RB Saquon Barkley
October 1, 2018
Q: Coach said you shouldíve touched the ball more in hindsight. He was kind of doing some self-coaching.
A: If he said that, then thatís something he believes and my mindset is do whatever it takes to help the team win and if thatís touch the ball 10, 15 times or touch the ball 30 times, then whatever it takes. Iím never really in the ĎI need the ball in my hands more and more.í Obviously I would like to touch the ball more, especially if thatís the way the game is going, but I am aware that there are going to be games where sometimes the ballís not supposed to be in my hands and sometimes weíre supposed to throw the ball. Whatever helps the team win, Iím more than ready to do.
Q: It seems like the first drive there was a lot of balance on the offense. You moved the ball well, went down and scored the touchdown. Then there was that huge gap until the fourth quarter until you really got it going again. What do you think went wrong during that span?
A: We lost momentum. Football is a momentum game and thatís something that we lost. We came out great, thatís something we really focused on, having a fast start, and weíve done that in the last two weeks. Now itís get that fast start and keep the momentum going, stick with it, step on the gas, put your foot on the pedal and finish the game out strong. You got to give credit to the Saints. The Saints played an amazing game, too. Itís the NFL, it was a great game. We still had a chance to win that game, but we didnít find a way to win it and thatís where we have to get better and put that game in the past, just watch film on it. That game is in the past now and itís time to move on to Carolina.
Q: The Cowboys and the Saints played you guys similarly: soft zone. What is the best way for an offense to beat a soft zone?
A: Personally, run the ball. Thatís something where I step in, where the offensive line steps in, and thatís something that weíve got to take personal. When we see a team playing cover two and playing soft zone, that has to be disrespectful to us and thatís something we are really aware of and we hope to solve that problem really soon.
Q: Do you look at yourself and the guys around you and say weíre better than 1-3? Assuming you say that, why hasnít it clicked with a more consistent basis?
A: We are better than 1-3, but coach (Craig) Johnson put up a quote from Bill Parcells saying you are what your record says you are, so weíve got to prove that wrong, weíve got to come out and start to find a way to win games and itís not that it didnít click yet. We showed signs and we have sparks and we have great momentum drives sometimes on the offensive side of the ball. Defense, weíre playing great, but we just got to believe in each other. Continue to believe in each other, continue to believe in the system. Itís a long grind season, but you canít have that mindset the whole time and we got to get things rolling and we got to come one day at a time. Take the day off tomorrow, come in, watch film, get an extra workout in if you can and then attack the week and youíre ready for Carolina.
Q: Does that make it more frustrating? You know that those abilities are there, those drives are there, theyíre showing up, but theyíre just not consistent. Does that make it more frustrating to know that the possibility is there?
A: It will be frustrating no matter what when youíre not moving the ball, youíre not winning no matter if you got the skill, you donít have the skill, but we know we have the skill, we know we have the talent, the leadership on this team and the great coaching staff on this team and we know itís there and we got to continue to believe itís there and we got to continue to work. We got to get that urgency of itís time now, we got to continue to work, come in here, push each other. We got to start stepping up. I got to step up, itís no more time to be a rookie and be quiet on the sideline if I feel somethingís wrong. I got to bring the team up together. Odell (Beckham Jr.), Eli (Manning), Shep (Sterling Shepard), we all have the right and even Evan (Engram) have the right in that aspect and thatís where we have to grow and be ready to take on the season.
Q: You think youíve done a better job as you acclimate in the NFL of accepting the two, three, four yards? Thatís something that you said you have to get used to. Everyone wants the homeruns. You think youíve done a better job at that?
A: Personally, yes. Personally, I think I have. I used to do some crazy stuff in college where I would try to make anything happen, but thatís something that I realized that I got to be focused on the two and three yard runs and take what the defense give you, but also got to be who I am.
Q: When you get up after a four-yard gain, letís say, how do you feel?
A: Thatís a great football play. A four-yard gain, a five-yard gain is a great football play, but when thereís nothing there, I have the talent to make something happen and we have the offensive line to make something happen and thatís something I got to believe in myself and we got to believe in that as a team and we have so many people on this team that can make plays. Itís literally crazy that weíre down by two touchdowns at one point and within two minutes it was a one score game again and then defense went out there and played their butts off and the Saints capitalized on that moment, but just like that, thatís how close we are as a team and thatís how special we are as a team that weíre down two touchdowns and out of nowhere everybody thinks the gameís over and within two minutes itís a one score possession game and we have a chance to go back down to score if we ever get the ball back again. Thatís something that we have to continue to realize and we got to continue to get better at.
Q: Because of the respect you have for Odell, do you look at him and say he should be unstoppable?
A: Definitely. Odell is unstoppable. If you watch film or if you watch him play, I donít know if thereís a cornerback that has checked him, that has covered him one-on-one to be completely honest and thatís something that I love about Odell. Heís a great leader, heís passionate, heís a passionate player and you thrive off that, especially me. When I see that, that makes me get emotional too, that makes me want to play ten times harder and thatís something we all got to do. We all got to be passionate about this game, we got to love the game, we got to love each other, we got to believe in each other and I think if weíre able to do that, the sky is the limit.