Akers/Dawkins Presser & Locker Room Quotes

On whether there were problems in practice with the injury: "It was no problem at all. I was hitting 60 yards going one way, and 55 on the other. There was plenty of pop in the leg. There was no feeling of anything really. There was no sign to think a leg would go out like that. It's obviously very frustrating and it hurt pretty bad too. To allow [LB] Mark [Simoneau] to come out there after last week, I didn't know if I could come out at that particular point.

So, I came out at halftime to see if I could make an extra point. And I could just barely do that. I just thought that because I can get the ball off pretty quick, and [QB] Koy [Detmer] and I could work with the lift together, and I thought I could punch it over there. So, we were able to do that for the two extra points, and the last one, I dug down a little bit further."

On his thoughts when they were driving the ball in the final two minutes of the game:

"I guess a couple of things. I asked God to let this pain go away for a minute here, because when I was swinging on the sideline, I wasn't hitting the ball. At the end when I had to come back for impact is when it really hurt. I kept swinging and said, ‘This is okay.' When you go out there you know it's going to hurt for only one second, and then the game can be over. I said, ‘Let's do it right now. Let's suck it up one time and kick it. Make sure you get enough height.' I knew they would probably bring it up the middle because I wasn't getting much height on the ball. So I just said, ‘Koy, get the height up there and make the kick.'"

On whether Koy did anything to gain lift on the hold:

"Yeah he just leaned the ball back a little bit for me because I'm not really attacking the ball. I changed my swing out there to get the ball off a little quicker. I wasn't as far back as I normally would be. I just wanted to be more precise on the ball just so I could get it between the poles."

On how he determined the range he should be at:

"Really it was kind of a guess to see how far it was going on the net. The goal post to the wall is about 10 yards, and the wall is about 10 feet tall. So I was thinking 35ish max. 30ish would probably be a very comfortable distance."

On whether the pain was in any particular area more than another:

"It all hurt. It's just when I would really have to make an impact on the ball is when I really felt it."

On whether he was changing his routine at all:

"I usually kick a lot during the game and when I went out in the 2nd quarter, I hit two balls in the net. And they said, ‘How does it feel?' I said, ‘I can't tell if these would be making it for an extra point.' I couldn't give them a definitive answer if I could make it or not. When I came back at halftime I thought we could make it and said, ‘Let's give it a shot.'

On how tough it was to go back into the game after the first kickoff:

"That was pretty tough. It felt like I couldn't even get at the ball. Overall it was pretty disappointing. I want to be out there kicking every single time. That is my job, to be the best I can be. I rehabbed really hard last week. The trainers did a great job and I thought coming in to that first kickoff, ‘Man, what a great week of recovery.' I guess it just made for a more dramatic ending to the game."

On what happened in the first kickoff:

"It just felt like I got shot, a totally different place."

On how long it would have taken to get back if he was rested:

"We really don't get into injuries. I don't know anymore than you do right now. [Head coach] Andy [Reid], once he finds out from our doctors we'll be able to address all that stuff. All I know is that we can't have this, where I come out one week, feel good in practice and pregame, and then go down and leave the team hanging there, especially on kickoffs. I really cost the team a lot on kickoffs today. That shows what the defense was able to do, especially with such an offensive threat that the Raiders have. To be able to hold them to I think 4 FG attempts, and then they had the touchdowns there. I thought that was huge. The defense should be really commended on their play."

On where the pain is now:

"The back of my leg is just pretty dog gone soar. Obviously we just got done doing some things where we were trying to limit that mobility so it wouldn't get to the point where it was totally extended. We tried to keep the range of motion down a little bit, bog on that piece of wood and go for it."

On his game winning kick:

"I'm honestly most proud of this kick today. I can honestly say that."

On whether he thinks he showed the team that he is an athlete today:

"I don't know. I hope that they see I try as hard as I can. I would never purposely let anybody down on this team. That one extra point would have been the difference in the game, if I was able to go out and make that kick, instead of the block. But I felt privileged to be able to have the opportunity to make it up to them. I also want people to know that when I'm out there I give 100 % of whatever I can and right now it's not very much."

On whether that was the most emotional kick of his career:

"Oh yeah. But honestly that was more pain than anything."

On whether he had to talk his way back in the game:

"No, it's just kind of assumed. Today they needed me out there. It was a tight ball game. I needed to be able to be out there if at all possible. I will take that every week. If it comes down to it, I'm going to do my best to be out there and play."

On balancing the emotion to want to be out there and getting healthier:

"Yeah. What other options did we have right now? I basically just said, ‘Dave, deep down, you've got to find a way for a second and a half to make a kick.' That's what I did for each one. Luckily they were spread out enough where I could get out and go out again and make a kick."

