RB Saquon Barkley -- November 12, 2019
Q: On how he will approach the bye week
A: What I did last year and what Iíll do this year is just reflect on the season so far, go back and just kind of watch every play individually, as a team, and look at all the good and all the bad and just try to improve what I was able to do the first half of the season to the second half of the season.
Q: You said youíll try to do what you did last year, but obviously there are differences this year to last year, so what specifically do you look at?
A: Inside running. I would say that inside running would be the first big thing that I would look at, is running between the tackles. Just running the ball, period. Thatís what I do most of the time. But definitely running the ball, go back and watch pass blocking, too. I can do better there, catching the ball, taking care of my body. Those are all the things that you focus in on as a player, and with this week, you kind of get extra time to focus on.
Q: As far as how you feel physically, does this come at the right time?
A: The bye week always comes at the right time, no matter if itís early in the season, the middle of the season, or the end. Any time you get a bye week, itís always good just to sometimes get your mind away from it a little bit, spend some time with your family, spend some time with your teammates, and get a little bit of time off. But also during that time, like I said, go back and reflect on yourself as a player and what we havenít done so far in the season and see where we can improve.
Q: I know there was an X-ray on Sunday, or a reported X-ray. How are you feeling, overall?
A: I feel pretty good.
Q: Youíve had the highest of highs, and itís been a couple of daysóhow have you dealt with what happened on Sunday?
A: I donít think any back would want to go into a game and have one yard, but the Jets did a great job. Like I said, I went after the game and made sure I congratulated Coach (Gregg) Williams over there, they did a really good job. The way I handle it is the same way I handle it if I had a 200-yard performance. You donít let outside forces dictate how you operate in your workforce. So, good game, bad game, I treat it the same. When you go for 200 yards, youíve got to be critical of yourself and judge yourself the same way if you had a bad game, and vice-versa. So, the way I handle it is the same way how I handle every game.
Q: On Sunday, it seemed you were struggling to find the right words. Was it almost like you couldnít believe what happened Sunday?
A: After the game, itís definitely harder to speak on it, because I know we have this part of our job in our job description to come talk to the media after, but after you lose a game and you go for one yard, itís hard to speak on that. But when you go back and youíre able to watch film, you can see what actually happened and how it happened. You can give a better description, or a better answer, I guess you could say.
Q: The Jets were saying they concentrated on youódid you notice that?
A: Yes. I mean, anyone who knows football or watches the game of football, you can see what the focus was, and itís been like that the majority of the year, not just against the Jets, but against multiple teams, and itís going to be like that for the rest of the season and probably going to be like that for the rest of my career. That comes with the territory. God blessed me with an unbelievable talent, so a lot of people are going to focus on me, I guess, it can be a main objective to stop and take away. But at the end of the day, we were able to get four touchdowns, have four touchdown drives, we just didnít score when we needed to the most, but the offense played amazing. (Golden) Tate stepped up big for us, Slay (Darius Slayton) stepped up big for us, Daniel (Jones) had an amazing game, but growing painsóafter those games come, we just have to figure out how to win those games, and Iím still going to have a positive mindset. When weíre able to flip it around and turn the script around, itís going to be a beautiful story.
Q: What do you say to the idea that you are banged up, running backs only have so many carries, and they should shut you down?
A: I do not agree with that idea at all. One, thatís not fair to my teammates and, two, when you say running backs have so many carries, yes, the average career length of a running back is not as long as other players. When I think of the great running backs who played, Barry Sanders, Walter Payton, Thomas Jones, Curtis Martin, Matt Forte, yes, they had injuries throughout their career, every position has injuries throughout their career. Those guys were able to withstand a bigger workload back in the day than what we have now. Yes, you might get 300 touches, but your 300 touches might come with 250 carries and 50 catches. Back in those days Walter Payton in his second year had like 347 carries in 14 games and was able to have a long career and a great career. Iím not saying I want to put myself up to those standards because they are the best to ever do it and Hall of Famers. The way they were able to carry that workload and be able to have a successful career is the way I know I want to operate. I know the other great running backs in this league want to do that, too. The mindset of sitting me out and resting me for the rest of the season is beyond me. I do not agree with it and it wonít happen. Iím going to keep going until I canít go anymore. Thatís the type of player I am and Iím going to do it for my teammates.
Q: What about the idea that youíre not healthy enough to be yourself?
A: Whatís not being myself?
Q: Do you feel like yourself?
A: Yes, I feel like myself. I would love to be going for 100 yards every game, I would love to be doing the things I was doing last year. I donít like the fact that I was able to have one yard against the Jets, a great team, respect to them. I feel like when you see me get in open space I still was making people miss. Last week against Dallas, they were doing a really good job of shutting me down but I got in open space and I still felt fast on that screen. Obviously, we didnít score on that but I still felt fast enough to get a 65-yard explosive play. The opportunities, I just have to take advantage of the opportunities I get. To say that Iím not healthy, thatís just an excuse. Everyone is banged up, everyone is going through something and Iím not going to let that be an excuse for why Iím not having a successful season. The reason Iím not having a successful season is because Iím not making enough plays for my team.
Q: I know what the bye week does physically for guys. For some guys, they say mentally they need to get away. As the competitor you are, it might be difficult to shut off the mental aspect?
A: No, I disagree with you. Thatís 100 percent how I would have probably done it before. Mentally, I am still going to stay in it with watching film and just reflecting on the game and reflecting on myself. The next couple of days Iím going to get time to go away and take my mind off the game for a little bit. Obviously, after a tough loss and a disappointing performance from me with one yard, mentally and physically, you are beaten up. You start, not to say question yourself, but I was able to have a good sit-down talk with my father and my family and they gave me a lot of great advice to get myself back into it. This week, Iím going to focus on watching film and obviously the opportunities we get in practice, take advantage, like watching film of myself. The time we do get off, I get to spend time with my family, I get to spend time with my teammates. When I come back, after that game, I can get back to who I am and have that mindset, no matter what happened the first half of the season, last week, I am the best player on the field and when I touch the ball I make things happen. Iím going to get back to that.