RB Saquon Barkley
October 3, 2018
Q: As you prepare to face this Carolina defense, what do you think are the biggest concerns about the offense? Just to find ways to execute better?
A: Yeah, weíve got to get back to the basics. Weíve got to kind of do what we did the first drive against other teams, continue to have that momentum, that first drive epitomizes what weíre capable of doing on the football field and we have to have that mindset. Itís definitely going to be a tough challenge against the Panthers this week, a great defense led by (Luke Keuchly) who is an amazing talent, amazing player, but I think that we are willing enough and weíre ready to be able to match up with these guys and start to get it going on the offensive side of the ball.†††
Q: When you look at last week, that first drive, I think it was very similar to what you guys did the whole game in Houston, then it went away for three quarters. Why do you think that is? What do you think was different the rest of last weekís game?
A: Thatís a great question. Youíve got to give credit where credit is due, the Saints had a great game plan I guess you could say. We got negative plays, penalties, thatís kind of been the story about a lot of the games so far on the offensive side of the ball getting behind the line of scrimmage when we canít do that. Weíve got to get going early. That first play, youíve got to be a five yard play, youíve got to get the sticks moving somehow some way, whenever we get the sticks moving thatís when weíre at our best, thatís when any offense is at their best to be honest. I would say thatís the difference. Eliminate negative plays, MAís, and penalties.††
Q: In the four games, have you seen a pattern to the way teams are defending you that you guys can make adjustments?
A: Jacksonville played a little different. The Saints and the Cowboys kind of played similar. Houston kind of stuck with the game plan that they had, so it was a little mixture of everything.† Obviously we donít know what Carolina is going to do, but weíre going to game plan for what theyíve been doing and have answers for if they try to do something different. Thatís the importance of football especially on the offensive side of the ball, itís like playing chess, and you want to end up with that last piece.
Q: Different situation for you now in the pros being 1-3. Do you examine yourself when you go look at game tape, is it team-wise as far as play calls, how do you approach this right now?
A: The way you approach it is by not getting down. Obviously youíre 1-3, the season is obviously not over. Itís a long season but you canít say itís a long season forever because you get to a point where you get redundant and you keep saying that, then thereís no chance for you to make the playoffs. Everything that we still want, all of our goals are still in reach. Coach said something perfect today, he said the only thing that weíre not capable of doing this season is an undefeated season, and that only happened one time. I donít know if everybody expects to win every single game, but most likely not going to win every single game. Youíve just got to continue to work, not get down like I said, have positive energy, come into the building and continue to work and like you said examine yourself, watch film, learn what you can do to help the team, learn what you can do better to help yourself better in certain situations and get ready for the next week.
Q: Can it be as simple as, stop making mistakes? Penalties, things like that?†††
A: Yeah, it is that simple. Weíve got to get back to playing Giants football. I donít think really any team so far that weíve played, obviously at the end of the game they had the win and they had more points than we had, but thereís a lot of things we did ourselves to put us in that situation. If we can fix ourselves and just focus on ourselves, I think the rest of the season will take care of itself.†††
Q: How do you feel physically?††
A: Physically, I donít think anybody would tell you they feel one hundred percent in Week 4 of the season but I feel great, I feel ready to go, ready to get this week started. Have practice this week, try to have the best practice weíve had so far this (Wednesday) and get ready for Carolina.††† †
Q: As Iím starting to get to know you, youíre very hard on yourself not matter how well you do in a game if the team loses. Am I right about that?††
A: Yes sir.†
Q: Have you always been that way? Why do you beat yourself up?
A: Even when you win, win or lose, Iím always going to be my biggest critic because I have the passion, I want to be great, I want to be a great player in this league and I have to hold myself to that standard. When we lose, youíve got to look back on yourself.†††
Q: Whatís the biggest lesson youíve learned in the NFL so far?††† †
A: Biggest lesson Iíve learned by the NFL is, the difference in college was your first five games, four games, I donít care if youíre in the SEC, Big 10, or wherever you play, thereís going to be some cake walks in there. Thereís going to be some games where you should dominate the team, and I think you look so far in the NFL, every team thatís played has been mostly a close game. Thatís when weíve got to find a way to separate ourselves. We canít almost win these games, we canít make those mistakes to lose those games, weíve got to find a way to win that game. We got up against Houston, and Houston made a great comeback and they pushed in the second half, but we found a way to finish that game and win that game. Thatís the difference in college and the NFL, every single week is going to be a dog fight no matter if the team is 0-7 and 7-0, this is their job. This what they get paid to do.
Q: How big a load touch-wise would you be able to handle?
A: Whatever. Simple as that. Whatever the team needs me to do, however many touches they need me to do, however many carries they need me to do, however many plays they need me to do, Iím willing to do it. It wouldnít bother me, my mind wouldnít be different, my body wouldnít be different. At the end of the day you still have to come in here and take care of your body, Iím still going to do that no matter if I touch the ball twice or touch the ball 25 times.†
Q: You refer to Ďwe have to play Giants footballí. Can you describe what your vision of Giants football is?†††
A: Giants football is just being consistent, running the ball, making efficient plays, maximizing on the opportunities when we get the opportunities, stay away from mistake-free football Ė obviously youíre going to make mistakes, but make less mistakes than the other team, not turn the ball over.††
Q: (Pat Shurmur) said he thought Will Hernandez played his best game on Sunday. You both came in this rookie class. When you watch him develop, what have you seen out of Will so far?
A: One, I love his work ethic. I love his passion for the game. Heís a gritty player, definitely love how he plays in the trenches. Not only him, but everybody in this rookie class, when you see (B.J. Hill), even (Sean Chandler) on special teams, and even though (Kyle Laulettaís) not playing right now, Kyle is developing in practice. I think our rookie class is very special, we have a lot of special talented players in that class, and I think thereís a lot of room for growth, and I think if we continue to work our butt off, we can be special.†††
Q: Do you think the offensive line is starting to find its footing and building on some early season struggles?††
A: I wouldnít really say it was early season struggles, the first game we played probably the best defense in the NFL and I donít know if anybody really had Ė weíre probably the only team that got 100 yards on them so far. I donít know that stat for sure, but Iím willing to bet. Obviously itís just everything, it wasnít O line struggles, it was everybody just getting comfortable with each other, getting familiar with each other, myself playing as a rookie early, new offensive coaches, offensive staff Ė everybody getting familiar with each other and continuing to learn, we just have to continue to believe in each other and I think if we continue to do that, weíll get better throughout the year.
Q: How would you evaluate your play personally through four games?††
A: Iíve got to be better. I think Iíve been doing a pretty good job of breaking tackles so far, Iíve got to find a way to break more tackles. I was brought here to be an efficient player and when the opportunity comes, create big plays, and Iíve got to do a better job there. A lot of the reason we havenít been successful is we havenít been able to run the ball, we havenít run the ball as well as we are capable of. Thatís where my job kicks in and thatís where myself and the O line, weíre kind of a whole when it comes to that, where weíve got to take that as a personal challenge and continue to work and get better. When the next game comes, when the opportunity comes, capitalize on it.†††