Running Back Saquon Barkley
Q: On how he feels physically
A: Each day it gets better. It's not a tough injury. Or it's a tough injury, I guess I should say. I'm just taking it one day at a time and just trying to improve each day.
Q: It's Thursday. Sunday is still a ways off. Are you encouraged?
A: I'd definitely say I'm in a better spot than where I was last Thursday. So, definitely encouraged, but I don't want to make any guarantees. Continuing to trust in my body and trust in the training staff and go from them.
Q: How do you like your chances this week?
A: Kind of similar to what I just said, continuing to just keep working, keep rehabbing, put my trust in the (athletic) trainers and take it day by day.
Q: How much more have you been able to do?
A: Yeah, definitely able to do a lot more this week. Definitely can feel improvements, feel a lot better than what I was in this moment, in this spot than I was last week. But just keep chipping away.
Q: Dabs (Head Coach Brian Daboll) said yesterday was the first time you did team reps. Did you do even more today than yesterday?
A: Yeah, I was able to do more team reps this week than I was the week prior. Keep sticking with it, keep sticking with the plan, trusting the (athletic) trainers, listening to them, and take it day by day.
Q: I know how much your competitive juices flow. So, how much do you want to just be out there with these guys, especially with this big game?
A: Yeah, I would love to be out there. I feel like I can help. I feel like I can help us get back on track. I know there's some people out there that wouldn't agree with that, but that's why I believe in my mindset. I'm fighting, I'm trying to do everything I can in my power to get back and be there for my teammates.
Q: Why do you believe this club can get back and get it going?
A: It's the NFL. You never expect it to go this way. Obviously, last year didn't go this way. We had a hot start. We started the first quarter of season 1-3, not where we want to be, but you've got to weather the storm. That's the reality of the NFL, it's going to happen to every team. At some point, you're going to have adversity. I think we have a team that's built for adversity. I think we have the players and the leaders in this locker room to get us out of this funk. That's the only thing that's going to solve it, is by going out there and winning games. The reason why I think we are going to be able to do that is because of the system we have in place, the coaches that we have here and the players that we have in this locker room, and I feel like continue to trust in that and continue to lean on each other. That's going to be the way we get out of this.
Q: What's it been like to have to watch? Obviously, the offense has struggled.
A: It sucks. It sucks. As a competitor, you want to be out there, and you go back and look at film every game whether you play in it or you don't. You think, 'Is there anything else I could have done different if I was in this play or if I was here or there?' That's not any diss to (running back) Gary (Brightwell) or (running back Matt) Breida, those guys have been doing a great job coming in and making plays for us. But as a player, you want to be out there, and I'll try my best.
Q: Have you learned anything different being on the sideline watching the whole game as opposed to being in the game? Did you learn any different perspective on everything?
A: I guess you get a different perspective of it, but it's not a perspective that you want.
You can get a different sense of what's going on. You really just can't do much. It's hard to be vocal, try to be the leader, try to, in those moments, pick guys up when you're not going through the fire with them, when you're not out there going to war with them. So, that's why I'm trying my best to get back out there. I'll be able to let my personality show and hopefully, my playmaking ability, and hopefully just have an impact being on the field and also carrying over to the vocal leadership role and just the leadership on the field also.
Q: You're obviously a leader on this team, right? You've seen what's happened with (tackle) Evan Neal, and he apologized again. As a leader, what kind of advice do you give him in this situation?
A: I think you've got to applaud him for owning up to his mistakes and taking accountability for what he said and apologizing. The advice I would give to him, and any other teammate is never pick a battle with the fans. You're never going to win that one. They've been here before us and some of them will be here after us, and that's just the truth.
Do I think what he said was wrong? I think he could have used his words differently. But in some cases, he's right, knowing that you're getting booed and this. Basically, how I took it outside of the hamburgers and stuff like, he definitely could have chosen his words differently there, but at the end of the day, we're all we've got. We've got to do better on the football field, we've got to perform better because at the end of the day it's an entertainment business and we've got to put a product out there for fans to be happy about. But when they're booing and everyone in the media is saying this and saying this about you, it's like, we're all we got. That's the reality of it.
Q: Is that the rallying cry now?
A: It's always that. I think Thibs (outside linebacker Kayvon Thibodeaux) said it two, three weeks, however long ago it was when he was talking about social media GMs or this, that and the third. We see all that and we're aware of it and fans are going to, rightfully so, boo and have their opinions. You guys are doing your job. You guys are going to say negative things or positive things about us, and we just can't get too caught up into that. So, that really would just be my advice is just keep the main thing the main thing and focus on what we've got in here because at the end of day we're the only the ones, like I said earlier, to get us out of this funk and get us out of this adversity and that's leaning on each other, trusting each other, and having each other's backs. That's what we're going to continue to do.