Philadelphia Eagles News

FS Brian Dawkins

On the challenges that Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger presents: "Obviously, you have a quarterback of that stature. You know that when you come in on a blitz, when you get to him, you have to make sure that you bring him down. You can't just shoot at him as a smaller quarterback. You have to make sure that you go in with some thump in there to get him down because if you don't, he'll just spin and get out of it or he'll throw the ball with you hanging on his waist, so you have to make sure that you get your hands up and make sure that you bring him down."

On how he feels about the negative response to his play on Monday: "That comes with the territory. Playing defensive back, it comes with the territory. It's not the first time that I've given up a couple of plays and this won't be the last time. It just comes with it. The thing about being in secondary is you have a short memory. You line up and you play again, and that's what I do. If I have an opportunity to go for an interception and I feel like I'm going to get it, I'm going to go for it. If I'm in bad position, I'm going to go for it to make the tackle. That's how you have to play as a defensive back, and that's how I always do it for these guys."

On whether he listens to what is being said about him: "No. I don't pay attention to it. I purposely don't look into all that stuff. I don't allow that stuff to creep into who I am because I know everybody has their opinions and they can have their own opinions. But I know the facts, and the fact is, I can play this game and I can do what I need to do for my teammates and so that's what I hold strong to. At the end of the day, that's what matters. What matters is what my coaches think and what they know and what my teammates know and what I know, and that's what I put my trust in."

On whether he thinks that people should cut him some slack because of all the great years that he has had on this team: "No. This is Philadelphia. (Jokingly) Do you actually know where we are? This is Philadelphia. There's not too many people that are going to be cut slack, and I understand that, and so that's why I don't make a big deal out of this. Because I know that those things fans say, that are so-called 'questioning' what it is I'm doing, will be the same fans who are going to be 'hip hip hooray' when I grab a pick and take it to the house. That's just what the fan base is. They are going to speak boldly both ways. They are going to speak boldly when you do something wrong, and they are going to speak boldly when you do something right. That's just the nature of the fan base some of the time."

On how hard it is for a young defensive back to get used to how often the secondary is criticized: "That's something that you either learn right away to deal with it, or there's been a lot of guys that couldn't deal with it. And with all the talent in the world, if your mentality is not right, you won't be able to last out there. If I give up a big play and if I can't allow that thing to get up out of my thoughts and be able to play aggressively on that next play, I'm no good to my teammates. Earlier on in my career when I gave up a big ball, I'm thinking, 'Now, I can't drive as hard on this next play,' and I'm just going up to make tackles. That's not me anymore. If I go up and try to make a play and I miss it, the next play, guess what I'm going to do? I'm going to try and make a play if I see a play to be made because I know that it's in the best interest of me and my teammates to go up and try and make those plays for them. It is very essential for young players to learn right away to have a short memory."

On whether has to do things differently because of his age: "No. I can run. I can get to where I need to be in enough time to make the plays I need to make without thinking about cheating too deep and putting my teammates in an awkward position, so I can still do what I need to do."

On whether it's harder to process a loss like Monday's because of his age: "I guess it's the age question today. I play the game the way that I play the game. I can tell you right now when I was 22 years old how I looked at film. How I looked at film when I was 22 was, 'This is the red formation or this is the "I" backfield, I hope they don't throw the ball deep, or I hope they don't play-action the ball and throw it deep because I'm probably going to bite on the play-action fake.' That's how I looked at film or that's how I played the game. Now, I recognize formations. I know where I need to be –well, a lot of times I know where I need to be but sometimes I make mistakes, and I get there, so I'm not thinking about how, 'When I was this age,' – kill that. I am 34 years old and proud of it. Thank you Jesus for allowing me to get to 34 playing in the NFL. I am going to continue to play this game at a high level as long as I can. I am going to protect my body, make sure that I'm out there on the field for my guys, and I am going to play ball. I'm going to play ball at 34. I'm going to play ball at 35, and whatever else comes after that, I'm going to play ball. So if I give up a deep ball and if you want to say I'm slow, go ahead. Guess what? The next time I'm going to try to make the same play again at 34 or 35 years old."

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