Philadelphia Eagles News

FS Brian Dawkins

On whether he feels that the team will be okay: "Yeah. You just look at the results of that game, all the things that happened in it, there are two different viewpoints of it, from my perspective, of the way we played that game for about three and half quarters, and that wasn't quite good enough. We have to finish the game. I don't care how many times that adversity comes our way, we have to be able to stand up in the midst of it and be able to come out in the end. To me, that was the telling-tale of it. We just need to come up with the plays at the end, and we gave things away, gave up plays to allow that score to get like it was."

On whether he thinks there is added pressure on the defense because things aren't working on the offensive side of the ball:"I won't say added pressure, just the fact that the room for error is not there. We have to make sure that if the ball is turned over, then make them kick field goals or turn the ball over. And the thing that we have to continue to do as a defense is not press to make to do things, to allow turnovers to come to us, which is tough because we are right there a lot of times in that we are so close in a lot of situations. But when you try to start making things happen, you get out of a gap, something happens bad. So, you have to continue to play the defense as it's called and make the plays when they're presented."

On whether he was surprised with head coach Andy Reid's quarterback decision Sunday: "When you are in the game-time situation like that, you don't have time to think about anything else but rallying behind whoever is going to come out that second half, and that is honestly what my opinion of it is. Was it surprising? Yes. But this is not the first time a coach, not this one obviously, but a coach has done something like that, so it's not all of a sudden he's come up with some strange phenomenon. Other coaches have done it before. But my thought process was, 'Hey, we are going to rally behind whoever is going to be in there.' It just so happened to be [QB] Kevin [Kolb], and we are going to give him the same support we've given [QB] Donovan [McNabb], and we're going to see if we can pull this thing out."

On whether the team still views McNabb as a leader:"I think that the guys still depend on what Donovan can do, and I don't think that's going to change until he leaves this place. We are going to depend on his ability to make plays, and the thing that Donovan has to do is just relax. It's hard to say in tough situations and criticism and all that stuff, but just relax and play your game. If he plays his game, those balls that are high, they're not high, he's putting it where it belongs and that's in the receivers' chest. It's just going to be up to him to just be able to realize the moment, seize this moment, which it is; all eyes are going to be on him but not think about he has to do everything by himself because he does not. We're all there for him."

On whether he thinks McNabb has been pressing lately: "Yeah. I think he has."

On whether he has talked to McNabb about it: "We've talked. I decide not to give out what I talk about with different guys, but I've talked to him. Just make sure that he understands that he doesn't have to do everything by himself."

On whether it would be advantageous for McNabb to get things going early on offense in Thursday's game:"It would be – I'm not going to try even to use the word that you used, but it would be to our advantage for everybody, it's not just for 'Five,' it's all of us. In front of that crowd, the crowd is going to be ready to cheer, let's just say that. They are going to be ready to cheer us on to a victory, hopefully. But, they're probably going to be sitting on their hands a little bit not knowing what to expect, so it's going to be important for us to come out and give them something to cheer about early, and that way allowing the guys, everybody on this team to feel that energy, and hopefully, it will lead us to an early start and a late finish."

On whether he is more frustrated this year with the way the team is than ever before: "Have I ever been? In which era? I've been through two different eras. It's really hard for me to think back to some of the other years without understanding the circumstances that happened in that year that changed things around, whether it be Andy Reid or whether it be things off the field. I try my best to forget about a lot of things and get a lot of things out of my mind so I can concentrate on the year at hand. So, it's really truthfully, honestly hard for me to say that, 'Well, you know what back in 2006, I felt this way about this team,' but this has definitely been a frustrating year."

On whether the way this season is going is disappointing to him given the fact that they have been relatively healthy: "Yeah, it's disappointing. Honestly, you just answered your question. It's disappointing, it really is. But the other thing about disappointment is, if that was the last game and we have nothing else to be able to play for, then we can hang our heads and feel sorry for ourselves and think about next year. That is not this time. This time is about, hey, the chips are falling down, crumbling, whatever you want to call it, but we still have games to play. We still have pride in that locker room. We still have confidence in one another. We still have confidence in Coach Reid. We have confidence in Donovan McNabb. So, what we are going to do this Thursday, we are going to go on the field and we are going to see what we can do. And, our mindset is to go out on a short week, recover, feel good about the gameplan, and go and have a ball on the field, and hopefully, come out with a dog-gone victory."

