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Transcript: Running Back Saquon Barkley

Eric from BBI : Admin : 10/19/2023 6:03 pm
Running Back Saquon Barkley

Q. How does your body feel after your first game back? Obviously, an injury that kept you out several weeks.

A: I mean, it's Week 6, 7 in the NFL. Obviously, just not playing in three weeks and playing an NFL game and having the workload that I had, you're obviously going to be a little sore but we've got a great strength staff here, great trainers here and I have a great team outside of this. So, just continuing to take care of my body and stay strong for this coming up week and for the rest of the season.

Q. But the ankle in particular?

A: No setbacks.

Q. What can one win against this week against Washington do for this team?

A: It can do a lot. It can do a lot. All it takes is one, one win to get the confidence. Even in the games you lose, you can find that sometimes that can be a helpful turning point throughout the season. A team like Buffalo, going there in a hostile environment, playing a really good team, coming out with a game that we feel like we should've had, obviously we didn't do enough. We could use that as the turning point and help catapult us to come into this week playing back in our stadium, with our fans against a divisional opponent and get a divisional win. Could be the start of something special.

Q. Even in tough times here in the last five, six years the one team that you guys have always had success against is Washington. Anything to that? Is it a good matchup and is that something you can draw confidence in?

A: No, every year is a new year, we don't look at it that way. They're a great team. Every time we go against them, we know what type of game it's going to be, it's a division opponent. Just because we've had success against teams in the past doesn't really correlate to this season or this year. It's a whole new year, whole new season, whole new game, and we're just excited to get back in our stadium against a division opponent and try to get back on the right track.

Q. What do you think of what (offensive lineman) Justin Pugh was able to do?

A: Man, hats off to him. He's a baller. Obviously, I wasn't here when he was here. I think I came in the year after him or the year I came is the year he left, or whatever. But just what he brings to this team, the leadership, obviously can see how tough he is but he's a heck of a player and we're going to continue to need his presence and the way that he plays to get us back on the right path.

Q. Have you gotten a chance to get to know him? Have you had any conversations?

A: When I was training at Exos when I wasn't here for OTA's, he was rehabbing. So, we played golf a couple of times and we we're in the same facility the whole time so got to exchange numbers there and talk to him. Just happy he's here.

Q. So you knew him before you knew?

A: Yeah, exactly (laughs).

Q. Do you believe that one win can change the whole complexion of this season?

A: Yeah, I do believe that. I know you weren't here yet, I kind of answered that already, but I do believe that one win can turn this thing around. Against a division opponent, back home. Also, I do believe that last week, even though the game didn't come out the way we would've liked it, we learned a lot about ourselves as a team. We fought tough against a really good team and just came up short and a lot of the reasons why we came up short was self-inflicted wounds. Penalties, MAs (missed assignments), stuff that we can do better. Wasn't anything that they did, not taking any credit away from them. When you go back and watch the film, it helps you get confidence going into a division opponent saying, 'Alright, if we can take care of the little things and focus on us, that's going to put us in a position to win games.'

Q. With the trade deadline looming in the background, how do you block out that noise and focus on the Giants playing their best football now when you need to play your best football?

A: It's not really blocking out; I can't control that. It's not like I'm able to make any decisions or have any say in that. The only thing that I have is the way I show up to work and the way I go out there and compete. That's the things that I can control.

Q. You've always wanted to be a Giant forever. Have you thought about the fact that you might not be in two weeks?

A: No, it never crossed my mind. Obviously, I've been public and vocal about how I feel about this organization and where I want to be. But like I said, knowing the business and seeing that side of it, there are a lot of things that I can't control. Sitting here, everyone knows how I feel. Everyone knows I don't want to get traded. I don't think anybody in their right mind would want to get traded anywhere. It's not an easy thing to do, you've got to move, I have a family. I would love to be here but like I said, it's not in my control. My focus is to be the leader I can be for this team to try to get this thing on the right track.

