Running Back Saquon Barkley
Q: How can you put this into words, today's loss?
A: This one definitely stings. We played a really good team. You've got to give hats off to the Jets, defense played great, the o-line battled their tails off, (New York Giants QB) Tommy (DeVito) came in and did a great job. We came up short.
Q: Can you believe you lost this game?
A: Yeah, I guess I can, because we lost. In that moment when everything's going your way, you feel like we can finish the game. We've just got to do a better job of finding a way to win that game. There are so many plays out there that we want to have back, especially myself, and we'll start by going and watching film, and seeing what I can do better and what we could do better.
Q: Were you surprised at the field goal at the end, 4th-and-1, were you hoping to get the ball there in that situation?
A: It's 4th-and-1, I could sit here and be like oh I want the ball in that situation, but we've got nothing but trust in (New York Giants K) Graham (Gano), and we're going to continue to have trust in Graham. To be honest, I could have gotten the first down the play before. I've got to drive my feet a little more, or some other back could find a way to get a first down. You could sit here and pick and choose, oh the 4th-and-1, that decision or what should we have done there or not, and you could make that the play but there are so many plays that go throughout a game that helps with the decision of how the game turns out. Just got to be better, all of us.
Q: What was it like when Tommy went in there and that transition?
A: I think he did great. He was cool, calm, collected. It's a tough defense to go against for your first time. He was able to get in the end zone. He's a local kid, probably felt great for him. Just disappointed we couldn't get the win from him. We came close but didn't get it done.
Q: You were told basically at halftime that the ball is going through you here. You knew it would be difficult, right? They were going to stack it, you were going to get the ball and get the ball. What kind of a challenge was that?
A: It's football. That's what my answer is, football.
Q: It's an unusual game when they're not throwing the ball—
A: I mean you would think it'd be a little different but you're in the situation where that's what we're going to do. I was made aware of it, I was all for it. Came up short.
Q: What's your message to your teammates after a game like this?
A: They know what it is already. We'll definitely talk about that this week, but we're still in a fight. Everything we want out there is still there, so we've just got to watch film, get better and improve.
Q: You've been on losing ends of games that are emotional at the end. How does this one compare, considering everything that was at stake for you guys?
A: It stings, but a loss is a loss no matter how it goes down. It's still a loss and you've still got to be professional about it, and you've still got to come to work tomorrow and get ready for next week, and that's the National Football League.
Q: How important is it for this team to get back Daniel Jones sooner rather than later as your starting quarterback?
A: DJ is one of the best quarterbacks in the league. He's our starting quarterback. He's our leader. I don't want to speak for him but whenever he's able to get back out there, definitely going to be helpful and we're going to do what we can to help make his job easier.
Q: What's his presence in a game like today on the sidelines?
A: I've been in that position. It's hard to lead in a sweatshirt, hoodie and shorts, but he did a great job. I think he did a really good job, especially when (New York Giants QB) Tyrod (Taylor) went down and keeping Tommy cool and being in his ear and talking to him and helping him out and giving him advice. That's what we expect from DJ. He's a heck of a guy, heck of a quarterback, heck of a leader, and whenever we're able to get him back we know he'll be ready to roll.
Q: Do you hate not going for it on 4th-and-1 knowing who you are and what you can do?
A: Yeah, like I said we could sit here and talk about that decision all day. We have Graham Gano, one of the greatest kickers of all time to be honest. That's life, sometimes it doesn't go your way, but we're going to continue to have faith in him. We had faith in him coming into that moment, and we'll continue to have faith in him after that moment. That's football. That's life. It didn't go our way and that's the situation, but as a competitor – yeah you want the ball, but I'm not going to harp in that situation. I've got to find a way to get the first down before that.
Q: Does it surprise you though at all from Brian's standpoint? He's shown to be an aggressive coach before, obviously your defense is playing great, there are a lot of factors that go into it. Does it surprise you at all that, especially the first one early in the game?
A: No. I mean, he's going to do whatever he can to put our team in the best situation. We are going to rock with him with any decision that he makes. I mean, what would you guys do? Our defense is playing lights out, we have a really good kicker. I rock with his call – he made the decision.
Q: Is there ever an opportunity where you see coach being conservative on multiple fourth and shorts and you go back into the break and kind of talk that over as far as, we are a 2-5 team, is there a conference around those situations if you ever were to get it again as far as player and coach?
A: No, I mean we have those conversations in the leadership council with the captains and coaches. We go through situations, sometimes we vote on what we would do in a situation and what we wouldn't do. We all have faith and confidence in Dabs and his decision. He's going to do whatever he can to put the team in the best situation to win a football game and that's the call he made and if we execute as players, then we aren't talking about the call, but that happens. Football happens. We can't be there, put our head down. We've got to find a way to make a stop or when we get the ball on offense, we can't come out and get negative plays and put ourselves in bad situations. That's how the NFL works, we've got to have each other's back and we didn't do that, especially on the offensive side of the ball with the way the defense played today.
Q: Is there any feeling here that this room could look a little different on Wednesday based on this result and where the season is?
A: No, I mean if anyone is they need to grow up. This is the NFL, you can't control that. It's business. If it happens, it happens. If it doesn't, it doesn't. Obviously, we want everyone that's here to continue to be here. Everything we still want is out there. We are still in the fight. We are going to get healthier, we're going to get some of our guys back and we've got to make a run at this thing.
Q: What do you make of 2-6 at basically the midway point of the season after you were a playoff team last year, coming off now a disappointing loss?
A: Yeah, not ideal, not where we want to be. Could easily be (4-4), or whatever the math is, losing two close games to Buffalo and to the Jets, but can't sit here, can't pout. Like I said, everything is still there. We are still in the fight. We can still go out there and give us a chance to compete in the playoffs and compete for a championship. That's every team's goal at the start of the season, that's all still there. I'm going to stay positive, I'm going to keep believing, keep trusting the coaches, keep trusting the system, keep trusting my teammates and lead. Try to get this thing back on the right track.
Q: There was a portion of that game where in the press box it looked like you were just going to take it over. You were really dominant for a period. Is it harder to lose a game like this where you gave what you did on the field that way?
A: No, I don't really look at it that way. A loss is a loss. This one stings a little bit more, obviously, because of how close it was and almost coming away with it – and against the Jets to be honest. A loss is a loss. Got to go back, see what we could do better as a team see what I can do better as a player and then get ready for Vegas.
Q: Rhythm-wise, am I on to something there, though? The way that you were performing on the field.
A: As a back when you start getting downhill, you start making guys miss, you start falling forward, falling forward. You definitely can get a rhythm and you can get that juice inside, just kind of like anything in life, but yes. Hats off the offensive line, hats off to Tommy, everyone in this stadium knew that we were going to run the ball. That's tough to do, especially in this level and this league and they did a great job of making me look good.
Q: With your dad as a Jets fan, did he send you a text already?
A: No, I haven't talked to him. You know my dad's a good dad, I think he knows this one stings a little bit, so probably be picking me up and giving me some words of encouragement.