Brian Dawkins Press Conference: 9-8-05

On whether he relies more on the NFC championship game against the Atlanta Falcons or preseason when scouting their offense: "Just like with any team, you see if you can grab a tendency or two. You check out the receivers to see if you can grab something, a tell tale sign of whatever route.

You try to see what they like to do against us. That's why you look at our old game. You see what they try to do against us, and then the things they like to do against other teams. You just try to find whatever. They've changed. They're going to change from last game. They aren't going to do everything the same as last game, so you understand that. But at the same time, there could be something or a couple plays that they made, and figured were successful against us last time, that they might try to do again."

On whether the turf as opposed to the cold weather in Philadelphia during last post season provides an advantage for them:

"On turf period, because of the nature of their team and the nature of the guys, and the way they're built. I'm talking about [QB Michael] Vick and [RB] Warrick [Dunn] especially. I know those guys can fly. They're use to that, the indoor control climate instead of the outdoor. It's frigid. I'm pretty sure they're going to consider that an advantage to them."

On whether patience is more necessary than aggression against Atlanta and Vick:

‘Yes it is. You have to be patient, but at the same time, I don't know if this is the way to say it, but being patient and aggressive at the same time. And there is, I guess, a medium somewhere in there that you can grab. You have to be patient with your responsibilities, but at the same time aggressive with your responsibilities. We're not just going to sit back and let him do what he wants to do. We're going to still have to attack the guy, because he does have a strong arm. And, I'm pretty sure they're going to be more confident in their passing game with the a addition of the guys they've added, and having another year under his belt to run that offense. They're going to be more confident in throwing the ball."

On whether it is a relief to hear Vick say that he wants to pass more:

"I'll tell you what, he has a gun for an arm, but the things he can do with his legs. For one thing he can fly. Number two, chasing him down is going to get you tired for the next play. So, you kind of would say you want him to throw the ball, but at the same time you understand that he has a gun for an arm."

On whether he thinks the Falcons have an advantage playing on the turf:

" They probably think that they have an advantage because they're use to it. That's their home field. No I do not. I feel like we are a fast defense anyway. We do what we do whether its grass, turf, or mud. Were going to do what we do."

On whether he feels it is important to hit hard from the start of the game:

"In any game, especially these type of games, you try to set tempos. You try to set the way the games going to be both ways. You may get the best of me one time when I try to deliver a big hit, but understand that the next time that I come, I'm going to come the same way. And if you're going to back off a little bit it's going to be worse on you next time. It's just a message you're trying to send of what kind of game this is going to be. This is going to be a physical game. They run the ball anyway, so I'm pretty sure they expect it to be a physical game up front. But as far as the skill position goes, that's when you're going to let them know it's going to be a physical game."

On whether he likes playing a hyped up game like this to start the season:

"You kind of know me, every game is a hyped up game for me. I'm going to come out jacked up regardless of who we're going to play. This is the first game into the season. We're trying to get to the Super Bowl once again and win it this time. Another game I'll be playing, this game that I'm blessed to be able to play. I'm excited about that, so I'm going to be jacked up regardless. But at the same time, I understand that a Monday night game does give you a different vibe. Playing in the lights at night, everybody is watching, you understand that. You like it, but at the same time I'm going to be hyped for whatever game we play."

On how comparable Vick is to [QB] Donovan [McNabb] at this point in his career:

"I think they're different in the fact that Donovan tucked the ball and ran, but he didn't tuck as quick or run as much as Vick did last year. You have to remember that he was second on the team in rushing last year. They use him. They boot him a lot. They get boots with wide receivers and their routes, everybody is blocking for him to run the ball, really run it himself. They did a lot more of that than what Andy's done with Donovan. He really wanted him to mature in this offense. Sit in the pocket and use his legs when need be to get guys the ball down field. I think that's where Donovan was a little bit different that even when he scrambled, in his younger days, that he still was looking up field to throw the ball first, second, then third run the ball."

On whether the Falcons receivers strike fear in the defense:

"I respect whatever receiver core we go against. If those guys are on the NFL roster, they can do something. And I'm pretty sure that is something that they've heard all this week, all this off-season. I'm pretty sure that people have told them even as they walk down the street or whatever. The people kind of messed with them. At some point, a prime factor steps up and you say I'm going to show them what I can do. I'm going to go out against this team that did whatever they did to me last year, what people said they did to me this year, and I'm going to shut some mouths. So I'm sure they're going to take that approach. I know that's what I would do. If a team so called hounded me, or whatever, the next time I'm going to go out and make sure I have one of my best games against them."

On whether he has developed a feel for Vick after facing him several times:

"I can say yes, but I'd be lying. He's a guy that you don't come across too often as a player. You can't really get a grasp on when he's going to tuck it and run. You can tell right at the last second, but is that going to help you? Not really. By playing him, you see more of him, and you can kind of expect certain things. But as far as when he's going to tuck it and when he's not going to tuck it, you really can't tell that until he crosses the line of scrimmage. Everybody has to just run after the ball and take some shots at him."

On whether having bigger receivers this year gives the Falcons an advantage:

"I'm pretty sure they would think so. We don't feel that way. We feel that the guys we have on the outside can get the job done, because they've got the job done. None of those guys, including myself, are resting on what we did last year, and what we accomplished last year. We're trying to be the best secondaries that played the game period, as a unit. So that's what we're trying to strive to be. So whatever foe we go against, they might think that because our guys are short that they have the advantage, but we don't think so."

On whether he remembers his first NFL game:

"I remember in my first game I was very nervous. Emmitt ]Thomas, the Eagles defensive coordinator in 1996] was cussing me all the time about learning defense. I didn't start so it was a real hectic time, my first game. We have a lot of young guys, I'm pretty sure that's where you're headed, and what we try to do is let them understand when they come to work it's not just enough to have made a team. We're going to count on you now to get the job done, and you need to prepare yourself to get the job done whether or not your playing. If you're just playing on special teams, it is not a play off. You need to take that responsibility, because you need to make sure that everything is covered. So that when you step on that field, you are going to make a big play for us. I'm pretty sure they've gotten that message already."

On whether he takes cuts to the roster as business as usual:

"It hits you hard regardless, especially those that I've played with a long time. At the same time, I've been in the game long enough to understand like I've always said, and you're probably sick of my saying this, there's a business side of football. And that's the business side. You have to roll with it, and keep in touch with the guys that leave."

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