RB Saquon Barkley -- December 5, 2019
Q: Can you tell us about what you did with the Giants fan, the little kid who you had at that Cowboys game? TMZ had the video.
A: I invited him and his family to a game and got them on the field passes and after the game just kind of spent some time with them, chopped it up and took some pictures with them. Like I say all the time, itís bigger than football and God put me in a position to have an impact on a kid like that, and to be able to walk up to the kid and see the emotion on his face definitely meant a lot to me. Just happy I was able to do something for that family.
Q: You had two very good games against the Eagles last year. Do you recall what went right in those games, and what you might be able to use against them this time?
A: Well, the first game I just was in a groove. Not really much more to say about that, but in the second game, we were able to run the ball really well, get up on them early, last year. Then, the second half, I donít want to say went away from the running, but I guess turnovers happened and they were able to come back, but thatís last year. You can go back and watch the film on it, which I did, and see the success that I was able to have against them and what I wasnít able to have against them, but itís a new year. Theyíre going to attack it different. Iíll just try to have more success this year and do whatever I can to help my team win this week.
Q: Specifically, Fletcher Cox in the middle of that defensive line is a beast. How do you try to work around him?
A: Fletcher Cox is like easily one of my favorite players in the league to watch. Obviously, heís well known, but I donít think he gets enough respect as he should from what Iíve taken as weíve played him. Those last two games last year, I remember there was a run where I broke out to the outside and it ended up being a penalty, but I got like a 10-yard run on it and it felt like a DB was chasing me and I looked up and it was 91. So, heís a heck of a player, theyíre a heck of a defense over there, they have a heck of a team over there. So, weíve just got to continue to work and try to execute better than them on Monday night.
Q: The last few weeks youíve talked about getting back to yourself. Did you feel last game maybe you started doing that?
A: Yeah, I thought so. I mean, I guess in my standards itís not really a good game, but that I broke over 100 yards, was averaging over like four yards a carry, something like that, so I feel like Iím getting back to myself, but Iím not really focusing on individual stats. I donít care if I go for 250 yards, I donít care if I go for 50 yards, I just want to go out there and help my team win football games. Coming down to the home stretch of the season, got four games left, try to finish it strong as a team and it starts with Monday Night Football in front of everyone, so try to go out there and execute better as a team and put ourselves in position to win.
Q: Whatís it been like working with Eli (Manning) this week, and what can he do to help the offense?
A: Yeah Eli, heís a legend. Heís a Hall of Famer. He just sees the field so well. He understands the game so well, heís been doing it for a very long time and itís what you expect from Eli. Obviously, I love the way he handled the situation when D.J. (Daniel Jones) ended up being the starting quarterback, the way he operated in practice, the way he operated in the building was the same Eli that we know. So, good to see him come out this week and get a chance. Itís going to be awesome for him.
Q: How can that help you, to have the veteran quarterback in there who obviously has seen probably every defense that there is?
A: I donít think it just helps me, I think it just helps the team, helps the offense. Theyíre both great quarterbacks and Iím not here to compare and contrast Eli versus D.J., theyíre two different style quarterbacks, one has been doing it for a very long time, one is in his first year. But Eli, like I said, like you said, heís seen every defense, so itís like second hand to him. Heís going to be able to help put us in positions to succeed, and I think D.J. has been doing a great job of that, too. So, like I said, Iím just happy for Eli to get an opportunity.
Q: Knowing he doesnít run as much as Daniel, do you have to look more for the dump offs and things like that?
A: I mean, I donít expect him to be out there running like Daniel Jones, heís in year like 15, 16. I donít know if any quarterback in year 15 or 16 can do that right now. But, not just the check downs, youíve got to be locked into everything the same way. It doesnít really change anything, itís not like our offense changed so much. I remember when D.J. became the starting quarterback and all you guys were like, ĎOh, whatís this? This is going to be different.Ē No. Weíre still going to be able to run RPOs, weíre still going to have the same offense, the same scheme. At the end of the day, even though itís the same scheme, weíve got to execute better. Thatís what we havenít been doing in these previous weeks in this losing streak, and weíve got to do that this week.
Q: How badly does this team need a win?
A: How badly? Bad, just because itís the next game. It would just be good to get a win. We work our butts off all the time every week and come to practice, and every Sunday we come out there and put it on the line, and every team does that. Weíve been falling short a lot, so it would mean a lot just to come out there and get a win, and hopefully be able to spark something to finish the season off strong.
Q: I know you were only here for last year, but the Eagles have won nine of 10 against the Giants. Not many people have been here for all 10, just Eli maybe. But to get one back in the rivalry, would that mean something to this locker room, or are there too many new guys?
A: I donít know, I didnít even know that stat that weíre one and nine against them. I didnít even know that. Sheesh, well yeah, if you put it that way, it probably would mean a lot just to go out there and get a win. Honestly, itís a rivalry, but playing in Philly last year, theyíve got some different fans, so it would be pretty dope to go out there and get a win. But not the fact because itís a rivalry, just because, like I said, itís the next game and itís on Monday night and like I was saying to him, a win could help spark something. The only thing weíve got left is this last month of the season, so why not go out there and put it on the line?
Q: What have you seen from Miles Sanders, watching him, and how much have you been able to talk with him through his rookie year?
A: I talked to him earlier this week, FaceTime, and Iíve talked to him a good amount this season, even last year when he was in college still. Heís a heck of a player. Heck of a football player, you could see him coming more into himself and more into a role where he eventually probably will take off and be the guy in the future. But, heís catching the ball a lot betterónot a lot better than he did in college, I donít think he was presented with that responsibility like he has been in the NFL so far. But great vision, very strong, he has impressive legs. I know people talk about my legs all the time, but he has impressive legs and heís fast, youíve seen that 60-yard touchdown against the Bills. But, Iím more just happy because I know the work he put in to get to where heís at, and thatís what you dream about, being in the NFL. Iím happy to see a guy that I trained and practiced with do it at a high level.
Q: What was your recollection of your first trip to Philly last year, pulling into the parking lot?
A: Every parking lot is different, but you might see different types of hand gestures when youíre going to Philly. But, thatís Philly. I remember my dad went to the game last year and my dad had to take a step back from himself and remember that heís my father and we donít want to be on the front cover of the paper in New York. So, a fan might have said something different that he didnít really agree with, but I think my dad handled that in the right way. Those fans, theyíre Philly. Thatís how Philly is, but itís fun. Itís always fun to go out there and play against them, so hopefully we go out there and get a win.
Q: How about you, did you hear any language that maybe youíve never heard before on this planet?
A: Not this planet, but I mean, definitely itís who it comes from I would say thatís not expected.
Q: Like a six-year-old kid or something like that?
A: Yeah, you might see a kid. Itís unique, but itís fun. Thatís football and thatís what Phillyís known for and the type of people that they are, but you could use it against them also, too. If you can get things going, you can see them turn away fromónot turn away from the team, but you can get the crowd going in different directions. So, weíve just got to go out there, have fun and try to find a way to get a win.
Q: Are most of your Whitehall buddies Eagles fans?
A: Not just Whitehall, the whole town. Where Iím from, I remember when I walked in school on Mondays, you would walk in and everyone would have their jersey on. Most of them would be Eagles fans. It was Eagles fans and Penn State fans, so itís kind of weird because I played for Penn State and now I play for the Giants, so most of them have to kind of root for me anyway because, one, Iím their boy, but also because I went to Penn State and played for them.