RB Coach Craig Johnson -- December 7, 2018
Q: Did you teach (Saquon) Barkley the high-jump move?
A: I did. Something like that. Heís got a lot of help with that. Heís a very good player.
Q: Do you cringe when he does that? I know heís got the ability and talent to do it, but does that kind of make you nervous?
A: It always makes coaches (nervous), I think most of the running back coaches in general will say try to keep your feet more on the ground, but youíre not going to take away his ability. Thatís something he saw, he went for it, and you always worry is he going to land properly, but thatís just part of his game.
Q: Saquon has the chance for 2,000 combined yards if he finishes the season strong. Could you have envisioned that coming in at that level and what would that number mean to you?
A: I donít know if I ever paint a number, but he had highly productive tape in college, so overall, not a surprise. Obviously heís been fortunate that heís been able to stay away from the injury bug. I donít worry about jinxes, heís been able to be on the field a lot and thatís helped him. Again, a lot of his college tape showed that this is not surprising.
Q: Pat (Shurmur) said a few weeks ago heíd like to see him do more of the north-south, five-yard runs and stop looking for homeruns. In the last month or so, has he seemed to get that down?
A: I donít think thereís any doubt that he has improved that aspect of his game. He was making a lot of explosives, heís done that continually all year, but some of the tougher yardage gains, some of the gains he needed to make, thatís just part of the process that he had to go through. I think heís really stepped up in that area.
Q: Any disappointment that Jonathan Stewart was not able to make it back?
A: Yes, because I think Jonathan Stewart is a great role model. Heís been kind of where Saquonís attempting to go, and anytime you have a guy like that, youíd like to be able to see him show what he can do. Itís just a matter of early in the year, heís nicked up a little bit, and then late in the year, because of our roster weíve got a lot of injuries and I donít deal with it that much but yes, heís been great. I canít tell you how much he has helped our room and itís always nice for a younger player to have a veteran guy whoís been through it in the room. Itís always good to hear from that guy. That is really I think an important thing.
Q: Have you seen Saquon trying to tap into that knowledge and experience from him?
A: If you were in my meeting room yesterday, you would have seen an unbelievable amount of that. They were dissecting a run as I walked into the meeting. They were in there about three or four minutes early and they were both dissecting the run from practice the other day and Saquon said, ĎI saw thisí and Stew told him, ĎYes, but you need to think about thisí. It just touched my heart, it was really a great moment, which is the way I believe it should be if you can have a veteran whoís been there talking to a younger player whoís willing to listen and ask a lot of questions as he does of Stew, and he also asks of me because heís always looking to try to get better.