Philadelphia Eagles News

FS Brian Dawkins

On the fact that the Eagles have handled stretches of adversity well in the past and what qualities a team needs to have to be able do that: "I think the thing that we have done in the past, that we have done in the recent past, is just be able to concentrate on the things that we know we can do, look at the film and be very, very honest with yourself, and go into the next game with a short memory from the last game as far as the results of it. But concentrate, like I said, on those mistakes that you made. Then, you have to have a strong willpower to be able to do those things, and I think that we have been able to do that, to come in here on Wednesday and prepare ourselves in such a way as to warrant us believing that we are going to win this next game."

On whether they had a team meeting today: "Yes."

On whether he felt it was necessary for him to stand up and say something: "Obviously, I did, that's why I did it. It's one of those times that it happened, and you get up and like I said, if I feel like I need to say something, I will, and I did this particular time. We'll see."

On whether it was a players-only meeting: "Yes."

On what his message was to the team: "We'll keep that in-house, but I just felt like I needed to say something to the guys and see if we can all get on the same page and get this thing rolling."

On how he makes sure that the teammate part of him overrules the human side of him in situations like Sunday: "The thing that you have to do is realize that if you look back in recent history, as far as the defense goes, we haven't always done what we are supposed to do as a defense. We've had this discussion before. If we are going out and we're shutting teams out every week and we're not giving up any big plays because of mental mistakes, then maybe that can creep in even more so, but that's not the case, that's not been the case. We've given up a tremendous amount of points to our division rivals, which is never good. We've come up short on 200-yard rushes, that's never good. So, we have our own specs to look at in our own eyes, to get the skin off our own eyes before you can look at someone else's. So, I think that is the thing that always, I think, to a humble team, that always happens, that in the midst of understanding that you get frustrated with your teammates sometimes, but it's always a love thing."

On whether he feels that the team doesn't know how to win close games: "You really want me to answer that? You really think I'm going to say, 'Yeah, we don't know how to win.' We know how to win. We've won some. The thing about it, we have won some close games that way this year. We just lost more than we've won, so it's not like we don't know how to win. We know how to win. To me, it's about consistency, and I've said that. We have to consistently do things the right way. Consistently not make the mistake that we are making in crucial situations, whether it's a fumble, whether it's a pass inference, whatever the thing is that we're doing as a team. I think we talked about it last weekend when you guys asked me kind of the same question. It's about being consistent, and right now, we haven't been as consistent as we need to be in those clutch situations because if you look around the league, that's kind of what happens. You come down to the last couple of drives in the game because that's how close, really, teams are. We just have to make sure that we are a lot more consistent – I wouldn't say a lot more, but just more consistent."

On whether he thinks it's natural for a player to question what the coaches are doing when things aren't going well for the team: "I think it's always natural because it's a human nature thing. Just like every cat sitting on his couch watching TV, Monday morning quarterback, about he should have done this or they should have done that, so that's always a natural thing. But the thing that you have to do as a player is, you have to have confidence in your coaching staff past that to think that and believe that they are going to put you in the right positions more times than not. Look, sometimes they are going to call a play and it's going to be disastrous, seemingly. You are going to get frustrated, but what about that play that they called that the blitz got home and we got the sack, I'm speaking about the defensive side of the ball. So, it's always a toss-up that sometimes they are going to dial up the right blitz, sometimes (defensive coordinator) Jim (Johnson) is and sometimes they are going to catch us. I think the thing that you have to do as a player, is you have to believe that coach is going to put you in position to succeed more than the latter."

On whether there is a point that players reach where they start to question the coaches more and more often: "We'll handle that as teammates."

On whether he thinks that the recent heat on head coach Andy Reid and QB Donovan McNabb is fair: "This is a very demanding place, let's just say, and it's always been that way. The room for error is not that much, not that great, not only for coaches but for players also, and not just on this ball team, but period, sports in this town. Whether it's fair or not has no relevance, it's going to be that way. As a team, as a coach or whatever, as a player, you can't allow yourself to fall into that. You have to go out and do your job, and that's what he's doing, that's what Andy's doing. He's concentrating on what he has to concentrate on and that's us, and that's making sure that the coaching staff and the players, we're all on the same page in trying to get this thing corrected."

