Saquon Barkley opens up on desire to stay with Giants ‘rest of my career’

Leaving Saquon Barkley behind, Star Giants found some open space for some Q&A with Post columnist Steve Sarby.

Q: What inspired you during the darkest moments of your rehab and what inspires you now?

A: Same thing. I want to be great I want to leave a legacy. You talk about “Once a Giant, Always a Giant”, I want my name in there. I want to be mentioned with one of the giants or one of the greatest races to ever play the game. I think I have talent, God has blessed me with that. So it’s been my mindset, that’s what has driven me forward, and it will keep me moving. It’s something I want to do, I want to be special. I want to leave a legacy, I want to win championships, those are some of the things I want to achieve in my career. So when you have this in mind, the little ups and downs in your career, you keep that main thing in mind, and it’s always going to keep that drive and always push you.

Q: Eli Manning was famous for “Once a Giant, Only a Giant”. How would you feel about following in Allie’s footsteps when it’s “Once a Giant, Always a Giant?”

A: There’s such a saying that’s been in New York and the New York Giants since 1925, “Once a giant, only a giant.” I know Eli put a slightly different wording in this. For me personally, I would always love to be a giant for the rest of my career. Not just because it’s one of the best outfits to play with and in the building from top to bottom and the way they treat people – in the weight room, and training staff, coaches, lunchrooms, everywhere. You guys have come from all over the league, they have nothing to say about the people in the building. The friendships and relationships I was able to develop and will continue to develop throughout my career are what make this place so special. I’ve wanted to be a part of this for a very long time, and bring a winning culture back to the city and this franchise.

Saquon Barkley wants to be a giant for the rest of his career.
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Q: Does this serve as an added incentive for you, given that it is not the regime that drafted you and your contract expires after this year? Do you want to make it clear to them that Saxon Barkley is in New York Giants uniform with a new contract?

A: I can’t control it. The only thing I can control is to go out there and be me and make plays that come my way and try to be a leader. This is not my main focus. My main focus is to take it one day at a time. If I do that, and take care of the little things, I think the rest will happen automatically.

Q: How eager are you to show Giants fans the very best of Saxon Barkley on Sunday?

A: It doesn’t really go through my mind. I really don’t pay attention to that. I am focused on going out there and trying to show Giants fans a team they can be proud of again, try to continue to build a winning culture.

Q: How is your on-field mindset now compared to the past few years?

A: Just confidence. Confidence in myself, confidence in my body, knowing that I have the strength and ability to do whatever I want. That was the difference over the years, not really asking yourself to second guess, but you know, you tell your body to do a thing and it’s not responding in a way that The way it usually is, just the connection between the psychic with your body.

Q: What would the title rushing mean to you?

A: A rash title wouldn’t really mean much to me, to be honest. I think at the end of the day, you just got that running title with the help of your offensive linemen, the help of your coaches. So if I was able to do that, it’s more than a team achievement. Obviously we know we had a great week 1, but we have to put them together, and we’re not even looking very far.

Q: I took you 90 catches this year.

A: As long as I can be there and try to help my team win games and stay healthy, that’s the only thing I really focus on.

Q: When you were drafted, you said you weren’t running back, you were a weapon. Are you still on it?

A: Yes, I still hold onto that. I think I can do whatever the team needs to do. I really believe so. If they need me to return the kick, I can return the kick. If they need me to run on kickoff, I can run on kickoff too. I really believe that at the end of the day, when it comes to Sunday, I just want to win the game, just continue to have that competitive spirit, that competitive mindset. Its never gonna change.

Q: What do you remember about your first inauguration day in 2018?

A: I remember being a little nervous, obviously, but also appreciating, “Dang, like it’s really here, like I’m playing in the NFL, something I looked up to as a little kid. was.” We didn’t win, we lost to Jacksonville, but I remember my first touchdown, just how much power there was.

Q: What are your thoughts on the Giants having 10 captains?

A: I like it. the more the merrier. But at the end of the day, you have a “C” on your chest or you don’t, even if you’re not one of those 10 guys, we still have a lot of other guys who are leaders, who are giants in the league.

Question: Captain-wise, let’s start with Andrew Thomas. What makes him the captain?

