RB Saquon Barkley
September 3, 2020
Q: I’m not sure if you heard me just ask Jabrill (Peppers) this. I wanted to ask you too. We’re going into a season where teams are going to be traveling now. You’re going to be playing guys who are obviously in other cities, staying in hotels, on airplanes. How safe do you feel now that all these new variables are being introduced?
A: Obviously, that’s going to be a challenge that’s going to be presented. But one thing you can worry about is yourself and this team, and I think we’ve been doing a great job. Here in this facility, I think the Giants, from top to bottom, have been doing a great job of keeping us safe. I think that’s showing up in our testing and I think the league has been doing well, too. Yes, that’s going to be a challenge, but everyone understands how serious this thing is. Going on the road, we’re going to protect each other and continue to play the game that we love.
Q: You’ve had the opportunity to be here for this whole offseason with this coaching staff. The last two years, obviously, nine wins total. What gives you optimism now that you’re heading into the season that this franchise is headed in the right direction?
A: It’s just a new start. It’s a new year. Everything is undetermined. We get a chance to go out there and be a new team just because it’s a new season. I think we worked really hard this offseason. I think it starts with that. Hopefully we’re going to be able to become a more disciplined team from the situations and how we’ve been coached this year. Hopefully we can go out there and take all the things that happened at practice and during camp from the hard work, from the coaching, from the situational football, understanding the game a little bit more too. Hopefully we can take all of that that we learned from camp and take it into the season and hopefully start the season right.
Q: I know last week or last time, maybe it wasn’t even last time, it was two times ago, we talked to you and you said somebody asked you about possibly boycotting games and you said you’ll go back and you’ll talk to the team about it. Have you had the opportunity to talk about what you are going to do on game day? Not just really boycott but however you’re going to approach it.
A: Yeah, I think that’s a conversation that’s probably going to be had during this week. Obviously, a lot of guys came out here and we all put our hard work in. But the nature of the game is we have to get to a certain number. I think obviously, when we get to that certain number, we’ll have discussions. Open discussions, dialogue within the team, and we’ll see what we’ll be able to do. I think we’ve been doing a great job on what we’ve been doing with our Team of Teams. But how far can we take it, what’s another level we can take it to? I know that it’s not just on me saying that. I feel like we are passionate about that, not just we as a team but as an organization. Hopefully we can continue to try to do the right things.
Q: You guys haven’t had an offseason game yet. You haven’t played against another team. How can you tell if you’re ready to face the Pittsburgh Steelers in a week and a half?
A: Me personally, I really haven’t been going that much in preseason. My first really live action has been Week One to be completely honest. But as a team, I think even though we haven’t faced any other teams, I think from the coaching staff, they did a really good job this camp of simulating what it’s actually going to be like. I see what you guys say about practice, how it’s hard and this and that. But I think it’s done a really good job for us because we needed that. Like you said, the preseason has gone away. We also did a really good job of getting guys opportunities and chances to show what we’re able to do and what we’re able to bring to the table, and also prepare us and get us ready for the first game of the year.
Q: Just curious, I don’t know if the right word is overlooked or forgotten, but you had 91 catches as a rookie. It seems like two years later, everyone is talking about how much you can tap into your potential as a receiver, forgetting the 91 catches. How much more do you think is in your game from that perspective? I know you’ve trained a lot on it, not just now but in the past. Your thoughts as a receiver what you can do in this league?
A: Obviously, we have a great coaching staff and they’re going to put us in the right positions. The opportunities that I do have to have an impact on the pass game, I have to take advantage of. But that’s something, as I always say, I always want to improve my game and that’s something that I really focus on, not this year but every year. You can’t put pads on and hit and tackle during the offseason, so most of my offseason consists of high volume with running and working on my speed and in the weight room. But when it comes to football, the only thing I really can do, obviously work on my foot work as a running back, but is run routes. Whether you meet up with the local pro quarterback in the city you’re in or you meet up with DJ (Daniel Jones) and those guys and run routes. I have a great group of wide receivers here, from Golden (Tate) to (Sterling) Shep (ard), Evan (Engram), (Darius) Slayton, so on and so on. When we’re in the offseason, being able to watch those guys, how they run routes and learn from them and to be able to add to my game, I feel like that’s something I hope I’m able to show this year.
Q: So, you do still take enough time in the offseason where you’re working on that part of your game, especially in those circumstances?
A: Yes sir, I do.