Running Back Saquon Barkley
Q: How are you feeling coming out of the game and this week so far?
A: Like I said after the game, this is one of those things where week by week it's just going to keep getting better and better. Just getting back in a rhythm, just feeling it, getting my eyes back into it last week. I felt like I played better last week than I did in Tampa. Felt like my legs were underneath me a little bit better. Throughout the rest of the season, just going to continue to get better.
Q: The Dolphins zero blitz a lot. How does that affect the run game?
A: They're a top-ten run defense in the last seven weeks. The last seven or five weeks, they've been number one, averaging only like 80 yards a game, so it's going to be a tough matchup. But you watch it, there are opportunities out there for plays to be had just like every week. We've got to go capitalize. We know that we're going up against a great defense and a team that's on a hot streak, but we've got to go out there and give our best and hopefully come out with a dub.
Q: Did you notice any change in the play-calling with (Senior Offensive Assistant) Freddie (Kitchens) as opposed to Jason (Garrett)?
A: Like I said after the game, you really only could change so much Week 12, Week 13 of the season. Obviously, we had a little bit of different wrinkles as you guy can see in the game. But as the season goes on and all the offensive guys get together, probably a little more wrinkles are going to come in. We've just got to come out in practice, run the plays, execute the plays in practice and then when they're called in the game, make it work.
Q: Do you think it's more advantageous to target (Wide Receiver) Kenny Golladay seven times instead of two?
A: I feel like a lot of people get caught up with the targets or catches, receptions, carries. At the end of the day, it's football. Obviously, everybody as a competitor, you want to be the one with the ball in your hands to make a play to make your team win, but however you've got to get the job done to get a win, that's what it's got to be. There might be a game where I carry the ball 25 times or KG might have 11 catches or (Wide Receiver Darius Slayton) Slay might have 11 catches, (Tight End) Evan (Engram) have 11 catches and we win. There might be some games like last week where we're not finishing on offense, but the defense is playing lights out and the special teams is playing lights out and we still get the win. I think people outside get so caught up in how many times this person is getting the ball or how many times this person is touching the ball, when the only thing and our whole main objective as a team is just finding a way to get the dub. Whatever it takes, that's the way we've got to do it.
Q: How much do you enjoy being used in the passing game?
A: I like it a lot. That's something I train. Obviously, this offseason was more focusing on just rehabbing and getting my body right and getting my knee right, but in previous years I put a lot of work in route running and catching. It kind of started in college when I was challenged by my running backs coach to try and become more versatile. I like doing it. I've got to continue to grow, continue to get better at it, see coverages better. The more I do it, it's an opportunity for me to be able to make a play for my team, so I enjoy it.
Q: How much would it hurt if you didn't have (Quarterback) Daniel (Jones) on Sunday?
A: Daniel's an amazing guy. He's a hard worker, he's a leader. Obviously, when he's not on the field, you're missing something. He's special. He's a heck of a player, but at the same time we have to have the next man up mentality. Whatever happens, however it plays out when we get to Sunday, we've all got to be ready to go out there and try to get a win. But like I said, he's a leader, he's a captain and he's a heck of a player. Not having 8 out there is obviously going to be something that's a little bit different because of how special a player he is and how much he means to our team.
Q: Why do you think you guys have had so many injuries this season?
A: That's a great question. It's kind of just bad luck, to be completely honest. We work hard. I don't think we're overworked. We have a great, great training staff. We have a great strength staff and it's not like that everywhere, so we're very fortunate, we're very blessed in that avenue. We have a lot of players here who put their head down and they work hard. A lot of the injuries are just unfortunate. You see some stuff where they're just freak accidents. I had one this year for example. There's been a couple out there, but that's part of the game. I think we've been doing a great job, especially guys who get opportunities to step up and make plays, whether it's in a two-minute drive against the Eagles, if it's (Fullback) Eli Penny having to play a little more running back. All those guys on our team always have that next man up mentality and they're going out there and they're working their butts off and working their tails off.