A: He doesn’t care enough about how special he is, how talented he is. Personally, I could only see growth, not only through his play, but within the film, within the meetings, within the crowd.

Q: Xavier McKinney?

A: He is becoming the place, the person who is bringing the energy, the person who is bringing us all up, he is a great assertive leader. Obviously he leads a heck of a player in the weight room, on the field, heck. But he always knows when to say the right things. That was a big reason for him to go to halftime and rally us together.

Q: Leonard Williams?

A: Leo, Big Cat. All those people who have been voted out… they are hekuwa players, but they come in every single day and they come to work, and it doesn’t go unnoticed. And yet you only add to being the outspoken leader. He can command the match at any time. He is that special.

Q: Sexy Dexie, Dexter Lawrence?

A: He can light up a room, obviously, no matter how big he is, but with his smile. All these people, they are competitors, and I am honored to be a captain with them.

Q: Daniel Jones?

A: I really can’t say enough about DJs just their mindset and their work ethic, first one in, last one out. The way he pushes not only himself but all the other teammates. Other than that there is just no panic. …we had a drive where we had a negative play, but he didn’t panic. Everyone was like, “We can’t wait until we get the ball again, we know we’ll find a way to get down there and get into the end zone.”

Saxon Barkley shakes hands with Daniel Jones during the Giants' Week 1 win over the Titans.
Saxon Barkley shakes hands with Daniel Jones during the Giants’ Week 1 win over the Titans.
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Q: Cam Brown?

A: I’m really happy for that. He is a helluva player. He hasn’t really got his chance on defense yet, but special teams, he’s been in plays his entire career, and knowing him from Penn State, when he was 18, 17, I see leadership roles and it will continue to grow.

Q: Graham Gano?

A: All these people, none of them are selfish, they are all selfless.

Q: Casey Crater?

A: You can really see that he took a leadership role this year, holding meetings, calling additional meetings, making sure people are on their P’s and Q’s.

Q: Julian Love?

A: Seeing their role grow with special teams and within defense. Come as the corner and turn and do whatever the team tells him to do and try to play in every position he can.

Q: Jada Claire, your 4-year-old daughter, tell me about her personality.

A: She just drives home, and she knows it. She makes it cool being a father.

Q: Was she an inspiration during your rehab?

A: Yes, not only rehab, but everything in life. She puts everything in perspective. At the end of the day, it’s just a game, even though I’m very passionate about it. Doesn’t matter if I get a 2-point conversion against Tennessee, or if I miss a game-winning touchdown one day and I come home and I know my daughter will have a smile on her face…” Hey Daddy,” and gives me a kiss.

Saxon Barkley runs with the ball during the Giants' Week 1 win over the Titans.
Saxon Barkley runs with the ball during the Giants’ Week 1 win over the Titans.
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Q: How has parenthood changed you?

A: It made me grow up a long time ago. You are not only doing anything for yourself.

Q: What do you like best about this team?

A: We’re still tracing each other. You can’t focus too much on Week 1, but you can see the patience we have, the competitive mindset that we haven’t given up on. When we got to the locker room, we were down 13-0, and you can ask anyone in the locker room, “Here we go again.” There wasn’t, “Dang, we’re not going to win this game.” We really felt like we were going to win that game.

Q: What do you like best about this offense and what do you like best about coach Brian Dabol?

A: Not only the dubs, but all the coaches… with this offense, it could change throughout the week. …Week 1, we were able to run over 200 yards. But this week it may be 400 passing yards, the run game may not be as active and the play-action is more focused on helping to set up. I think what we can be is a very good complementary football team, not only on offense but in all three stages, patting each other’s backs. At the end of the day, I think it’s the best recipe for success.

Q: Have you set personal goals for this year?

A: No, my personal goal was just to come in every single day, trying to be the best version of myself, trying to be better every single day.

Q: How proud are you of yourself for overcoming what you have to overcome?

A: I haven’t gotten away with anything yet, to be honest. It was a tough start, don’t get me wrong, but there’s more I want to do, there’s more I want to accomplish. And I know that with the right mindset and the help of my teammates, I will be able to accomplish this.

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