RB Saquon Barkley -- December 3, 2018
Q: How does a game like yesterday change the mentality of this team even this late in the season?
A: It just put everything in perspective from all the hard work that weíve been putting in all season to go out there and beat a really good team and who was playing lights out up to that game or even in that game, they played really well, too. Definitely gives you confidence and even though the season hasnít been going how we want it to go, getting a win like that is big for your confidence and continuing to try to keep this thing going.
Q: You guys havenít beaten a division team yet this year. Is the feeling kind of like we need to start winning those games?
A: Yeah, definitely. We definitely havenít won a division game yet this year and those are critical. We havenít been able to execute in those games and this is a big one just because itís the next game and because itís a divisional game. We got to get on the right path and that realm of the season with our division opponents.
Q: (Coach Shurmur) said yesterday he hoped that was the kind of win that could help build a winning culture around here. We saw you go out for a series and come back in and (Sterling Shepard) gets x-rays and comes back in, Landon (Collins) comes back in after getting hurt. Whatís it say to you that within this locker room even though the season hasnít gone how you wanted it to, guys are still trying to fight their way back in?
A: This is my first year being in the NFL, but I have heard on other teams just players that have been on other teams around the league that when the seasonís not going your way, a lot of people call it quits and you donít get that vibe when you come in this building, when you play in a game. For example, like you just said with those guys getting checked out and coming right back in, weíre playing for each other and weíre real competitors and we love going out there competing for each other every single day and we do that no matter what, win, lose or draw. Obviously it just hasnít been in our favor most of this year, but that just shows and speaks to our character and speaks to the guys on this team and even though it hasnít been clicking perfectly right now, when this thing does get going, itís going to make all of this adversity weíve been going through so much better.
Q: What has (Coach Shurmur's) message been to you guys? Because obviously a 1-7 start wouldíve been easy for guys to start checking out, but with a game like yesterday...
A: He says play for each other together as a team and thatís going to get the job done. Thatís kind what kind of has just been our motto and our mindset. Come out every single game, work your butt off, and play for each other.
Q: Howís that shoulder feel today?
A: Shoulder feels really good.
Q: You donít feel anything?
A: I donít feel (anything).
Q: When they make a shoulder pad adjustment, I guess they add more padding or what do they do?
A: Yeah, just kind of add more padding just for protection or for anything.
Q: How much of a difference has (Eli) Penny made? Heís played more the last couple of games.
A: Heís awesome. Heís been a tremendous help not just only for me, he was a running back in the past, so when heís in there he sees things just like a running back and he played lights out. He plays very hard, heís physical and heís showed he can do a little something with the ball in his hands also too. Heís been a big help for us in these last couple of games and I look to see his role expand even more and as he continues to get more comfortable and we get a feel for each other, even better as this season continues to go on, we could have a great, great season in the run game.
Q: Do you feel a difference with the offensive line now now that theyíve been together for a while and you ran behind them more? Do you sense things are just more cohesive now with this whole group?
A: Yeah, we definitely do sense it being different just because of injuries and people moving and replacing here, replacing here. Now we got a solidified five and if you notice in the last, I guess, three out of the last four games, we rushed for over 100 yards and that speaks volumes on their part and the way theyíre playing and the confidence that theyíre having and continue to grow through every game weíve played in so far this year. Definitely give a big thanks to those guys up front because at the end of the day, it starts up front on both sides of the ball, offense and defense, and if youíre winning games, thatís where it starts and theyíve been doing a tremendous job for us and thatís why weíve been able to win some games.
Q: Does 1,000 yards mean anything special, rushing?
A: It would be special because obviously one, itís the NFL and two, when you get 1,000 yards, itís not just yourself getting 1,000 yards, itís your team getting 1,000 yards, itís the offense and especially the offensive line. I know Ė I donít know how close we are, but I know weíre pretty close to it and that just speaks volumes to how the offensive line played all year, so definitely want to get that for those guys.
Q: Have you ever made a cut like that one where on the third and 23? You jumped back to the left, landed on your left foot, changed direction, and blasted off all the way back to the right. What does it take to kind of have the strength and instinct to make a move like that?
A: I donít know. Some things you canít explain and I give a lot of credit to God in a situation like that, my genetics, my mom and dad, but a lot of that is also hard work, training my body to when youíre put in those positions to be able to make those cuts and make those moves. Iíve been training my whole life on that so I've definitely got to credit that also to coaches Iíve worked with or trainers Iíve worked with. Just trying to be a versatile back and be able to make those moves and also be a power back, catch the ball out of the back field. I know I said that so many times and it probably sounds redundant to you guys, but I have made moves like that before. It started when I was in high school, but continue to get better in those moves too.
Q: Is the jump something you just sense in one second or a split second?
A: Yeah, that one was just sometimes your body just takes over. You just react and I know I said before sometimes you can pre-determine because you watch film, but in that situation, I just caught the ball and my body just for some reason told me to go up and I went up.
Q: In college, you donít usually get to have rematches with teams, but in the NFL because you have a division, you will have a rematch. Does that change your preparation at all or how is it different?
A: Itís not really different. You've got to still treat every week like the same, but for example when we played the Eagles, now you have film you can watch on how you played or how they played against your guys. Obviously you can see what they do against different teams, but they may play you differently, so you have kind of a good idea of what theyíre going to do to you. Obviously itís never going to be the same because itís the NFL and you know those guys get paid a lot of money over there to scheme you out and put their team in a position to win, too, so you go back and watch film and you see the plays you left out there and you see the things you did well also too. It helps you a lot that you have that film on them already or you got to play against them already and you donít get to do that in college.