RB Saquon Barkley -- November 1, 2019
Q: How much are looking to get a shot at Dallas after the result of the first game?
A: Itís always a great opportunity to try and get a win in your division, whether itís Dallas, the Redskins or the Eagles. They got us the first time, we get a shot at them again, not only to try and get a win but to try to get things rolling as a team.
Q: Does it bother you or give you extra motivation that you havenít beaten Dallas since you have been here?
A: Iím not really big into rivalry games, I donít care too much for it. I treat every team the same, I treat every game the same. Obviously, there is different levels, everyone knows that. I just want to continue to go out there and win every game possible.
Q: How different is the offense than when you left Dallas, you have Daniel, Golden Tate is out there, there is a chance Shep is out there too?
A: Definitely different, hopefully weíll have all our pieces for this game. Obviously with DJ at quarterback now, I think you see how different we have been since the beginning of the year. I personally feel like we have been very successful, especially on the offensive side of the ball, putting points up. At the end of the day, we havenít figured out how to win more games, thatís the thing we have to get better at.
Q: What makes you most excited about having all those pieces?
A: You get to go out there and play with your brothers. Obviously, Tate is new, not the league, but to the team. I train with Shep, I train with Evan, we put in a lot of hard work and time here, not just the four of us but the offense as a whole. To finally have us all go out there, hopefully we can go out there and compete at a high level. Thatís the team that we put together, so itís exciting.
Q: What can it do to make you better, how can you be better with everyone out there?
A: I donít think itís just that thatís going to make us better. I donít think weíre bad, we just have to figure out how to win games, we just have to figure that part out. I know it sounds like itís easy to do but obviously if it was easy to do a lot more teams would have a winning record. I think we can be better because weíre all there and weíre all talented individuals, yes, I do agree with that. At the end of the day where we need to be better at is figuring out how to win. Thatís not just offensively, defensively or special teams, thatís all of us together. Itís not individually, we just have to find ways to score more points whether you need 13 points to win a game, 28 points to win a game or you need three, you just have to find a way to win games.
Q: I wanted to see if you thought it would take eyes off of you? Do you think thatís the case?
A: Yeah, itís the NFL itís not like college. Yes, do I demand attention, yes, Iíve noticed that while I have been playing, defenses have taken their attention to me. Itís not like itís college where they are only focused on one guy, itís not like they are over there saying you have to stop this one person, you have to respect everyone in the NFL. Youíre in the NFL for a reason, youíre on the roster for a reason. When you have everyone there itís more opportunity for guys to make spectacular plays or plays needed. Sometimes a spectacular play is not a 50-yard touchdown run, itís converting that third and three or having a wide receiver helping on a perimeter block in the run game and making that block to spring a run. Those are the little things even the things that may go unnoticed that are spectacular plays. I guess having all that core back together, you have more opportunity for that to happen because you have talented people.
Q: In your short career, this is the fourth time playing the Cowboys. Do you feel you have more of a sense of what they are about because you have a little bit of a history with them?
A: You get familiar with them a little more than other teams. You just get familiar with your division more than other teams because you play them twice a year and other teams you may only see them once and you may not see them for another four years. I guess you could understand them a lot, you know a lot of those guys personally pretty well. I respect all their games, I respect all their talent on the defensive side of the ball. Iíve already been quoted saying how good they are on defense and how good they are as a team, how I respect Jaylon (Smith), I respect Sean Lee, Lawrence and all those guys. I guess you could say you get a better feel, but at the end of the day your game plan doesnít change, the extra work you put in doesnít change, itís just another game that that you have to go out there and try to find a way to win.
Q: How much does this group need a lift?
A: I think any week itís big to get a win. After losing four in a row, I feel like we have been very close in a lot of those games, to be able to get a win not only against Dallas who is a division opponent but at home, anytime you want to spark something. I feel like we have been real close, weíve been there, it just hasnít been falling the way we would like to. Hopefully, it can this week.
Q: You were pretty adamant in the locker room after the game Sunday that you need to see things, starting with yourself but also from everybody else, kind of look in the mirror and pay attention to detail. Have you seen that this week, have you seen what you wanted to see to believe this team is ready to take that step?
