Philadelphia Eagles News

FS Brian Dawkins

On what he remembers about his forced fumble on the goal line against San Francisco in 2006: "I remember it was on the goal line and I was able to stick my hat on the ball and get it out. We didn't fare too well the next time down there, but that time I was pretty successful in making that play."

On opposing TEs having a lot of success against the defense: "I would think that would be something we need to address, to take your words. Absolutely. That's something we definitely have to pay more attention to. Not that we weren't paying attention to it in the first place, but we definitely have to be more aware of the fact that that is the position that is getting the most yards and catches against us as a defense. We will have to make sure, defensively we have already talked about it, and we will see what we can change this week."

On what makes the TE position such a tough matchup this season: "I would say, more than anything, mistakes - mental mistakes and being out of position. When you're supposed to be one place in one leverage and you are not - I'm speaking of myself on a couple of them - or just making the wrong read and not even getting where you are supposed to be in the first place. That gives them the ability to get there. I'm not saying they're not talented, but a lot of the situations that they have caught balls on, we have assisted in that process, let's put it that way."

On whether the 49ers will try to use TE Vernon Davis more than usual against them: "They've tried to get the ball to him, they just haven't been successful. If you watch film, they try to get the ball to him. The ball is overthrown, he has dropped a couple. It's not like they haven't been trying to get the ball to him. They just haven't been successful. I don't see them changing by making more effort to get the ball to him, because they still want to run the ball. They have a good running back (RB Frank Gore) and actually he is leading in rushing and receiving, so they want to still get him involved."

On what he tries to tell young teammates about being 2-3: "The thing that you try to tell them is, I would say nothing at all. Watch me. I'm not changing the way I prepare, I'm not changing what I believe about this team. We are what we are right now, as far as making mistakes and allowing teams to score too many points. This is a long season. If you want to look at the standings, you just look across the board. From my understanding, we have all played the same amount of games and we still all have the same amount of games to play. That being said, we have to keep focus on what we have ahead of us. The past is gone; there is nothing we can do about those games, besides learn from the mistakes. We have to look forward now, and the forward right now is San Fran, to make sure that we go out and have a successful road trip, come back home, and go from there and take the next game the same way."

On what he says when he hears people blaming the scheme for the team's struggles: "I've been here long enough that those things bounce both ways. One week it's the players, one week it's the schemes, one week it's the owner. It's all over the place. I don't pay attention to any of that stuff. We don't pay attention to any of that stuff. All I know is that whatever defense or offense is called, we have to make it work. That has been football since the beginning. If (defensive coordinator) Jim (Johnson) calls a defense, we have to make it work. We have to not make mental mistakes to assist other teams. Same thing offensively; if he calls a play, we have to line up where we are supposed to line up, make the blocks we are supposed to make, and let's make the play work."

On whether he thinks the players have been on the same page as the coaches: "We are on the same page as far as the plays. If he calls in a play, we know that's the play we are going to run. I don't know how we can be off the page with that. Like I said, this past game in particular, we just made way too many mental mistakes. That's definitely not something we want to keep going on."

On whether it is physical or mental mistakes that have prevented them from making stops at the end of the last two games: "I would say a little bit of both. In that situation, sometimes you want to be over-aggressive and penetrate in one gap when you're supposed to be in another one. It's a little bit of both. It's not like you're getting physically whipped, but you're not where you're supposed to be and that makes the problem that much more evident, as far as them being able to get that first down. In those situations, we just have to make sure we take care of our responsibility, whip our guy in our gap, penetrate and get off the field. Hopefully we won't get in that situation again. We will go ahead and do what we're supposed to do and take control of the game when we have a chance to and not even get in that position. When we get in that position again, which we will be at some point, because that's the way this league is, especially this division, we will just have to make sure we do what we're supposed to do."

On whether opposing teams have used the defense's aggressiveness against them: "It's a chess match, you know that. Sometimes we are going to be able to be successful. Sometimes they are going to dial up the right play against the right blitz and screen right behind it. That's what happens in a game. The only thing we can control at that point is to get to the ball and get him down and line up to play another snap. Jim is not going to stop calling blitzes, and I don't want him to stop calling blitzes. I understand that teams are going to dial up plays and be successful against us at some point. The thing we have to do and continue to do, which we didn't do a couple times against Washington, is if you do get down in the red zone because of a screen you threw into that coverage, that you kick a field goal and that we don't allow touchdowns. We are going to hopefully get back to doing that."

