On reacting to the criticism the defense received last week against the Giants: "It was a little frustrating but we went out there. It was like missed tackles, we let them score a lot. They did their thing, the Giants did. I feel like, that being said, we did get a lot of turnovers, we had some big plays, we scored on defense, it was just little things like tackling and stuff like that we needed to work on. We took that to heart this week, had a chip on our shoulder and just did a better job with that tonight."
On if he personally felt the need to bounce back after committing three penalties last week: "No, I wasn't really worried about that. Everybody keeps saying that I had three though, the second one, that second PI wasn't on me. They called it on me, but it was somebody else. I was on the other side of the field. I don't really care about that stuff. I play hard and you have those kind of penalties, whatever."
On what the team did to overcome the roadblocks it encountered early in the season: "I think that the kind of character guys we have in the locker room and our coaching staff is. You have to realize that in the NFL, when someone isn't there, it's an opportunity. It's not a chance to say well, you know, we don't have this we don't have that—it's an opportunity for the next guy to step up. Unfortunately, Coach (Jim) Johnson's passing was an opportunity for Coach McDermott to step up and show what he can do. When (RB Brian) Westbrook went down, it was an opportunity for (RB LeSean) McCoy to step and show was he can do. So, I think when you have the right mentality of guys that are trying to win and trying to make a name for themselves, you can do well. We never use that as an excuse, I mean we still had to go out there and play."
On if every team has the same mentality about overcoming obstacles: "Not every team. The thing that makes it different here is that we have a coach that's always been here—not always, but he's been here for a long time—so you have that sense that if you perform when you get the opportunity, that you will get a chance and you won't have to worry about if he's gone and you have a new regime and all that stuff. I think that mentality is what helps us prevail with that kind of stuff."
On whether he can relate to LB Tracy White, who began his career on special teams but now, in his seventh year in the NFL, is making plays on defense, following a similar career path as Quintin Mikell: "Absolutely. That's exactly what we're talking about around here- we've got guys who can play up and down the board. It's just a matter of getting the opportunity. With Tracy; a lot of people don't know, but he can fly. For a linebacker, he's got a lot of speed, a lot of quickness and he can make plays. He can hit so to get the opportunity that he's getting right now, he's taking advantage of it."
On what he will preach to the guys in the locker room now that they have clinched a playoff spot: "We've got a good locker room of guys. Everybody knows what's at stake. Everybody knows that we haven't really done anything yet. We have the Broncos and then we have Dallas who looked really good against the Saints, who beat us. (Dallas) also beat us the first time they played us. So, we haven't really done anything yet. I think we still have a lot of growing to do and as long as we have the mentality that we haven't won a Super Bowl yet, we'll be alright but we definitely want to get there."
On what emotions the team feels about the upcoming game against former Eagles player, Broncos S Brian Dawkins: "It's going to be really emotional, especially at the beginning of the game. I think that once the first hit happens, everything will go away. Once that first kickoff happens, it will all go away. Before the game, I'm sure it will be really emotional for the fans, coaches, everybody, but at the end of the day, it's just 11 guys on that field and once we get to hitting and pounding, that's all that matters."
On whether the team has talked about what the game will be like next week when Brian Dawkins returns. "No, not really. We never really talked about it, no."