A: I wouldnít say itís believe that the team is ready to take the step I want to or we need to. The point was never to say I didnít believe, the point was just saying we lost four games in a row and we lost some really close games, we just have to figure out how to flip that script. Yes, I have seen that from myself and the team. I think practice has been going really well, weíve been practicing at a really high level but we have been doing that in the past weeks too. Itís not just only in practice, in the film room, in the weight room. I do think we have been doing a great job, we have to continue to have that recipe and now go out there on Sundays and figure out a way to switch it around and flip the script for us.
Q: Is the division still wide open, can a win this Monday send you on a path to winning the NFC East?
A: Can it? Yes it probably can, but is that our focus? No. Everything we want is still out there, our goal and every teamís goal is to go to the playoffs and compete for a super bowl. Is that still out there for us, yes, it is, and even though everyone wants to say what they want to say about our team, we understand everything that we want is still there. Weíre not focused to have this game, win, and then go compete for the NFC East. You canít go compete for the NFC East if you donít just focus on tomorrow and thatís another day to practice, get better and prepare yourself for Sunday.
Q: Do you think people expect too much from you based on last year?
A: Do I think people expect too much out of me? I think the best way to answer that is the same way I have answered it when I first got here, and people expected it or told me I had to do this or that. I donít care about other peopleís opinion, I donít care about you guysí opinion to be honest. The only peopleís opinion I care about are the people in this locker room and the people in this facility and my loved ones at home.
Q: Where do you think the running game is at since you have been back, Mike Shula used the word close?
A: Since I came back, yes, close. I think the line is doing a good job of getting movement, creating movement up front, stopping penetration. I think we ran the ball a lot better in the first half than in the second half last week. Playing from behind doesnít help the running game, you have to take notice of that. You have to take it one day at time, play by play, when the opportunities come, make them pay for it.
Q: Do you keep track of what Elliottís doing in Dallas?
A: Heís a great back, do I keep track, not really. Iím too focused over here, if thereís times when I can catch him on film or catch a game, heís always putting on a show, heís one of my favorite backs in the league, you guys already know that. Not only do I play in the NFL, but I am a fan of the NFL and heís a guy I am a real big fan of him and I respect his game. Every time you face that guy you know he is going to be a tough challenge.
Q: Remember back in Week 1 you were well aware of how fast their defender ran to catch you on that run in Dallas, do you let plays like that motivate you the next time you see a team?
A: No, my thing is you have to find a way to score on that play. I was running 21.9 (mph) or 21 something and he was running 22 something. Credit to him, he made a good play but that the end of the day we still scored on that drive. My focus in a situation like that is try to find a way to go and eliminate the next play because you never know what can happen. It could be a turnover, it could be this it could be that. The next play could be a touchdown, thatís up in the air, when you have an opportunity to hit those, try to find a way to hit it. He made a good play on that I guess.
Q: The only reason I ask is because I remember you remembering the exact details of that play and I know you are a detailed oriented guy? I just figured it was one of those plays that sticks with you .
A: The next time it happens if you want to look at that play and what I could do differently, press and set his angle a different way, use a stiff arm there. Those are two ways you could use to help in that situation. I was moving, he was moving, and he made a play.
Q: You like the stiff arm you used in Detroit?
A: It was a good play, but I donít think we scored on that drive. I donít think we put it in the box on that drive, so the play doesnít really matter.
Q: When you are out and about and talk to fans, do they tell you a lot about the Cowboys? Do they say please beat the Cowboys?
A: Not just the Cowboys but whoever we are playing that week, the Cowboys, Eagles, Redskins. Whatever team they dislike the most I guess, thatís what you hear.
Q: Do you get a sense on who they dislike the most?
A: You really canít tell. You hear Redskins, you hear Eagles, you hear Cowboys, you hear all those guys. You hear the Jets, you hear teams like that, who we only play in the preseason that we happen to play this year.
Q: You will hear the Jets next week?
A: Yeah, hopefully we can please all those guys.
Q: Does Monday Night Football do anything for you?
A: Itís special because thatís the thing you grew up watching. Watching Monday Night football and just NFL football, but there is no extra motivation because itís Monday night, prime-time or this and that. It doesnít really matter, that doesnít factor into the work that I put in. My mindset is to try and go out there and win a game whether itís Sunday, Monday or Thursday.
Q: The rest of the league is watching, do you like that part of it?
A: Weíre not doing it for them, so it doesnít really matter.