On how he would compare QB Donovan McNabb's tone on Monday to the other times he has spoken to the team: "I would say it's pretty consistent with Donovan when he feels like he needs to talk in that atmosphere. He's straight, direct, blunt and honest with this situation, with himself, first, which I think is always a great leadership quality. You deal with yourself and your issues first, as far as what I need to fix, and then call it as he saw it with the rest of us. I think, hopefully, to a man, we understood. I know I did, anyway, understand where he was coming from. I am on the exact same page with him."

On whether McNabb still has the ability to pick up and carry the team: "Yes, I (think he does). Much has been said about his being injured in the past and having a little injury now. I believe in him. I believe that at this time, where his focus is right now and the way he is feeling. Different from any other time, I think the way he is feeling right now is that that is what needs to be done and he is focused on doing that. Now, we are not going to sit here and watch 'The Number 5 Show' on Sunday. Let's see what 5 can do. That's not what we are doing. In those situations where he has to make a play, I believe you're going to see him do that, because that's where his mind is right now."

On whether he's ever been part of a team meeting that didn't work: "Oh yeah. We had a whole bunch of team meetings back in the day. Before Andy, we had a whole bunch of team meetings. At that time, it was pretty bad though. We had just come off of a three-and-something year with (former head coach) Ray (Rhodes), so that was completely different from this year. I think, with what we believe we have on this team talent-wise, if we just go ahead and make the dog-gone plays that are presented to us, to me, that's what it's all about. Stop making mistakes and make the plays that are presented to us."

On whether he remembers being on a 2-3 team as a rookie: "No, I was swimming. I was trying to remember if I was supposed to cover the tight end, about flopping, my head was all over the place. I remember that not at all, to tell you the truth."

On whether Andy Reid's message has changed over the years: "I think it's the same in what he sees in us as a team, if we do those things that I talked about earlier. We've lost games, and let's face it, we lost those games. Give the teams credit, but we definitely have assisted them in winning those games. His main points have been made that the season is young. We have a long season ahead of us. Despite what our record says right now, we believe us to be a good team. Everybody who doesn't feel that, I understand how you would feel that. But, I don't think you, as a player or a person in any industry, can get out of a situation, a tough hole, without being positive and thinking about the things that you can do on the football field. We can't worry about those things that we didn't do because we have to fix those things; fix those mistakes.

"The things that we have to do is be positive going forward, and every individual hold each other accountable, yes, but being positive going forward and knowing, at the end of the day, where we want to be. At the end of the day, we want to be successful and win the game against San Fran (Francisco). I'm not going to push it past that; we want to concentrate on San Fran. We know the ultimate goal, but you can't reach the ultimate goal without taking care of the things in between. We have to take care of those things in between and those things in between right now is San Fran; a pretty aggressive offensive team trying to get the ball downfield, so we're going to have our hands full. Once again, we're going to have to go out and play some aggressive defensive ball to keep the points down and, hopefully, the offense will be able to get the ball into the end zone. We'll see how this things turns out."

On whether he takes pride in being only the fifth defensive back in history with over 20 sacks: "I appreciate it. We lost the game and it's kind of hard to sit back and think about that and enjoy those things when you're in the midst of a losing streak. I appreciate it, but if that play would have been a caused fumble and had we won the game then, absolutely, we could talk about it, and we could laugh about it a little bit. It's a little different feeling about it right now."

On whether there are any players who are uncomfortable with the play calling: "I don't know if anybody's worrying about it. There are going to be times when you're not going to agree with your coach; that's nothing new. You're two different mindsets, you're two different thinking patterns. It's not like you're always going to agree, but you trust them. You trust them to call the right plays at the right time to make the play happen at that time. Obviously, you're not always going to agree, like I said. The thing that we're going to do is trust that they're going to be able to call the right plays at the right time to put guys in position. When we're put in that position, we have to make the play. Don't make the mistake, make the play when it's presented to you and I think we'll be successful."

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