RB Saquon Barkley -- November 28, 2018
Q: Do you look forward to the challenge of going up against a defense which is one of the best in the league?
A: Yeah, they are definitely one of the best defenses in the league and weíre all competitive here so weíre excited to go against that challenge and try to get another win at home.
Q: When you look at the tape, what do you see when you see Khalil Mack out there?
A: Heís as good as advertised. The only thing I can say is he's good as advertised. Heís probably the best defensive player in the league. Heís an active player, heís big, fast, strong. Heís everything you want in an outside linebacker/(defensive end). Heís definitely going to be a challenge this week, but weíve played great players before and we've just got to come out ready to compete and ready to work.
Q: Heís obviously known as one of the best pass rushers in the league, but how disruptive is he against the run game?
A: The only thing I can really say is heís as good as advertised. He can pass rush, he can do it all. Heís a versatile defensive player. Itís going to be exciting to go against him and see what I got against a guy like that and see what we got against a guy like that and a defense like that, but we believe in our coaches, we believe in ourselves and especially on the offensive side of the ball and that weíre going to put ourselves in the right positions to make plays.
Q: As youíre preparing, what are you looking at in particular in this Chicago defense?
A: I know that theyíre a great a defense and that they have great players over there, but you treat it the same (every) week. You watch what they like to do and what they do more. For me as a running back, I watch how they tackle, if theyíre aggressive. Same thing I do every single week so Iím not really changing anything, but obviously you are aware of how good they are. Thatís everyone in the NFL is good. Every time you go out there, itís a challenge so itís a challenge that weíre willing to face.
Q: Especially with what you saw the way the Eagles made the adjustment in the second half last week. How does that benefit how you make adjustments to your run?
A: The Eagles did a little bit different stuff and every team every time you play them, the second half they always have adjustments, but you've got to watch the adjustments and you've got to learn from them, whether itís during the game or itís after the game or even before the game so we know what theyíre going to do. I think we got a really good scouting report on these guys, but we've just got to come out and execute. Sometimes this year we executed and sometimes we didnít, and the times we didnít we lost and the times we did we won so we got to find a way to do that this week.
Q: What changes for you when youíre spelled for a play verses spelled for a series? Youíre obliviously going to get snaps off. How does it change for you if youíre out for a whole series verses maybe switching in and out on a second down here and there?
A: It really doesnít change for me, especially at the running back position with the hits you take. Itís not even like when you come out. Obviously, you want to be in the game, but you believe and you have confidence in the coaching staff and especially other running backs. When Wayne (Gallman) goes out there, he does a great job too, so itís kind of like a combo we have like two-punch back there I feel like. I feel like heís been doing a really good job and proud of having his role expand a little more too.
Q: But thereís no difference in terms of rhythm?
A: No, no itís not. At the end of the day itís football. Obviously, you do get a rhythm when you get the ball a little bit more and you get a feel for them, but some people arenít in a position where they get the ball 20 times and they get the ball only five times. Like, for example, Wayne wonít get to carry the ball 20 times a game, but when he gets in there he gets the five carries, he takes advantage of it.
Q: Do you communicate with the coaches when you need to take a break or a breather?
A: Itís kind of just a feel. Obviously the feel is going to continue to get better as the season goes and as we all stay together and takes longer as my career goes, but when you break a long run, sometimes coach takes you out because why be out there if youíre not 100-percent to help your team. Obviously, you want to be out there, you want to continue working. Thereís situations where you got to grind it out if youíre tired, but like I said, Iím definitely confident in the coaches and believing in the coaches and Iím definitely confident in the running backs for everyone to make plays also.
Q: Do you like the workload that youíve been getting this year as far as the plays, the runs, the passes, itís enough, but itís not too much or itís not enough running? Whatís your sense of it?
A: I think itís perfectly fine. With me, with the workload and my mindset and I think Iíve said this multiple times its whatever it takes. If itís 20, I know you said 38. Whatever it takes. Thatís just my mindset. I know you guys keep bringing up the questions because how many times I touch the ball in the second half, but if we finished the game and we win that game, I donít think thatís going to be this topic or the story. I know what people are thinking, but like I said, Iíll continue to believe in the coaches, continue to believe in the offense and this system and continue to come in working and take it one day at a time.
Q: Watching Bears tape, how often have teams used running backs to help chip on Mack or is that not something that running backs usually can do because heís so difficult to deal with?
A: I think everybody tries to get a chip on him when thereís a chance, but it has to come at the right time. You got to know when and where you can do it and you also need to note we believe in our offensive line and we have offensive linemen up there too. Like I said, at the end of the day itís football. Itís going to be one-on-one sometimes and you got to win your one-on-one matchups. And yes heís going to make plays and yes the Bears are going to make plays and every teamís going to make plays against you sometimes, but at the end of the day you got to make more plays than them.
Q: When you break some of these big runs whether itís last week or a couple of other times throughout the season, have you found a common thread whether itís protections or where you get the ball or play clock, do you see any of that?
A: One Ė all the big runs that we have won starts upfront so the offensive line does a great job and then your job as a running back is to make your guy miss. You got to win your one-on-ones. Like I said, sometimes theyíre going to make their plays, but the special thing about football and the special thing about playing offense is you get a chance to go out there and play eight, 10 series and they stop you seven or six (times), whatever, you got 21 points on the board. Obviously continue to go out there and try to put up more points, but you can win a game with 21 points. The common theme that Iíve noticed is breaking tackles, obviously starting up front with the offensive line doing a great job and doing what I was brought here to do Ė make my guy miss and be a game changer and break a long one.
Q: Youíre 11 games into this thing. How, personally, do you think youíve grown as a football player so far in your career based on where you were when you first got drafted?
A: I think Iíve grown a lot -- not even just speaking on the field, off the field with leadership, feeling more comfortable with talking, but on the field just seeing it so differently. The game is slowing down for me. Itís slowing down a lot more, understanding situation, understanding just the game as a whole. I still have so much more to improve there and Iím always up for that challenge and ready to continue to get better every single week and continue to learn from these guys and continue to learn from these coaches.
Q: Have you gotten to the point where you can go up to the coach and say I think this is open, give it to me?
A: I try not to do that because you believe in what your coaches are going to call. Like I said, after the game, everyone wants to be the coach and everyone thinks they know what should be called in that situation or how we should do this or we should do that. Theyíre there for a reason so I just believe in those guys and theyíve been putting me in position to do well and everyone has been loving it or hyping me up like Ďoh rookie this, rookie that.í It starts with the team, starts with the offensive line, but also starts with the coaches putting me in position to make plays and I think theyíve been doing that not only with myself, but with everyone on this team this year.
Q: What do you want to get out of these next five weeks?
A: Just to continue to fight, continue to get better. You never know what can happen. I know weíre not satisfied about our record right now, but still got five games to get better and continue to work. For myself, same thing, same motto there Ė continue to get better, learn and improve every single game. Those mistakes you make, make sure they are not mistakes that I made early in the season. Make sure they are dead and continue to get better on every area of my game, catching the ball, running the ball, pass blocking and growing into a better leader.