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RB Saquon Barkley


What were your thoughts when Coach Brian Daboll said to go for two?

When we scored, I was on the field and I saw him put up the two sign and we kind of made eye contact. He gave me that look, and I knew what the play was going to be. He gave me that look and I kind of looked back at him and said, 'F-yeah.' We called it up and we were able to execute the play and get in. He's a man of his word. He told us he's going to be aggressive. He told us he's going to lean on the players to make plays. In that situation, he did exactly that. When you have a coach like that, it's definitely going to make you go out there and fight for him and execute in those situations. 

What went into the decision to give Coach Daboll the game ball after the game?

It's his first of many, not only his, but Oshane (Ximines) too. It's exciting. It's a new era. There's a lot of things we can do better, obviously. You can look at that through the wins and losses. But at the end of the day, we're going to come out of here with a win. That's the most important thing. We're excited. We appreciate him. And that's why he deserved the game ball.

When you were very vocal about this season being different for you personally, how does it feel to have this kind of performance this?

It's just one game, to be honest. That's how I look at it. Obviously, at the end of the day, I'm excited to get the win. Personally, just got to keep coming in. Something that just keeps tickling me that Coach (Daboll) says, 'Just enjoy the process.' And that's something I've been battling in the last few years with rehabbing and injuries. That's been my mindset. No matter what, win, loss, tie, I just want to come here with the same mindset and just keep enjoying the process and come to work every single day. We had a great week of practice and no matter what the result was going to be, we can't let that alter what happens this week. So we've got to keep grinding and keep leaning on each other. 

What part of the process did you enjoy about today?

How we responded. Obviously, the win helps that, but being down 13-0 against a great team – Tennessee's been very successful in this league for a very long time. They have a whole bunch of great players over there. No one came in and hit the panic button. We came here and we said, 'We have 30 minutes. It's going to be a dogfight.' Defense came out, got three-and-out right away. O-line did an amazing job on blocking. Got me one on the corner. They would pop a long one and then finish off and that one touchdown, that kind of created the momentum. There's something special when you feed off each other. Special teams made plays. Defense made plays. We've made plays. All three phases made plays. That's important.

When you broke that first big one, did you get a feeling like you were starting to turn the game?

I kind of started to get into the zone. Started locking in. I kind of love being in that place. I've got to try to find a way to get in that place a little bit more and a little quicker. It's a lot easier to rip off those runs when you've got (Jon Feliciano) and the boys pulling and a set an edge and opening up the gap and getting me one-on-one with a corner. We had a heck of a game, but definitely we give shouts to the line. They play tremendously. 

What was it like to see Sterling Shepard get his touchdown?

I was running a flare, and I saw the ball up. I saw 3 (Sterling Shepard) wide open. (Daniel Jones) gave him a great ball. He scored and I kind of sprinted down there and just wanted to give him a hug. It's been a rough couple of years for a couple of us, and especially him battling to come back from his Achilles. When we needed him most, he made a big play. Everyone, whether it was two-yard runs, big blocks, touchdowns, everyone made key plays throughout this game. It's going to take all of us continue to win.

You have been in this position before where it comes down to one play, how does that feel?

Been in this position a lot. Me and (Leonard Williams) were talking about it. We see a lot of these game got the other way. At the end of the day, a win is a win. They were able to miss it and we were able to get the win. Like I said, just got to keep enjoying the process. Keep coming in, keep trusting the process, keep working, keep leaning on each other, keep fighting every day to get better. When we look back on this, we're going to be very happy with where we're at. 

Is your performance this year based off a mindset change or you have more confidence in yourself?

Mindset. More confidence. Not an arrogant mindset, when you come coming from rehab and everyone telling you that first year it was tough. But the second year is even better and you just put your mind – I'm not listening to all that. Especially when you see a guy like Adrian Peterson come back and blow up after his ACL. So, using a mindset you're just like, 'I don't care. I want to be different. I'm going to be different.' That doesn't affect me, but I'm human. At the end of the day, I learned a lot from the previous year. Keep trusting that process made me be able to go out there today and not even think about it. I knew we were going to have a great game, and we were going to make some plays. It was just when the timing was right. It wasn't really just a mindset change, it's going out there and just believing in myself, trusting myself, and letting my God-given ability show. 

Does playing against Derrick Henry inspire you to try to out-perform him?

I'm very competitive. At the end of day, I guess probably a little bit. But the reality is, like I said earlier in the week, I'm not playing Derrick Henry. I have nothing but respect for him. He's a heck of a player, one of the best players in the league. It's not like just competing against him. I'm not looking to see what my numbers are, his numbers. It's more like, you're peeking a little bit more. This guy, any moment, can keep breaking a long one. That's more of respect, I guess you can say. Obviously, we were able to get the win. Nothing but luck to him and wish the best of luck this season.

On the Giants defense

Our defense played lights out. They played lights out. Especially in the beginning when we weren't worth a thing. We couldn't do anything. We weren't executing. We were penalties, negative plays, in the red the whole time. But that's the beauty of football. You've got to lean on each other. They had our back, and we told them at halftime just keep rocking. We're going to get this right over here. We were able to figure it out. 

Was there a face mask?

I was locked in. I was in the zone. I did feel something like that. I don't think we got a penalty for it. But we were able to get in the end zone.

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