On the team playing poorly against Baltimore:"The thing about it is, to me, like I said earlier, we had some turnovers offensively, obviously, we all saw that. Defensively, we gave up some things at the end that caused that score to look a lot different than what it should have looked or could have looked. Our job, always, and always will be as a defense, is that when our offense turns the ball over, and hopefully it's not a lot, is not to give up points. And if we give up points, make it be a field goal so we can keep our offense, keep up close to the other team. A lot of times, in a lot of situations in the gameplan, two phases play good, whether it's the offense and the special teams or it's the defense and the special teams, but two phases picks up and we are usually able to pull it out. Now, this past week, obviously, the offense turned the ball over a lot. We, as a defense, gave up some things late. I'm not going to sit here and tell you that we didn't feel bad about that game, we didn't feel embarrassed about that game. Absolutely. We have no time. We have no time. You guys can dwell off it, but we don't have time for that. We don't have time to dwell on anything that happened last week. All that we can focus on right now is that we have a very talented group of receivers coming in. We have a quarterback that is playing at a MVP level. So, as long as we sit here and answer questions about last week, we won't focus on the task at hand. The task at hand is a very, very confident group coming in, and we are going to have to be ready to play and I think we will be."

On Cardinals QB Kurt Warner and what he's been able to accomplish at his age: "I think with Kurt, he's always had that hair-trigger to release. He's always been able to put the ball where it needs to be. I think that what happened with Kurt is, it's kind of a blessing in disguise with him having to sit down so many years of not being the starter but being the starter, but not having to take a lot of beating on his body, so that allowed him to stay a lot fresher. Then, when you have a group of receivers that this cat is throwing the ball to, not taking anything away from him, but if you look at the routes, if you look at some of the passes, he's putting things right on the money. Those guys don't have to do anything but catch the ball and continue to run, so obviously he's putting the ball where it needs to be. But when you have those two factors, and the confidence is back in him I think. I think for a couple of years there his confidence might have been a little down, a little shaky. People were talking about, he's fumbling the ball too much and all that stuff, but now he's not doing that as much and he's putting the ball in his playmakers' hands."

On what he expects to see from McNabb Thursday:"I believe he will come out and he will be tremendously focused for this game. I'm not saying that he wasn't focused the last game or the game before that, but I'm telling you that I believe he will be tremendously focused for this game. I believe that, as I will be, we are going to rally behind him, and I've always told him that everything I've got, he's got."

On whether he thinks there is more pressure on the defense now with all of the injuries on the offensive side of the ball: "It's easy to fall into that trap. Now, they are the # what? #2 in the league as far as yardage and #3, I think, or something like that as far as offense, period. We have enough to think about than putting anymore added pressure on ourselves. To me, it's a challenge. It's a tremendous challenge for our group of DBs and d-linemen getting after that quarterback. It's a competition thing. It's one of those challenges that as a player, you either cower down from or you step up to the challenge, and I think that we have a group of guys in that locker room that is going to step up to this challenge and we are going to have a great time doing it."

On whether this short week is more beneficial for the offense or the defense:"I have no idea. Honestly, I have no idea. Honestly, I don't know what their offensive coordinator is going to bring in from last week to this week. You don't know that. And they don't know, obviously, what we are going to do defensively, what we are going to take from last week and bring it to this week. Are we going to change our complete gameplan? Are they going to change their complete gameplan? I doubt it. At some point it's about lining up and playing. Both sides are going to be sore. I know they are sore. We're sore. Some guys are beat up over there. We're beat up over here a little bit. We're going to have to be able to suck it up, and whoever sucks it up and doesn't turn the ball over and makes plays in this game for four quarters, is going to win."

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