On whether this is the first time he has called a team meeting: "No."

On how many times he's called a team meeting: "I don't know. I have a bad memory in that respect as far as how many times."

On whether Reid "got into them" during Monday's meeting: "Not really Monday. He spoke more today then he did Monday."

On whether Reid "got into them" today: "Depends on what you call getting (into). I mean different people call it different things about getting into somebody. He was very animated with what he was feeling, and he's done that from time to time, and hopefully guys felt what I felt. Hopefully everything got through. We'll see. Talking only goes so far. We'll see if that goes over into Sunday."

On whether it was a players-only meeting: "We had a little bit of both. Coach always gets up and says what he needs to say, what he feels like he needs to say. It was little bit longer today. I got up and spoke after that, but Coach left."

On how he knows when the right time is for him to address the team in that way: "It's a feeling for me. I've always said this, I'm a prayerful man, and I always pray about things when I feel something in my spirit and I'll speak up and today was that feeling."

On whether he thought it was insulting that Ravens LB Ray Lewis said that there was nothing to learn about how to beat the Giants from the Eagles/Giants film: "No. I probably would feel the same way. If you look at the results of the game, we didn't stop them on a consistent basis. They were able to gash us for a lot of yards. If I'm a defensive player, I want to look at a game film and the game film that I want to look at, that team has a tremendous amount of yards or big plays out of that, maybe I don't watch that. Maybe I'll watch it to see what they had success in, but maybe I don't want to watch it because they had too much success."

On whether he thinks that this has been the most underachieving team that he's ever been on: "I don't know. The season's not done yet. I think if you look at some other years, we've been, I won't say the exact record, but we've been close in proximity to this record and we found a way to turn up the gear and roll out of it. That's why I really can't comment and say 'yes' or 'no' on that."

On whether it bothers him that McNabb didn't know the overtime rule: "No. To me, that's one of the most ridiculous things. If you asked cats in this locker room going into that game, did they know that the overtime rule was as such, I'm pretty sure that the majority of them would have said, 'No, we did not know that' because it does not come up. We don't sit in the meeting before a game and say, 'hey listen, this is what's going on if it's overtime.' We don't discuss it because those things never come up. What you're thinking in an overtime game is that we are going to get the ball and we are going to go down and score, so it's never going to come to a second overtime if there is one. I've been a part of it where there was one and we tied the Baltimore Ravens back in the day, so I actually knew the rule because I was a part of it. Those guys weren't a part of it. So, if we had won that game and he had said what he said, would it be a big deal now? Would it be a big deal? No. It wouldn't be a big deal if we had won that game but because we lost the game, now it's a huge deal and now Donovan's an idiot because he didn't know. You've got to be kidding me. You've got to be kidding me. You can't have it both ways. You can't have it both ways. Either get on us when we know the rules and we win or leave us alone both ways. It's ridiculous. It's ridiculous."

On whether he knew the overtime rule before the Baltimore game in 1997: "No. I had no idea. I just was lining up to play and they said – I thought the game was over, matter of fact, I thought the game was over with the Baltimore game and then we lined up for another coin toss and I'm like, what's going on? So, call me an idiot in what was that '99? '98? Call me an idiot. '97. I was an idiot in '97."

On whether he knew there was overtime in 1997: "I knew there was overtime. We went through the first overtime and then we had another coin toss, so I'm like, well what's going on? So whatever. It is what it is, and those things happen. As a matter of fact, I might be even loopy right now. We might not even have played two overtimes. I don't know. We'd have to go back and look, but from my bashed memory..."

On there only being one overtime period: "See that, now I'm an idiot because I thought we had two. I'm an idiot. It happens, man. We're not going to know every dog-gone thing all the time. We're human. We make mistakes. Yes, we wear a uniform. Yes, we go out and run faster and jump higher than the average cat, but we make mistakes and we're not knowledgeable in every dog-gone thing that happens. There are so many different rules and regulations that go on in football about fumbles, about what's not a fumble. If we miss and we say we don't know one of those things, now we're an idiot because we don't know what that call specifically is. There are so many different variations, and some of the rules were made up in 1960-something because something happened in 1960-something, but you may not know because it never comes up, so I'm an idiot. Thank you."

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