the other night?
A: I felt perfectly fine. I felt better actually this week than I did after last week, because last week was the first game I played in the NFL and getting hit there. My body feels a lot better than it felt from the first week.

Q: Are you surprised the offense has struggled through two games to score points?
A: I guess you can say Iím a little surprised, because if you just look at the talent around us and the coaching staff, we should be producing, but thatís football. Itís going to take us some time to figure it out. Hopefully we can get back to practice this week and continue to get better from this week. I think once we get clicking, all the rest of the noise will be put in the past.

Q: Is it hard to make plays when youíre constantly shedding a guy right away?
A: Thatís a part of football. Itís the NFL. Those guys are getting paid just like we are. Itís their job, just like itís our job also. Theyíre going to make plays too. At the end of the day, thatís whatís so special about football, especially playing on the offensive side of the ball. You can get stopped repeatedly, repeatedly, repeatedly, but if they mess up on four to five plays, that could be 35 points that they have to account for. So, we got to keep having that mindset of taking it one play at a time, stick with it, continue to trust each other and believe in each other, and everything will work.

Q: How much would it loosen things up if you guys ran the ball well early?
A: I think not just even running the ball early, just starting early together as a team, as an offense especially. When you start fast, you can take a team out of their scheme and system. Not only running the ball, just overall the whole game, coming out with a faster start. We have our little spurts where weíre special. Honestly, anyone can see that, but we got to continue to work on that, and do it early, and continue to put it together.

Q: Youíre on pace for 1,900 all-purpose yards. Do you feel like this is what you expected from yourself as a pro?
A: Obviously, I expected to be 2-0. Thatís the mindset that you have. Every game you come out, you want to come out and win, but with the numbers and the stats and how it is so far, I canít worry about that. Only thing that I can control, is what I can control, and what we can control as a team. Stick with the good and getting rid of the bad. Those two losses, learn from them. We did a lot of good. Obviously, there was a lot of bad, but learn from the bad, stick with the good, and continue to get better. Attack this week in a new mindset.

Q: Coach Shurmur said two weeks is too soon to judge a team or a player. Thatís a different mindset than college football, where if you lose your first two games, your season is over. How hard is it to change that mindset for you?
A: Thatís a part of being a rookie and a part of growing. Like you said, you said it perfectly, in college if you lose two games, your season is completely over. You wonít even get a chance to play in the Big Ten championship game. You canít be like, íOh itís another loss, weíll get them at the end of the year, or weíll do this at the end of the year.Ď You canít have that mindset, but you also have the mindset that itís a long season, itís a long grind. Itís a lot of vets on this team and a lot of pros on this team thatís been doing it for a long time. I continue to talk to them, or they keep telling me to stay with it, stick with the process, keep working, you wonít play your best ball (until) towards the end of the season. Itís literally like, once you get one win, it can start clicking for you and everything can turn around in the season. So, we have to continue to have that mindset to continue to work and continue to get better.

Q: When you look at the film, do you see potential opportunities from the playmakers on this team that was close to making a big play?
A: Yeah, definitely. Not only just myself or (WR) Odell (Beckham Jr.), itís all around the board. With (WR Sterling Shepard) ĎShepí, (QB) Eli (Manning), the O-line, defense, special teams, weíre so close, weíre so close. I think a lot of people are overreacting, I guess you can say, with a 0-2 start. Obviously, Iím just learning, but itís not like weíre getting blown out in these games. Literally, Jacksonville is one of the best teams in the NFL, they proved that last week. We probably shouldíve won that game. Dallas, we fought the whole game, and they got the best of us. We got to continue to work, continue to have that mindset, and definitely donít panic Ė continue to believe in each other, and I think we can really turn this season around.

Q: After watching the film, how do you fix those mistakes in practice and translate them to the game?
A: For myself, I watch my mistakes, where I couldíve been better, and take it to the practice field. For example, when you get loose in the open field, prepare yourself to make that guy miss. Even though itís not full speed and heís not really going at the tackle, having a mindset of making that guy miss and score a touchdown. Working on that to get the mindset and belief that youíre going to score. Honestly, also with conditioning. Continue to get better seeing the field, seeing the play, watching film, understand the offense, understanding why the defense is doing this. Kind of foreseeing it a little earlier than you did in college to help yourself out in the game.

Q: You said you should be better; you could be 2-0. Is that kind of the belief and stuff other guys here you have heard say youíre 0-2, but you guys feel youíre a much better team than that?
A: Yeah I donít think we feel like weíre a much better team than that, I think we know weíre a much better team than that. I think we know that weíre so close. In this locker room, no one is overreacting. I mean obviously Iím active on social media so I think a lot of people outside of this locker room and outside this building who are reacting. We are aware 0-2 is not a great start, but itís not the worst thing possible. Itís not like our season is over, like you said, itís not college, itís not college football. Itís not like the yearís over. We got to continue to work and continue to grind and believe in each other and this could turn out to be a great year.

Q: You said youíre active on social media so Iím sure you seen some of the comments maybe because of last year the negativity thatís coming after two games, has that surprised you?
A: I donít really understand what you mean by that question.

