RB Saquon Barkley -- December 30, 2019
Q: Are you surprised by the news of what happened with Coach (Pat) Shurmur?
A: Yeah, I was surprised by it. Upset, weíre all upset. Iíve been preaching all season whenever anyone asked me about what I think about if our coaching staff are the right people, I always kept saying itís easy to point the finger at one person. But at the end of the day, kind of like what DG (Dave Gettleman) said in the meeting, weíre all responsible. Weíre all responsible for these last two seasons. Coach Shurmur is a heck of a person, heck of a coach, and definitely helped me develop over these last two years.
Q: How hard was it today when you heard the news?
A: Very hard. It sucks. Thatís your coach. Heís one of the guys that believed in me, believed in DJ (Daniel Jones), for us to get here and live our dreams of playing in the NFL. You donít want to see anybody go out like that. It sucks because, like I said, you point the finger at one person. It wasnít all him, itís all of us. We just need to take that and learn from the lesson, and in the future, to be better.
Q: I think itís probably just another reality of the NFL that as you move on in your career, that these things happen at this level?
A: Yeah, definitely a hard reality. You understand what the NFL is, itís a business. At some points, itís going to happen to everybody. No matter if you go out your first year and as a rookie, you get cut, or youíre in year 12. At some point, itís going to come to an end. You just have to cherish the moments, cherish the time you have in the locker room with your coaches and with your teammates, and try to take full advantage of the opportunities you have.
Q: As it relates to you individually, as you take full inventory at the end of the season on your season, what would you say you were good at? What do you want back? What do you need to work on?
A: I have to work on everything. Iím always going to find a way to work on everything. I want to bring a championship to this city, to this team. I want to be a main reason why. Itís not only one person thatís going to do it. I know it takes a team. But thatís my mindset. Thatís my goal in my career. I believe I have the talent to be one of the best to do it. The guys that drafted me here, they believe in me. It wouldnít be right for me not to have that mindset and that work ethic to go out there and try to be the best that I can be, not only for myself but for my teammates. Thatís what Iím going to continue to do.
Q: How do you approach the uncertainty now of whoís going to come in as head coach?
A: I mean yeah, thatís up for grabs. Like I said, when you guys asked me if Coach Shurmur is going to get fired, I said thatís above me. Whoever they bring in here, I hope they just bring in a guy that has the right mindset and is going to lead us to try to turn this thing around. For me, I just keep that same approach. Iím going to take the lessons Iíve learned from the coaching staff here and from Coach Shurmur, to try to continue to help, and not only help me as a player, but as a leader and try to benefit my team for us to get moving in the right direction.
Q: Do you believe in this franchise going forward? Do you think youíll find a way?
A: Yeah. I believe, 100 percent believe, weíre one of the best franchises in the world, not only in football. Not only football, but in all sports. Itís the New York Giants. What weíve been producing the last couple of years is unacceptable. Weíre going to get back to having that Giants pride and being known for what the Giants are known for.
Q: When a coaching change happens like this, do leaders such as yourself feel an extra need to step up another step as a leader?
A: Definitely. Definitely feel an extra need to step up. But you also feel like youíre part of the reason why that coaching change happened. Thatís why itís a disappointment. You just have to continue to go with it, continue to work, continue pushing yourself and everyone around you to get this thing turned around.