Brian Dawkins press conference: 8-29-05

On the loss of defensive tackle Corey Simon: "It was as big of a surprise to you guys as it was for us that it went down like that. But you know what you are going to get out of Corey every week. He's a guy that is definitely going to get to the quarterback, get penetration in the backfield and he's a very likeable guy.

It's not like we are saying a eulogy here. He is still playing in the game and I will still talk to him. But you certainly miss his personality and who he was as a person, on and off the field."

On whether he thinks this outcome is what Simon wanted:

"I cannot completely comment on what exactly he wanted, but from talking to him a little bit and hearing the comment that he made, he wanted to be here. He wanted to be here under the circumstances that were fair to him and what he thought was fair as far as compensation goes. If you ask any guy in the locker room if they would love to be free agents right now, I'm pretty sure that every last one of them would raise their hand and say yes because that gives you an opportunity to make more money. You cannot shy away from that because this is a business. But at the same time, I am pretty positive that he would have loved to have that opportunity to have made that here."

On whether these contract moves seem less shocking over the years:

"I guess so. I guess you get a leather bag and as you wear on it, it gets rougher and rougher as far as toughness goes. But, what it does is that after seeing these things so many times, you understand the business side of it. That is what I keep saying. You understand that there is a business side of things. You might not like the way it goes all the time or you may not agree with the way that it is handled, but there is a business side of things and when you see guys leave every year, I remember a few years ago this place was like a revolving door as far as guys coming and going. So, when you have guys leave, you realize that it is a part of it. It does not feel good, you miss that person, you will miss the player, but hopefully the guys that we have here will be able to do what it is and what it takes to makeup for some of those sacks that he gave us every year."

On whether he still believes this defense has a chance to be the best unit since he has been here:

"It does, it really does. I think we have taken steps forward as far as aggressiveness goes and think with our mindset as well. A lot of defense starts with mindset. I have said this before, but you need to have something a little wrong with you to play defense, because you are actually going to have contact. You are going in there knowing you are going to have to hit somebody. Somebody is going to hit you and sometimes those hits are going to hurt. So you do have to have a mindset to want to do it. I think we have taken that mindset to a different level. We understand exactly what [defensive coordinator] Jim [Johnson] wants from us. All the new guys that have played last year have a year under their belts and I think we are trying to take this thing to another level. We are trying to be one of the best, if not the best defense to play for this organization."

On whether this team still has what it takes to get back to he Super Bowl:

"We have been through so much as a team, all those big games that we have lost and the way that we have been able to rebound. The thing that has always been consistent with us is that we have always stayed hungry. We don't allow ourselves to be complacent and pat ourselves on the back. Like last year, it's all good to go 7-0, but after that one loss we were not patting ourselves on the back. We got back up and won that next game. That has always been us and I don't see that changing because of the personalities and how we approach practice. We don't take practice lightly. We go out and don't take game planning lightly and we don't take our jobs lightly. In saying all of that, I really do feel like we have a great shot to get to where we need to be this year."

On with all the contract situations, why there are not more ‘me' guys on the team:

"It's because you understand that there is a business side of the game. Each guy will try his best, as much as he can, to get what it is he can while he is playing at the top of his game. There is not a guy in the NFL that won't do that. But at the same time, when that business his handled, that person comes back and we play football. Because that is what this game is, it's called football. So the business will be taken care of, however long it takes, and then they come back and they play. None of that affects us on the field. You may write about it, we may read about or see it on TV, but it does not affect what is going to happen between those lines. It does not affect the fact that on Sunday I am going to have to tackle a big guy, try to make a big play, or one of those guys is going to have to get off a block or break a tackle. Football is still football. At the end of the day, when that business is taken care of, we have to come back and play."

On whether he has ever seen a contract situation carry over to the field:

"I have seen it happen once. I don't know if it was business or just the whole organization, but I would say [ex Lion] Barry Sanders. He was the only one who quit and said that this was time and that he could not take it anymore. That would be the only time that I could say that."

On whether Corey not being here the last few weeks made it sting any less:

"No, it still stings a little bit regardless of the circumstances of him not being here. He was a teammate of mine, a brother of mine, because he played here and went through the things that we all went through as an organization. You still would like to have that guy on your side, because you can count on him and when he is let go, it does sting. From all reports, everybody in the organization and on both sides of the situation felt that this was the best thing to do. So they did it and you have to live and keep on playing."


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