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Transcript: Running Back Saquon Barkley

Eric from BBI : Admin : 5:23 pm
Running Back Saquon Barkley
September 30, 2021

Q: It’s been about 21 months since you’ve walked off the field with a win. How much does that weigh
on you?

A: Obviously, not just myself, but everyone in the building. We come in every day and work hard. The
whole objective at the end of the week is to get a win. I haven’t done that for a long time, and we
haven’t done that yet this season, but we’ve just got to come in – we’ve got a great game plan, come in,
execute, and hopefully come out with a win.

Q: You said something after the other day after the game, ‘It’s time for some change. Somebody has
to step up and make a change.’ It sounded like you were taking accountability maybe a little more
than we’ve heard from around here during all the losing seasons. Do you feel that as the face of the
organization that you have to be the one to make a change?

A: No. You can’t have that mindset that it’s got to be one person. That doesn’t work. Football is the
greatest team sport for a reason. We have a whole bunch of leaders and a whole bunch of great players
on this team, and we’ve just got to go out there, execute and make the plays when need be.

Q: So, it wasn’t like you were trying to send a message to the fans or to your own locker room or
anything like that.

A: No. If I have to send a message to the locker room or say anything to the guys in the locker room, I
would say it to ourselves, internally.

Q: You’ve been getting a few more touches as you’ve been kind of working your way back. What do
you anticipate your workload being this week?

A: My touches have been going up, my workload has been going up. Every week I’m getting better. It’s
part of the process of just coming off of a major knee injury. I can see myself from Week 3 to Week 1
how much better of a player I am already, and I’ve got to keep trusting the process.

Q: Have you reached the point where you feel like whatever they give you, you trust your knee to
come through?

A: Yeah, I think I’m at that point. I did a really good job with rehab, have great trainers, great coaches
who believe in me and I’ve just got to keep trusting in my knee.

Q: How do you assess what you saw from yourself the other day?

A: Like I just said to him, if I had to compare myself from Week 3 to Week 1 just seeing the cuts and the
way that I’m running, (I have) definitely improved. I’ve just got to keep trusting it, keep trying to get
better every single day and take what they give me.

Q: I know you were able to come back, but is it frustrating at all that maybe you’re not back doing
some of these things that you used to or you’re not playing to the level that you maybe expect from
yourself?

A: I hold myself to a high standard, I know this team holds me to a high standard, a lot of people hold
me to a high standard and, like I always say, I set my own expectations. Right now, I’ve just got to keep
working and keep growing and keep improving. I know what I’m coming off of. My mom and dad try to
make me understand that I’m coming off of a knee injury and try to teach me patience there. I’ve just
got to keep being patient with it. I know every week I’m going to keep getting better and I’ve got to keep
trusting it and keep trusting the process and keep working.

Q: What do you think about people on the outside holding you to that standard, as well?

A: That’s life. That’s part of the game. I’ve been a well-known football player since college. People have
said stuff about me since I was 18, ever since I started playing as a freshman, to be honest. I think I’ve
been doing a really good job of focusing on myself and focusing on my own expectations, and the work
that I put in and the standard I hold myself to. I know what I’m able to do on a football field. Obviously,
I’ve just got to keep trusting the knee and week after week after week, I’m going to keep getting better.

Q: (Former Giants Linebacker) Carl Banks was saying on the radio this week that it’s time for the
Giants to tell you to just put your knee on the ground and run somebody over, just north-south run
somebody over. I know we’ve had that conversation with you before. How much of a focus is that?
Have you had that conversation? Do you feel like that’s what you need to start doing?

A: I had a conversation with my running backs coach (Burton Burns), and he said that I’ve been doing a
really good job of sticking and taking what the defense is giving me, taking the dirty runs. Carl Banks is
well-respected, and I appreciate everything he did for the organization. As a fan of football, when
someone like that speaks or says something, you definitely take that into account. But at the end of the
day, like I said, (I’ve) just got to keep focusing on myself, keep focusing on this team and keep coming in
every single day and working to get better.

Q: You have expressed support for the coaches. This year, I know (Offensive Coordinator) Jason
Garrett has taken some criticism for play calling. Do you support him and if so, why? Do you think this
offense can get better over time?

A: I do support all the coaches. I definitely support Coach Garrett. At the end of the day, the players,
we’ve got to go out there and execute, too. It’s easy to point the finger at just the coaches. I think I’ve
said that before in the past. We’ve got to go out there and execute and make the plays. We’re doing a
great job of moving the ball down the field and creating plays – especially in third down, we’re doing
well in third down. It’s just that when we get in that little red zone, we’ve just got to execute a little bit
more. We’ve got to find a way to not settle for three, not shoot ourselves in the foot and find a way to
get in the end zone. I think that’s where we’re at as an offense. We’re doing a great job of moving the
ball, great job of getting down the field, we’re just not finishing. I think that kind of goes hand-in-hand
with our games and the last two games losing on last-second field goals and being 0-3 right now.

Q: We’ve certainly done this, but you’ve cultivated this kind of Superman, superhero, jump over
everybody image through the media. I’m wondering if you feel like that has you being held to a higher
standard right now? Most people, maybe this is (what) they would think is average from you coming
back from an ACL, but for you it seems like the expectations are a little higher than what they would
be for everybody else.

A: I really don’t get the question. I know what you’re saying, but I really don’t get the question. I really
don’t understand what you’re trying to ask there. Sorry, I’m not trying to be –

Q: I guess what I’m trying to say is, what you’re doing right now maybe seems like where most people
would be coming back from a major knee injury, but you maybe get held to a higher standard because
people have seen what you’ve done when you’re mostly healthy and the bar is just that much higher.

A: So, do I feel like I’m getting held to a higher standard because of how I’m playing after three weeks
after a knee injury?

Q: Because of what you can do at your absolute best.

A: No, I don’t think so because I know where I’m keeping myself at. But I do agree with the comment,
what you’re saying. People probably do expect me to come out here and jump over people and do crazy
things – and obviously I would love to do that, too – but at the end of the day I am human. But I don’t
want to make any excuses. I’m not going to do that throughout this whole season. I’m never going to
make any excuses. The expectation that people have for me is not even close to the expectations that I
have for myself and it never will be for as long as I play football, or whatever I do after football. That’s
just my mindset. I’ve got to keep going, I’ve got to keep getting better. My team needs me to be better.
I’ve just got to keep trusting my knee and trusting the process, and I know that’s going to work and I
know that’s going to happen. Just take it one day at a time.
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