RB Saquon Barkley -- September 12, 2019
Q: In terms of urgency, where would you put this game on your radar scale?
A: I wouldnít really view it as that. Itís another game on the schedule. Itís our first game at home, so itíll be great to get a win just for the team and the fans. But itís the start of the season. Just take it one game at a time and try to find a way to win this week.
Q: How surprised were you that you got caught on that long run (against Dallas)?
A: Itís the NFL. People are going to make great plays and take great angles, and he was moving I think 22.8 (miles per hour). I was running like 21.8 (mph). Respect to him. He made a great play. But at the end of the day, we were able to score at the end of that drive, and thatís all that really matters. But when those opportunities come, you have to find a way to put it into the end zone or continue (the drive). Even if you donít score on that play, find a way to put it into the end zone, which we did on that drive. We just have to find a way to do that more in this game.
Q: You had 15 touches in game one. Do you think you need more touches to give this team every chance to win?
A: Iím willing to do whatever it takes to help the team win. If we play better than we did last game, and we execute what we need to execute, I donít think the conversation will be about 15 touches. I think we find a way to win that game. But at the end of the day, Dallas made more plays than us. We just have to find a way to do that better next game.
Q: How exciting is it to be here for the home opener?
A: Itís awesome. Itís always great to get back and play in front of the home fans. Giants fans are amazing fans. (Itís great) Anytime you get back and play in front of New York, especially for my family coming from close, being home so they can come out to the game. I have a lot more people there. Now my daughter is a little older. She doesnít really understand the game, but sheís definitely more interactive with it. Itís going to be fun.
Q: Sheíll be at the game Sunday?
A: Of course.
Q: Generally speaking, how different is running out of a two-tight end set versus a three-wide receiver set? I know each play is a little different, but does it change anything from a running backís standpoint?
A: It doesnít change anything from a running backís standpoint. Your reads are still the same. You still have to hit it the same way and try to find the right fits. I guess it adds an extra defender in the box, technically speaking, because you have to account for that one on defense. When the guy is wider out there, theyíre a little bit wider outside the box. For me, it doesnít really change anything. I just need to read it the same way, whatever the run scheme is. If itís an inside zone, read out the right way. If itís a power run, read out the right way.
Q: Regardless of the number of carries you had against Dallas, the holes were there. How encouraging is that?
A: Itís very encouraging. I knew that was going to happen. We had a great offseason and a great camp. The offensive line has been playing tremendously and at a great level. Coach (Shurmur) has been calling great, especially with the run game. I believe that itíll have a tremendous impact on the running game this season. It may not be like that every game, but when itís like that, we have to take advantage of it. Not only myself, but Wayne (Gallman) and (Paul) Perk are both capable of making those plays when we need it. Iím really excited for the future of this season, and especially coming up for the next game.
Q: After the undefeated preseason, were you at all surprised by the fact that Dallas kind of opened the big lead and you never got close?
A: The preseason is the preseason. Itís great to go undefeated in the preseason, but thatís with a 90-man roster. Itís pretty much a whole new roster when you get down to 53 and 46 when you suit up. Was I surprised that Dallas came and opened up a big lead? Yes, because we were playing at a high level, not only in the preseason, but also in camp. We were just making too many mental mistakes. Like I said, Iím not taking anything away from Dallas. They played a heck of a game and theyíre a heck of a team. But at the end of the day when you go back and watch film, a lot of it came down to us and what we did wrong. If we can find a way to make those plays and execute differently, then I think the outcome could be a lot closer or a different game for us.
Q: How do you feel physically right now?
A: My body feels pretty good. My answer is always going to be like that, no matter if I get 15 touches or 40 touches. I do the right things to try to get my body right and getting it ready. The most important thing is feeling the best you can on Sunday. Iím excited for that.
Q: You always talk about your leadership and your growing role as a leader. Whatís your message to the team this week after last week and going into this next game?
A: Donít panic. Itís not like I really have to give that message to the team. It doesnít feel like that in the locker room. I feel like itís more everyone outside of our locker room thatís panicking. When you break it down, there are 32 teams in the NFL. Half of those teams lost last week, besides two of them that tied. But half of those teams lost. Any team in the NFL, just because you won big doesnít mean youíre going to go 16-0. Just because you lost badly doesnít mean youíre going to go 0-16. Donít panic. Just find a way to get better every single week. Get 1% better every single day. When the games come, just try to execute at a high level.
I would sure as shit be a lot happier if we could transition to our future combo/Trio now and not wait any longer.
The Jones Barkley or Jones/Barkley/Engram group needs to be the focus going forward. Eli playing is just delaying the eventual growing pains. Get them over with now, while we don't really have the ability to compete for a title and be way ahead of the curve for 2020 and beyond!