Q: Youíre on social media, right? You probably see some of the comments what some of the Giants fans have been saying about this 0-2 start. Does it surprise you that thereís been negativity?
A: No thatís anywhere you go. That was like that when I was in high school, it was like that when I was in college and I donít expect anything less in the NFL. People are going have negative comments. People are going to have negative things to say, but at the end of the day it doesnít matter what other peopleís opinions are. You canít really let outside factors dictate how you prepare yourself as a team and we have a strong belief in this team, especially in this locker room. We got to continue to have that belief.

Q: You got a franchise record with 14 catches. Are you surprised at the number of looks you got or did you expect to be that involved in the passing game?
A: I think if any running back told you that he expected to have 14 catches in a game, heíll be lying to you so obviously I did not expect that, but itís part of the game. Dallas Cowboys did a great job defensively taking away the deep threats and as a quarterback you got to go through your progressions and sometimes you go through your progressions and thereís a check down to your running back. It just happened to be more times this game. Thereís going to be games like the first game I only caught the ball like twice. This game I caught it 14, there might be some times where I catch the ball like six (times), there might be some times where I donít catch the ball at all. Might be times where Iíll have more rushing attempts, where I have little rushing attempts and thatís just the nature of the game, the nature of football and you got to continue to have that mindset that when you do get your touches, try to do the most you can with it and even when youíre not getting your touches, stay active, stay involved in the play because you can be that touchdown saving block or those little things that show up in film that may not happen that week, but may come up in the next week.

Q: Are touches, touches for you or are you more comfortable out of the backfield or running it, which would you prefer?
A: Touches are touches to me. Iím not one of those guys that needs the ball 30 times, run the ball 30 times or catch the ball 15 times. I really donít care if itís five touches a game. At the end of the day I just want to win. I want to do whatever it takes to win this game and if thatís the way it helps to help the team win, Iím much more willing to do.

Q: As a young guy with this early adversity, how much do you look to a veteran like Eli (Manning) and what have you observed from him in the last day or so?
A: Yeah definitely as a young guy, you not only look to Eli, but just all the veteran guys, all those guys. I remember vividly walking out of the locker room, talking to Connor (Barwin). I was like ĎDang it sucks losing two games,í and he was saying ĎYeah it does suck, but itís a long season, itís not college.í You got to continue to work, continue to grind and by the end of the year youíre going to get better every single game. Youíre going to play your best ball by the end of the year so obviously observing guys like Eli, the way he still comes in and continues to work every single day and prepare himself every single day is what Iíve been trying to take away from him and try to come in here in my off days, work my butt off, watch film. Just try to find something little that can help me prepare myself for the next game.

Q: Your O-line has taken a lot of heat for not opening holes and not protecting the quarterback. What do you think of their play?
A: I think the O-line has been doing great. I think as a team we have to get better. As an offensive group, we have to get better. A lot of people like to put the blame on one thing and thatís just common for people who donít play the sport, who think they know the sport donít actually play the sport so I think obviously the line has been getting a lot of bash, but myself I have to be better. Thereís some stuff I can do in the run game that I can help the offensive line. I have to be more physical, I have to take the four yard runs instead of trying to pop everything. Thereís things Eli can do better. Thereís things (Odell Beckham Jr.), Sterling (Shepard), coaches, all things that we can do better. A lot of people try to put the blame on one thing, but like I said we canít let outside factors, outside people, have factors on our team. We have to believe in each other and keep working.

Q: Do you expect to always break that first tackler? That tackle by that first would-be tackler?
A: Yeah. Thatís your mindset that you have as a player and especially as a running back is to always make that first guy miss. Thatís kind of your job, your responsibility. Make that guy miss and try to create extra yards through contact whether itís in the run game or through the pass game.
Here's the question that was left out:  
M.S. : 9/19/2018 3:33 pm : link

Q: How does it feel to have two defenders in your grill as soon as you touch the ball;

A: I think you mean at least three defenders, maybe four.
Great upbeat interview  
TMS : 9/19/2018 3:56 pm : link
and attitude to turn this around. Like this guy more as a player and a positive locker room presence all the time.
He definitely needs  
Simms11 : 9/19/2018 4:00 pm : link
some space to run. Why haven't the Giants consider pulling the Guards, some form of H-Back or pitches - allowing him to pick his crease? I wonder how Hernandez would look pulling?
He also  
mittenedman : 9/19/2018 4:04 pm : link
needs to stop getting stopped an inch short of the 1st down. He's stalled several drives already. Hopefully that's something that can be learned but some guys just have a knack for finding the sticks. Shurmur's clearly frustrated with that as he should be.
RE: He definitely needs  
TMS : 9/19/2018 4:36 pm : link
In comment 14085486 Simms11 said:
some space to run. Why haven't the Giants consider pulling the Guards, some form of H-Back or pitches - allowing him to pick his crease? I wonder how Hernandez would look pulling?
Agree this problem starts with the terrible individual performances of the OL. This in conjunction with the coaching game plan, is an indictment of the game planning of the HC and his staff. After two games he has to make adjustments to give our backfield and QB more than .7 seconds before they are contacted by a DL. Next LEAGUE worst is 2.7 seconds, that is totally unacceptable These guys were touted as smart football tacticians. Show it now.
My bad  
TMS : 9/19/2018 4:39 pm : link
seconds should be yards.
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