Running Back Saquon Barkley
Q: You've had a lot more success on runs from under center versus shotgun. Is there anything to that? Why do you think that is the case?
A: I didn't know that. I don't know the reason behind that. We're having success in the run game the first couple of games, and we got to continue to build on it and use that to our advantage to help us win some more games.
Q: I didn't know if there was like a style of run. You run one versus the other.
A: You can see stuff a little bit clearer from home. You can see everything from home, I guess it makes it a little easier you could say. It clears up your vision a little more rather than gun. There's nothing really to it. The bigger runs we hit so far have been from home than gun.
Q: Everyone has been talking about the turf. You've played on it now for a few years. Your injuries haven't even been here but what do you think about it?
A: At the end of the day, I'm blessed to play football – go out there and play Sunday. Personally, I'm not really a fan of turf. I'm starting to understand when I was a rookie and older guys were complaining about the turf – I guess you start having a little more understanding of that. I don't really look too deep into that whether the turf is out there or not. I just try to go out there and perform at a high level and help my team win. That's something that I can't control. I try to control what I can control.
Q: Talk about the Chicago Bears. Obviously, (linebacker) Roquan Smith – talk about him and the challenges you face this week.
A: Yeah, Roquan – I feel like I play him every year. We play the Bears every year. He's a heck of a player, very instinctive, super athletic. He's one of those guys – I remember the game when I tore my knee against them. I went out wide and he came out. He was the first linebacker that ever tried to press me. I was like, that just shows you – usually, a lot of times, especially a linebacker, is going to want to back off and be threatened by my speed. It shows you how much confidence they have in him and how much he has in himself. Any time you go against a player like that, you want to rise to the level of your competition. They have a tremendous team over there and a great defense. They're 2-1 and we know they're going to try to come out here and get another win. We just got to try to do the best we can to defend home turf and execute the plays that we can.
Q: It sounds silly with the math but is 3-1 and 2-2 a bigger difference than one game a month into the season?
A: Yeah. You want to win every game you can, so you definitely would rather be 3-1 than 2-2. As I said, you don't go in any game with the mindset like, 'Okay if we 2-2 then what?' If that happens, then you prepare for that, but you go in with the mindset of trying to win a game, trying to do whatever you can to win a game. If you can get to 3-1 in the first quarter of a season, obviously not looking too far ahead, never satisfied but I would say that's a pretty good start. We got to find a way to get to 3-1 against a very good team who's playing really well. So, we'll try to capitalize on that.
Q: We have a three-game sample size now, is there any point where you say "If I keep this pace, we'll do this" or is it now, is it a quarter or halfway point of the season where you start looking at your numbers and say some of the records that are intact, some of the career times or things like that?
A: I don't look at my numbers. I'm not naive, I'm not stupid. You scroll on Instagram and see the top-five rushers. I don't go searching for my numbers. The way I go about it is like – I take care of the little things and the rest will take care of itself. I know the goals, and I know the things I want to accomplish. It's not necessarily a certain number that – I just look at it as you continue to keep climbing up that mountain and the only way you can get to the top of that mountain is by taking it one step at a time.
Q: Has there been any moment that you have said, 'Wait, I can do this again?' Has anything surprised you or pleasantly surprised you in these three games that felt like a little bit of a hurdle for you to get over?
A: I would say all that, gaining confidence and surprising myself. I wouldn't say surprising myself, gaining that belief in myself kind of happened in OTAs and camp. Going through that process was a blessing. Camp is a grind, but I really feel like it helped not only me but anyone in general when you can go out there and practice at a high level against great competition. Obviously, you guys see how good our defense is. Going against those guys just gives you the confidence to come into the season to play at a high level. Made some plays so far early in the year but it's just the start. Got to keep grinding, got to stay on it and keep trusting the system, keep trusting the offensive line and try to find a way to continue to get better.
Q: Is there one thing that surprised you that you've gotten better at that you were better at than maybe you were before the injuries?
A: I don't know if I'm really better. I would say I'm probably a smarter player. I have a better understanding of the game than I had my rookie year. My rookie year is when you come into the best shape of your life – you're 21, you're young, I hadn't had any injuries in the past or anything like that. I probably was in better physical shape than I was but just understanding the game, slowing down the game. I don't see myself doing anything different, just have a better understating, listen to (running backs) coach (DeAndre) Smith, (offensive line) coach Bobby (Johnson), all the coaches, and trusting the offensive line. That's how the plays have been working and I got to continue to do that.
Q: It's one thing to feel it and see it in the spring or even in the summer, right? That you're feeling good or you're like your old self. When you go back and watch it and you're watching yourself again, do you see the same player or better player than the 2018, and 2019 seasons had?
A: Yeah, you know, not to be arrogant, when you see plays like when I went back, and you watch film on the touchdown run I had on Monday – making that jump cut inside a hole and making those two guys miss and find a way to score. Those are the plays where it's like, kind of put a smile on your face and you're like, 'That's the guy I know. That's the guy who always was there.' He was there last year to be completely honest; I just had a hard time finding a way to bring him out. That's coming with a mental disconnect, I lost confidence, and its human nature – that happens. You're going to have your ups and downs in life, but you got to find a way not to waiver and continue to trust yourself, continue to trust the process, and just find belief in yourself again. I feel like I'm starting to do that also with the help of the coaches and my teammates.
Q: Playing the Bears again, do you watch the game from last year and if you do, I know you had a pretty good game, what do you see from yourself?
A: Last year is when I really felt like the hurdle everyone wants to talk about. The hurdle that I felt like everyone is talking about, I feel like that was the hurdle for me last year. Obviously, we didn't finish the last game last year. We didn't play well at all as a team. For that one, going back to Chicago to the place where I tore my knee to have a 100-yard game. Obviously, it's all about the team but looking at it from my mindset there to go to that place. That kind of like put everything in the past for me and I was able to go into the offseason healthy. I still was able to show glimpses of that, especially inside running – I just wasn't breaking long runs. Now that I got my confidence back, all that stuff is starting to happen again. It's different, think about anything you do – whether you're playing football or any profession, any job you have is like; if you have confidence in yourself, when you're back there. To be honest, before that play, DJ (quarterback Daniel Jones) was like, I know I missed it before, and DJ was like, 'Hit it" and I hit it and we scored. It's just little stuff like that is coming back, just the trust in it.