RB Saquon Barkley
October 9, 2018
Q: Do you feel like youíre already in a position to be a leader on this team even as a rookie?
A: Yeah. I felt that way since I was drafted here. Thatís something I wanted to do as a goal of mine, but I know you canít just take on that role from day one. You got to grow into that role and earn the respect of your teammates and thatís something Iím going to continue to try to do every single day.
Q: Is growing into that role and earning the respect of your teammates part of going after Julius Peppers or responding to him going after you the way you guys did?
A: Itís not really so much as that. Itís just the way you carry yourself, the way you work. Come to work with your head down, try to do anything you can possible to help the team. That stuff goes a long way. Obviously your play on the field goes a long way too, but try to be one of the first people in here, working your butt off in the weight room, asking questions, try to prepare yourself like a pro, like a vet. Stuff like that is what sits well with your team and thatís how I try to continue to grow into that role.
Q: Coach Shurmur was saying that he sat with you on the plane a little bit on the way back, talked to you a little bit about that. Is there anything he imparted to you at all that reinforced that?
A: Coach Shurmur sat down on the plane with me and said some great things that I needed to hear, but obviously thatís a conversation between me and coach Shurmur.
Q: It seems like every game there are two or three plays where someone is tripping you up by a shoelace and preventing it from going the distance. Is it hard to be patient to know that youíre like a shoelace away from going to the end zone?
A: Yeah itís not hard to be patient in there. Obviously you get frustrated because you know itís so close from breaking those big ones, but you also got to know how those big ones develop and itís just like in a game is throughout the season and you got to be patient, you got to take your time, you got to take what the defense gives you, but understanding that when your opportunity comes you got to be willing to execute and weíve been capable of doing that sometime this year,† but thatís something where we could expand also as a team and as especially on the offensive side and in the run game.
Q: For a guy who comes from college and you lose one or two games, itís really awful. If you win Thursday night, you could be right in the thick of the NFC East chase. Is that surprising to you? Frustrating? Shocking? What is it?
A: Not frustrating, itís not shocking. At the end of the day, I think everyoneís goal is to win a Super Bowl and thatís still in play and in my opinion, if you ask me, like you said I think weíre a game behind in the division and I know I havenít been in the NFL for a long time, but I think if you win your division, you automatically go into the playoffs, so everything like I said before, that coach Shurmur said a couple weeks ago, everything that we want in our season is still there. The only thing thatís not capable of doing is having an undefeated season. I think only two teams are still alive to do that so everyone wants to win every single game, but that may not be the case. Cases make it to the playoffs and try to win the Super Bowl and all that is still in play, so we have to keep that mindset that this game is a big game. Itís a huge game coming up because itís the next game on our schedule and obviously it is in our division, but we have to treat it like itís the biggest game of the year because itís the next game on our schedule and come out with a win.
Q: Even though it was a loss on Sunday, what did you take away offensively? This team hasnít scored 30 points since before you got here.
A: I think that showed what weíre capable of and we put up 30 points, but I think we left a couple still out there too. Like I said, Iíve been saying from day one since I got here that I believe in this offense, I believe in this team, I believe in the coaching staff and I believe the skyís the limit. It wasnít going to be pretty from day one. We wouldnít want it that way anyway. We got to continue to keep growing, continue to keep working and to be able to put up 30 points and obviously lose a game like that, I think that game showed it was the toughness, the grit, the passion that we played with as a team and obviously the outcome wasnít the way we wanted to be, but you could learn a lot of things from that game and take that game a long way.
Q: I havenít watched Eagles tape yet this year, but theyíre known for playing that wide nine defense with the defensive linemen spread out wide horizontally across the field. Is that a different style of defense for you as a running back to attack?
A: Every defenseís style is a little different. You have to attack in a different way, seeing different ways, but at the end of the day, itís all about keeping your shoulders squared to the line of scrimmage, try to set the blocks running for your linemen to get to the next level and take what they give you when you get the opportunity you got to gash them. The Eagles, I think theyíre probably one of the top rush defenses in the league. When you watch them on film, they stand out just like every team in the NFL. Thatís what Iím starting to learn, every team in the NFL is legit. Every week you go into the NFL, itís going to be a ball game and you got to fight and grind and find a way to win, but yeah like I said, theyíre a very talented team, but weíre a very talented team too, so itís going to be a heck of a game and obviously itís a short week, but we got our mind right, get our body right and come out to play to the best of our abilities.