Running Back Saquon Barkley
Q: These last couple of weeks, what are you personally looking to get out of this?
A: Personally, just trying to finish the season strong and originally as a team. Basically, just finish the season with a high note, get better each week, keep continuing to go back, watch what I could learn from and improve my game.
Q: I know you don't think about contract stuff in the middle of the season, but as you get closer to the end of the year, how much do you wonder about your future here and how much do you want to be here as you move forward?
A: I really don't really think about that at all. Don't really have enough time to really think about that, but me wanting to be here, I think I made it clear that this is the place that drafted me. I would love to be here forever. But I mean, all the other stuff, I really don't have time to focus on. I just got to focus on getting my body right, getting it ready and trying to go out there and perform at a high level for my team.
Q: You're always trying to go 1,000 percent, is there any element to these last few games where you feel in your mind, you're still trying to show them that you're a guy that they want for the future here?
A: No, I'm not kind of going to the games with that mindset. I want to, and I might sound a little selfish, but I want to go out there and finish on a high note for myself too. Obviously, for the team, I want to go out there and try to win all the games that we can, but just for me to go out there and finish on a high note. Just continue to build that confidence and lead into the offseason and get myself prepared and ready for the rest of my career.
Q: Why do you need to do it for yourself? Do you need to prove to yourself that you can get back to the level you were at?
A: No, it's not that, it's just that I feel like every time I'm up here I always have to answer questions about everyone else's expectations on myself and at the end of the day, the only thing that really matters is my thought process, you know what I mean? I got to go out there and control what I can control. I say football is a 11-man sport. It's the greatest team sport in the world, but I got to go out there and control what I can control. That starts from obviously, you always have to have a team mindset, but you've got to come back and focus on yourself and getting better every single day.
Q: It's been said by some people that when you come off a major ACL, it takes two seasons to get back to where you were. Is that in any way true?
A: I think it's different for everybody. I've talked to so many people that dealt with this injury. There's some guys that come back and right from the jump, it's never from the jump right away, but in the first season, they get back to where they were at, or even better, some guys take a little longer than others. I think personally, not making excuses, I felt like after the Saints, I felt like that I would probably have been on track to being one of those guys within the next season to get back to where you were or even better and then I just had an unlucky step on someone's foot and had to rehab the ankle and kind of set me back in my rehab process. It is what it is, and I just got to continue to come to work every single day and try to do better.
Q: (Head Coach Joe) Judge has thrown his support behind (Quarterback) Daniel (Jones) for next year. Obviously, you just want to win here no matter what and no matter who you're playing with, but is there something to be said for you would love to see this team turned around with Daniel at quarterback and going into an offseason where there's uncertainty with what is going to happen?
A: Yeah, I'm going to be honest. I love DJ, that's my dog, one of my best friends. I love the way he works, and I think I've said it multiple times about how I feel about that guy and his attitude and the way he works. I know how special he is, and I know how special he's going to be. I just don't know where the conversation comes up from whether he's going to be this or that. There's so many things that are out of our control and as players, we can't focus on that. We just got to focus on coming to work every single day, getting better every single day and that's all you can ask from a player, that's all you can ask from a teammate and Daniel Jones is that every single day.
Q: What do you think is his best quality?
A: There's a lot, but to me, personally, I think you can never knock someone's work ethic. Someone has the right work ethic and I know I said it before in my own personal battle with dealing with injuries or so far in my career and even if I say it to a little kid that asks me what's the best advice, I can give to him, it's hard work is going to get you where you need to go. That's something that he does every single day. He has the right mindset, the right work ethic and he comes, and he pushes himself and the way he pushes himself, he pushes everyone around him. I think that's the best quality I could say about him. Look there's many more.
Q: What did you think when you heard that he was going to have to be shut down?
A: Obviously, you feel for him because you know as a competitor, especially him, the type of player he is, how upsetting it is going to be for him not being able to be out there with his brother and his teammates. You obviously feel for him. Like I said, it's been a weird, rocky season for a lot of us. A lot of ups, a lot of downs, injuries left and right, but for a guy like Daniel Jones, a little minor setback and this is the last couple of games of the season, but he's going to be able to come back to work and get himself prepared in the offseason and be ready to go with helping the team's success in the future.
Q: You referenced the New Orleans game and you were your dynamic self there, what was your mindset coming out of there? Did you feel like you were ready to go that way?
A: Yeah. (Running Backs) Coach (Burton) Burns told me after I hurt my ankle in Dallas, but after the game, he said I just had that look in my eye during the Dallas game and I felt it. As players, you could just feel it sometimes when it's going to be the game. The first time we played Dallas, just how I felt in warmups, how I felt in practice. Obviously, when (Former Offensive Coordinator) Coach (Jason) Garrett was here before, a conversation I had with him just that whole week leading up, I felt very confident that I was going to be able to have a big performance for the team and hopefully be able to turn the season around. I run a route, take my eyes off the field for a little bit, step on someone's foot, out for a couple more weeks. It's part of the process, all part of God's plan and I'm going to keep trusting it and keep working.