Running Back Saquon Barkley
Q. So you just mentally with the workload you've had since you've been back, a million touches, playing like a ton of snap – how do you feel about that?
A: That's how I train. I train to prepare myself for that, a lot of it comes with (the) luck of staying healthy with the stuff that I can control. How I feel in those moments, I train for that in the offseason, so I'm not surprised about it, doesn't shock me. I just want to win games. I would do that again. I would do that however many games we got left if we're in a position to win a game, which we were and just came up short.
Q. Your ankle came back on the injury report this week. Is there any concern there?
A: I mean, it's a high ankle sprain. It's no concern. It's not going to just go away. It's something that's going to linger throughout the whole season, you've just got to do a good job of managing it, taking care of it. The trainers and the coaches have done a really good job of taking care of me, and I've done a really good job of staying on top of it. They have to report that, but it's not really a concern in my mind.
Q. The last time you and (quarterback) Daniel (Jones) were healthy together was the end of the Arizona game. That was pretty good. Can you guys pick that right up again?
A: Yeah, I mean, me, DJ, obviously, if (tackle Andrew Thomas) Drew is able to get back, (tackle Evan) Neal…We haven't had all of our guys on the field at once in a long time, so it'd definitely be just good when you have your playmakers and some of your best players out there and we gel well together. To say that we're going to pick it up of scoring however many points, four touchdowns in a half, I can't sit here and guarantee that, but it'll definitely give us a better opportunity to win football games when your best players are out there on the field.
Q. You're obviously in it but pay close attention to the running back market and how things played out. The way (Raiders running back) Josh (Jacobs) handled it and the contract he got, what was your reaction to how that played out?
A: I think it's just bad timing. With the tag, the Giants, the Raiders, they have leverage. Really wasn't much that I could've done, or he could've done to be completely honest, but I'm happy that he was able to get something done and get back on the field. The NFL's a better place when you've got a guy who's that talented back on the field. Obviously, we communicated through the running back Zooms and personally on the side. Just happy to see him out there and playing at a high level.
Q. You guys had a different approach. You actually showed up day one and he waited however many weeks it was—
A: Just goes to show you. Like I said, they had all the leverage. Two guys handling it two different ways, and came out in pretty similar scenarios.
Q. The fact that they told you the week before the deadline that they weren't going to trade you and now you're here to help this team try to make a run here, does it feel to you like they have
recommitted to you for the long term? That you being here now means that they intend for you to be the face of the franchise?
A: No, I don't see it that way. Basically, if you're going off what happened in the offseason with me getting tagged and me not getting the deal done, I never questioned how they view me as a player or what's my value as a player. I just think it's business and they had all the leverage, and there really wasn't much I could do. I think if I was able to hit the free agent market, I think they would've handled things a little bit different but that's not the case. It's not them saying they're not going to trade me or this and now they're being recommitted to me. I know how much I mean to my teammates and my teammates are really vocal about that to me, so that doesn't really bother me at all – to say, 'Oh, they're recommitted,' I don't focus on that at all. I just know that it's the NFL. There's really nothing I can do about it.
Q. With all you didn't get from the contract, do you still love being a running back? Or would you 20/20 hindsight have been a safety or something like that?
A: No, I always would've been a running back. I love the position. I've been vocal about the history of it. A cool moment for me, right now I'm fifth — I think I'm fifth all-time rushing in this franchise. I plan to try to find a way to figure out how to be one. That's a goal of mine. But with everything that happened with the contract, like I said, I know my value. Whether it's a running back or it's not, I know what I'm able to bring to a team. I know how I can help the team win. But hey, it's business. It's really not much I can do about it. Hopefully it doesn't happen again, though.
Q: Do you know (Raiders Interim Head Coach) Antonio Pierce at all?
A: I don't know him. No, I don't know him. Growing up being a Jets fan, watching the Jets and the Giants, I'm familiar with his game and know he just got hired as the interim head coach. As a current Giant to a former Giant, congratulations to him. It's going to be fun going against those guys this week.
Q: The way Andrew and Evan are making progress, are you looking forward to getting the rest of the o-line back?
A: Yeah. When you have your best players on the field, it gives you a better chance to win football games, and that hasn't been the scenario or the case this year for us as a team, especially on the offensive side of the ball. But we can't make excuses about it. Being able to get everyone back out there would definitely help.
Q: How would you characterize how guys feel in here right now with where you are at this point in the season?
A: Ready to go. We feel like we should be 4-4 right now. Obviously, we're not. We're 2-6. The games didn't go our way, but there's a couple plays here and there where if we could change, it'd be completely different, and it would be a whole different mindset for the outside world view of where the giants are at and how we can compete. So, our mindset and our focus is one game at a time, and that's going to Vegas against a really good team with a new coach. They're going to have a whole new spark. It's going to be tough, tough challenge. We've got to come out with a win.
Q: Do you do the math in your head of how long it might take you to get to the top of the franchise rushing list?
A: No, I don't. I know it's (running back) Tiki (Barber). I know Tiki's one, obviously, but I don't really do the math in my head. I'm a big person of staying present in the moment and taking it day by day and if you do the right things, you'll have the opportunity to do it. That's how I'll continue to go by it.
Q: It would take a number of years to get there for you, right? So, we're still talking about you being a Giant for a long time?
A: I've never changed my opinion of me not wanting to be a Giant for life. I was drafted here and when I got drafted I had a mindset, I had a goal and a plan, so I would love for those things to happen. But after everything that happened during the offseason, and realizing and growing up and seeing the business side of it, knowing that it's rare for one player to be on a team for a long time. Obviously, you have a lot of Giants, a lot of greats, like the Elis (quarterback Eli Manning), the Strahans (defensive end Michael Strahan) and the Tikis. So, that's something I would love to be part of, and I've been vocal about that. I know (President and CEO) Mr. (John) Mara came out and said that. But the stuff, it's a business, take it year by year, day by day, and the stuff that I can control and the things I can't control, attack it full force.