Q. Has there been any conversations? Just any trade conversations with you and your people?

A: With me and my team? No. My focus is Washington, trying to come back and get a win. Obviously, I'm happy that I'm healthy again, be able to get back on the field. Got close to a win last week now just got to try to continue to improve and try to get a win.

Q. When you look at their defense and their ability to get to the football and get to the quarterback, how much respect do you have for this Washington group?

A: I always have respect for them. Their defense is amazing. It's always fun playing against them, in a competitive way. I have nothing but respect for the whole defense but especially those four monsters. I just feel like they've been there forever. They've been there as long as I've been there. The only one who hasn't I think is (Commanders Defensive End) Chase (Young) and Chase was there the year after that. So, going against them is fun. They're a fun group to play against, it's always competitive, it's always tough, it's a challenge that as a competitor you love to go against. I look forward to doing that again and hopefully we come out with a win.

Q. Is it more confounding that you guys haven't been able to score those offensive touchdowns in over 200 minutes…

A: 200 minutes? Dang. Keep going – what was your question?

Q. Is it confounding to you? This is a high scoring league now, everything's tilted towards the offense. Do you know why it's happening and what's your reaction to it?

A: Yeah, it's simple. It's simple. I didn't know it was 200 minutes, but it's simple. We're not executing, we're not doing what we need to do. We get into the red zone, we have self-inflicting wounds, whether it's penalties or it's MAs (missed assignments), whether it's – you've got to hold yourself accountable. I go back and I watch against the Bills, there's a run that I slipped on and if I keep my feet, it won't be 200 minutes. I probably (inaudible) safety and have a chance to go score. Just got to lock in, get a sense of urgency as we get closer and when the opportunity comes, make them pay for it. But not really too focused on high scoring, scoring 40 points. I think that's where a lot of people get confused. That the main thing is winning, winning football games. Even last year, at this point last year we were 5-1. A lot of people didn't like how we were 5-1 because it was more old fashioned, we were running the ball, we weren't throwing 3,000 yards or whatever, but we would find a way to win games. I think a lot of people would much rather be in that scenario than scoring a lot of points and still being 1-5. Whatever it takes to win football games. Sometimes you're going to have to score a lot of points and sometimes it might be 6-3, as long as we win. Just got to find a way to do it.

Q: The offensive line kind of settled down in the second half, you got some chunk plays. Does that give you confidence and the offense confidence heading into this one?

A: Yeah, I mean it definitely gives you confidence. I mean, like, obviously we can sit here and say what we want about how the offensive line has been playing and I am not going to sit here and make any excuses for them, but the reality is, what? We've had six, seven, I don't even know the number of how many starting combinations and how many people have been out and been down, in and out. That's the toughest position to play because all five of those guys have got to be in sync and sometimes it helps when you play with each other for a long time, but that has not been the case and you can see when we are all able to be on the same page, it may not be perfect, but we will be able to split some long runs and be able to go down the field and make plays. None of our confidence is lost in those guys, we know we are only going to get better, we know we are going to get guys healthy and then they'll come back and just keep trusting in them. But at the end of the day, I feel like they get too much disrespect, I want to tip my hat off to a lot of those guys, playing out of position and were going out there and fighting for us, even though it's not going the way we would like, definitely want to recognize that for them and if they keep going, we keep going, this stuff is going to turn around the right way.

Q: Sometimes with a running back you feel like you are on the precipice of breaking one, you mentioned taking something from a loss even to the Bills. Do you feel like this team is on the precipice of breaking it or getting it together right now?

A: Yeah, I feel like it could go one way or the other. It's simple. It can go really well, we can continue to fight, (or) continuing to keep losing games, it's that simple. I think, or I believe, and I feel like we believe as a team, is obviously we didn't come away with a win in that last game, but that can be – more times than not, the way we fought in that game and the way that we played, you come away with a win. So hopefully we continue to have that mindset, continue to have faith in each other, belief in each other and just get one. And then when you get one, focus on getting another one, and another one, and another one, and then just take it like that.
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