Running Back Saquon Barkley
Q: Wildcat quarterback, your thoughts?
A: It's something that we practiced. I think we did it, we showed it against Carolina. It was a package that we had in. You don't want to be in that situation but the way that the coaches reacted, brought us all in and started drawing it up. It felt like you're back again as a little kid in the backyard playing football. But like I said, we had some of those packages already. We worked at it and we have some really talented (running) backs and a great offensive line and we were able to have a little bit of success on it.
Q: (Head Coach) Brian (Daboll) said he actually had a grease board out and you were watching him draw it up?
A: Like you were eight years old playing with your friends on Sunday getting ready. You're just drawing it up. "I'm the quarterback, this is what we are going to do, this is how we're going to do it." We got to some of it, but the defense stepped up big for us and we were able to get the gritty runs and find a way to get a win.
Q: How encouraging is it to have a coach that can do that on the sidelines in a situation with so much adversity swirling around?
A: It's not just drawing it up, it's every week. The way that we come to work, how we adjust. I feel like every week, especially in the run game, the run that is hitting is not the one that hit the week before, the week prior. It just shows not just how versatile the coaches are but our players, especially the guys up front. They (Offensive Linemen) are doing a great job setting up holes. I got to be a little better for them at the beginning of the game when they give me the opportunity to get on the safety. A couple plays stick in my mind, especially the long one. I have to break that and find a way to get in the endzone. The great thing about it as we continue to trust each other, we are going to get better and just keep leaning on the o-line, keep trusting the system and week by week try to find a way to go 1-0.
Q: How did you know you were going in as the quarterback. How did that conversation happen?
A: When I saw (quarterback) Tyrod (Taylor) go down, I kind of realized I'm up next. I'm the quarterback. First of all, you have to give credit to DJ (quarterback Daniel Jones) coming back in the game. I can't curse, he's a tough you know what. Nothing but respect for him to go in and continue to fight through that for his team just shows you the type of person and type of player he is. I think I just tried my best to read it. It's really not that hard, I guess, but I think I made the right reads on them. But we were able to keep the ball moving, get down field, get some points and the defense did a great job for us.
Q: When you were out there, you were reading your keys as to whether or not to hand the ball off?
A: Yes. You go out there, you look at a guy, he does this, you do that. He does this, you do that. I really thought (running back Matt) Breida was going to break it. He's special. He's a really good back. I kind of got caught watching and seeing it because I knew he was going to get the edge. I have to do a better job faking there. The biggest thing, it shows how gritty this team is. I love all those guys in the locker room and the way that we come in and fight for each other. It's early in the year. Obviously, you would rather be 3-1 than 2-2, but we just have to keep building it, go back, watch film and get ready for Green Bay and the trip to London.
Q: Before Daniel went out, in your mind why were you being so effective in plays that you were working and whenever he was rolling out there was wide open space?
A: One, he's a heck of a quarterback. He's very athletic. Two, we kind of knew after the first drive what their gameplan was going to be and to load the box up a little bit. If they are going to do that, they don't have enough guys out there. We did a great job of even though they loaded the box, the o-line was leaning on them, making the right calls, creating movement. I was able to make some of the right reads, put a little pressure on the defense and DJ was DJ and made the plays.
Q: So basically, when you're in there – they are calling the play into Daniel, he's telling you but it's an RPO (run-pass option) without the 'P' (pass)?
A: No, not in that scenario.
Q: You had the mic?
A: The headset? Nah. We didn't go that far. I mean, I would love that but – actually, I wouldn't love that. Hopefully we are never in that situation again, but we were able to get it done.
Q: That screen pass that you took back around the other side, how do you make a play like that?
A: Just let your body react. Ball security was awful in the beginning, but I kind of just wanted to make sure we get back on track. It was a heck of a block by DJ. There are not really a lot of quarterbacks out there that will go out there and fight for his team, coming back in and making those blocks. O-line kept blocking, too, we picked up the first down.
Q: Obviously in your career here, there have been times where the (opposing) team knows that you are going to run the football and you guys collectively have not had success. I think from the beginning part of this game, people knew that you were going to try to run the football today. Why were you successful and why have you been successful in those circumstances where even though they know what's coming, you guys are producing?
A: I will say this – it is really hard to run the ball in the NFL when it's a loaded box. I can't really take credit for that. It's all about the gameplan, it's all about the system, it's all about starting up with (center) Jon (Feliciano) making the right calls and DJ putting us in the right position, the o-line communicating and getting to the second level. My responsibility is to just trust it. There're some plays I wish I had back, I feel like I could have done a better job but that's within every game. Like I said, when there's a focal point of stopping the run and you see me go out there making some of those plays, it all starts with the offensive line. I got to give credit to them today. We are going to continue to trust in them, lean on them and they're the engine of this team, especially the offense.