Philadelphia Eagles News

Game Vs. Cardinals: FS Brian Dawkins

Opening Statement: "I just want to congratulate the Cardinals on a well-fought game. They had a great game plan. They executed. I want to apologize to the fans. We really thought this was it. We went out and we gave what we could, but we came up short. I want to apologize to them."

On why he feels the need to apologize to the fans: "They were so great on our run. It took a lot more belief than just in the locker room for us to be where we were. There were some fans out there believing in us, helping us along the way."

On if this loss hurts more given his uncertain contract situation for next year: "It just hurts, period. When you burn your hand, I don't care how you burn it, it still hurts, and that's the way I feel. No matter what the situation is here, with me and my situation as far a contract goes, it still just hurts."

On what the Cardinals' offense did differently on the go-ahead drive: "I'll have to go back and look at the tape to see exactly what happened. It was hard to tell what exactly went on, but he went to a whole bunch of quick throws, a lot of quick routes, nothing really down the field, just to kind of dink and dunk their way down the field. They didn't commit any mental mistakes, and they were able to go down and score that touchdown, which obviously was a backbreaker."

On what the Cardinals did to have so much success offensively in the first half: "They had a great game plan. You could see that they had a great game plan. The thing that you can never question is a person's heart, and I'm pretty sure they absolutely felt embarrassed by that first game we played. They heard about it all week long, and they came out as such. They used the home crowd to their advantage, and they had a couple of trick plays in there to keep the crowd into it, but they had an excellent game plan. What we had to do was calm down. We were making mental mistakes, and once we calmed down at halftime, we came out and played a lot better, but some of the damage had been done."

On if it was more adjustments or just calming down that made the defense more effective in the second half: "Just calming down. When you get all amped up, and they're making plays, so you think you have to do something, you start making more mistakes. Then, sometimes, once they get one of those big plays, you kind of play back on your heels a little bit. That's not us. That defense from the first half was nowhere close to who we were."

On why they couldn't apply the pass pressure on the Cardinals' go-ahead drive that they had through the second half: "(Warner) was getting out of his hands quick, a lot of quick throws. I wouldn't say there weren't any passes past five yards in that drive. Everything was quick out of his hand, not allowing the blitz to get to him. He did a great job on that drive."

On whether protecting a lead in the fourth quarter was the situation the defense wanted to be in: "Absolutely. If we had a chance to play this game again, I would love that to be the situation again, because I was feeling nothing but confident that we would be able to get off the field. We didn't. Give them credit."

On whether he is stunned by this result: "Yes, absolutely. I expected to win this game. There was nothing in me, nothing in my person, that said we were going to lose this game, at all. I was not prepared to have this type of press conference. I was not."

On whether he finds it hard to believe the defense gave up 32 points given their play so far in the postseason: "You have to give them credit for a lot of it, but we can't assist teams, especially at home. We gave them great assists by making mental mistakes, which allowed them to make more plays. We can't do that, especially against a good offense, and then away from the house."

On his feelings about this team's makeup and chemistry:"Throughout those storms, throughout those tough times, we bonded together. Anytime you make right decisions in the midst of trouble, you build perseverance, you build character, and we did those things. We pulled together, and we started believing in one another like never before. So I felt great, and I feel great about this team. I feel horrible right now, with the outcome of this game, but I feel great about this team."

On what his gut feeling is about his future: "I don't know, but I've said it; I don't have too many doubts in my head that say I won't be back here. Everything that I'm thinking is just positive that I'll be back."

On if he feels Donovan McNabb should be the team's quarterback next season: "Absolutely. Mac 5 is the guy. No (question). Not in this locker room anyway. Outside, yes, but in this locker room, no. Mac 5 is the guy."

On what he would say to people who say the offense came up short, having the ball inside Cardinal territory with two minutes left: "That we, defensively, didn't get off the field when we're supposed to. They did their job; we did not. They drove the field. They got us points. We went ahead. Defensively, we have to get off the field, and we did not."

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