for display only
Big Blue Interactive The Corner Forum  
Back to the Corner

Archived Thread

Transcript: Running Back Saquon Barkley

Eric from BBI : Admin : 1/4/2023 6:56 pm
Running Back Saquon Barkley

Q: How hard is this whole thing that is happening with (Buffalo safety) Damar Hamlin hitting you? How much do you feel it?

A: Yeah, I mean you never want to see anybody get hurt. I know Damar a little bit from recruiting, I've seen him at Pittsburgh. Being a recruit and coming to visit Penn State. Knowing (Eagles running back) Miles (Sanders), and I know him and Miles are really close. Any time you see a guy go down, especially when you have no idea what's really going on, it definitely hurts, it sucks. Just praying for him and his family and all those guys over there in Buffalo.

Q: Does this put in perspective the fragility of life?

A: Yeah. You think about it, you talk about, but when you actually see something like that – it leaves you speechless. The first text I got was from my mom. My mom was just saying how bad she feels for Damar's family. That's a mother's, that's a parent's worst nightmare. It definitely does put it in perspective. Me having kids seeing that – it's a physical sport, it's a game I love to play, but at any given moment, it makes you just appreciate all the little things. Going out to practice, spend time with your family, spend time with your teammates, your friends and even stuff like this. Any moment, anything can happen.

Q: What's your reaction to the outpouring of love and support that he has received?

A: I'm not surprised. I'm not surprised. The NFL community, the NFL is a very loved sport. Obviously, there were a lot of eyes on that game, there were a lot of eyes on that moment. I never was with Buffalo, but you hear a lot about Bills Mafia, the positive things they're doing. You see (License Plate Guy) LPG getting Giants' nation involved. You see all these guys from different teams, different careers, all donating to his charity. It's a good thing to see how the NFL and how the community is getting behind and supporting him. The only thing you can do right now is hope for the best and continue to pray and keep him in your prayers and keep his family in your prayers.

Q: Was today's meeting necessary? Obviously, there was a meeting with different people, the chaplain, and things like that?

A: Yeah, it was definitely necessary. The most important part I think was when we all just prayed. Like you mentioned, it puts everything in perspective. At any given moment, it can be taken away from you. We all sat there and said a prayer for him, for his family. Like I said, you never want to see anything like that happen.

Q: When you took the field today, I know practice is different than a game, but what do you think with the first hit, the first contact – does that go through your mind and how do you prevent that when it comes to game time?

A: We didn't really get into any physical contact in practice today. I guess – I wouldn't guess – I assume that would go through your mind the next time, on Sunday, when you're about to go through physical contact. You've got to try your best not to think about it that way. I'm the kind of guy who, like I said, put it in perspective knowing that can happen but still just be appreciative. Go out there and just try to take advantage of every single opportunity and every moment you can get.

Q: Obviously you know there are dangers to the game especially in a week like this when you see an injury like this. How do you reconcile with the sport that you love, you're good at and you made a career out of versus the fact that it is such a dangerous sport?

A: You know it's a dangerous sport. Obviously, you've seen guys, the injuries. Unfortunately, you see some guys get paralyzed. You never see, I don't really want to speak too much on the medical because I'm not really 100 percent familiar with it, but you've never seen that. I've never seen that. Obviously, I wasn't there but seeing it on TV, seeing it on social media, definitely makes you stop – and it was like, 'Whoa.' It really puts you on notice because that's not something you just ever think of. Obviously, it's a physical sport when you go out there and there's contact and you're trying to make the other guy miss or you're trying to run the other guy over. You never ever see that, envision that happening until it actually happened. It's definitely a shock, but like I said, the only thing you can do is just hope for the best and pray for the best and continue to keep him in your prayers and his family in your prayers.

Q: For it to come on a play that was pretty nondescript as far as football goes – how do you put that through your mind?

A: It's tough because it's a routine play. It's a play that's happened millions, millions of times. It's a play that I've done millions and thousands of times before. It's tough. It really is tough. It's hard to even speak on it. Words can't really explain how you even feel in that moment. Like I said, I know I sound like a broken record, the only thing you really can do is just pray. Just pray for his family, pray for him, pray for the guys over in Buffalo, all of the people that are impacted by that – even the guys in Cincinnati – and just wish for the best.

Q: How much, if at all, does it make you question whether you would want to play this game or not?

A: I wouldn't necessarily say it made me question if I wanted to play this game. Kind of going back to what she asked me – it kind of puts you in shock like, 'Whoa.' You know it's a physical game, you know it's the nature of the game, but I've never ever seen – me playing, watching the game for a really long time – I've never seen anything like that before. I didn't even know that was possible. It's sad to say, you never even have that thought in your head. I wouldn't say it really questioned me playing the sport that I love, it was more just like, wow I didn't even know that was possible to happen on a football field. Now that you see that, it's crazy. It's just crazy but like I said and I'm going to keep saying it – the only thing you can do is just pray. That's really all it is right now. You just pray. Just thinking about him and his family because there are a lot of people that's going through a rough time whether it's his family or the Buffalo Bills and people that were impacted or directly associated with that game.

Q: After witnessing a traumatic event like that, do you think everyone in here will be able to compete and engage by game time Sunday at a full extent or is that going to be difficult to do?

A: That's a good question. I really can't speak for everyone. I think it kind of – those are things that we addressed a little bit in this meeting, the meeting that we had earlier, understanding what happened. (Senior Vice President, Medical Services/Head Athletic Trainer) Ronnie (Barnes) went up there, did an amazing job speaking on the medical side. (Director of Wellness and Clinical Services, Player Engagement) Dr. Lani (Lawrence) went up there and did a great job on the psychological side. It's going to be tough, yeah, I would say it'll be tough. That's a true conversation that really needs to be had, I've never – I know where I'm at mentally, but I think that would probably be a really good thing as a captain and a leader of the team to bring the team together and ask that question. That didn't even cross my mind.

Q: Are you a proponent, then, of the league potentially suspending games for a week or postponing games for a week? Just to kind of have everyone cool down, or come to grips with the reality of the situation – if that's the right word for it.

A: That's a great question. It's hard for me to really answer that because I really only can speak for myself, how I feel.

Q: How is that then, how do you feel?

A: Me personally, that's a conversation that I would have to have with my family. How I feel, going back to what I've said – you never think about something like that. Really didn't even have any physical contact. Obviously, went out there in practice and didn't have any physical contact. None of that even crossed my mind until you guys actually brought it to my attention. That's something I would probably have a better answer later on in the week having to sit down and really reflect on that. It's sad to say but it's the God honest truth. The only thing I've really done in this moment about the situation that happened is more thinking about Damar and thinking about his family, thinking about those guys. Really haven't even sat down myself thinking like, 'Wow, I'm actually going to take the field too.' Seeing that on live television, seeing that on social media – that's a really good question but I would really have to sit down and reflect on that before I give you an actual, God honest answer.
Back to the Corner