On whether he can do anything else to show value to the team:

"I don't know. It's not that certain now. You'd think it's an integrity thing on my part. I don't want anybody to think that I'm trying to look bad on anything. If I can't go it means I can't physically do it. If I go out there, I'm giving it every bit that I have. I think you saw that from the rest of the team as well today. There are guys making plays. A couple of years ago, I don't know if we would have won this. We have such great teammates. Everybody has everybody's back. Whether it's the practice squad guys coming out saying, ‘I know you can do it', or [QB] Donovan [McNabb] and [WR Terrell Owens]. Everybody talks about T.O. and Donovan, but when we're all out there, we are all one team. We're trying to do the best we can, have each other's back and win the game. And we showed that today. That was a character win in my opinion."

On whether he knew he made the kick:

"Sometimes when you lean the ball back a little bit it actually causes you to push it a little bit. And I knew that I was going to have a decent amount of push to the ball. But as soon as I hit it, I knew that I had enough pop in the ball. And the great thing was I didn't hear the ‘thump-thump.' It got over the line of scrimmage so I felt pretty good about that."

On Koy jumping on him after the kick:

"I think I kind of went to the ground. He might have. He was probably just yelling in my ear."

On whether he is still in pain:

"Yeah, I'm in pain."

On what Raiders K Sebastian Janikowski said to him after the game:

"He's a great guy. He's had some hamstring issues in the past. We were at the Pro Bowl together, hung out there, and he's just a classy individual. He just said, ‘Good luck. Way to battle. That was something special to watch.'

On what FS Brian Dawkins said to him after he made the extra point:

"Brian's a great teammate and he's also a great personal friend. We have a great friendship. And he just says encouraging and uplifting things to me all the time. He is a constant encourager. After an extra point, he'll be out there on the field giving me a high five. No matter if it's today, or when I'm healthy, he's always out there to just say, ‘Good job.' [CB] Rod Hood is another guy. You would think that a lot of people don't see. That just shows the togetherness of this team that we have and it's something special to see. I wish you all could see the ins and outs of it. We have great, great character people."

On whether he will be ready for next week:

"I think a lot more things will come a little clearer tomorrow, seeing how things are going to go. I don't want to have what happened this week happen next week and weeks to come. I need to make sure that it's ready and it's really ready."

FS Brain Dawkins

Philadelphia Eagles vs. Oakland Raiders

September 25, 2005

On why blitzes were called off:

"They were doing a lot of checking, trying to see what we ran. They were checking to see some nice protection looks and you know we don't want to lead the guys off the drive. We got a lot of the blitzes today."

On how a wounded offense effects defensive play:

"As a defensive player you have to have in your mind that regardless of what the offense is going to bring your way that they can't do things on you. That should kick in another notch for you as a defense. When their kicker is out you know they will probably have to go for it when they get in that 4th down territory or if not try to keep it and make them punt all the time."

On the difference in mentality today:

"If they are able to run the ball we can't continue to do what we did with me kind of going to Randy and being over the top some of the time. You can't continue to do that. You have to be able to put a safety in the box to help. But because they were able to do what they did up front, we can just sit back there. It's not a front game to do that personally because playing deep ball all the time, but I took satisfaction in those guys up front getting after it the way they did. That gets me pumped up."

On whether Akers showed anything about himself today:

"Akers doesn't really have to show me anything. Akers has had a warrior mentality since he got here. Knowing what he does, the marital arts that he does. He's not your average kicker. So he doesn't have to prove anything to me. He really doesn't have to prove anything to this team. We know what he is. He's one of the best kickers in the game, if not the best. Once he gets that thing taken care of, he'll be kicking those 55-yarders like he usually does."

On being surprised the Raiders didn't take more shots to WR Randy Moss:

"I was not surprised because if you are able to go back and look, had he thrown that a lot of times, I am key position to go back with him. Yes, he may catch the ball, but I might pick the ball also. I kind of wanted him to throw up top especially with the kind of coverage we were doing."

On the kind of coverage it was when the first touchdown was broken up:

"It was man to man on the tight end. They faked like he was going to run the corner and came back to the post. I knew they were going to do something on the end. When I saw the quarterback throw the ball I was looking for the pick, I wasn't looking for a break up or a tackle. I was looking for the interception."

On changing up coverage on Moss:

"We mixed it up. We did cover one, rolling, over top, me going to him a lot of the time, especially in the second half. We tried to mix it up as much as possible."

On whether changing up coverage was to confuse Moss or Collins:

"Both. And really to get him frustrated. When you're facing that kind of coverage, maybe he doesn't go out and run like he usually would run. In his mind he's thinking, well I can't get past. It takes a weapon away from that offense."

On frustration of uncovered picks:

"Even had he not wanted us to be a different style defense, we pride ourselves on that, those turnovers. When that ball is in the air or on the ground, we consider it ours. Those couple of opportunities we didn't capitalize on. Those don't come all the time, they don't come easy. You try to take advantage of them when they come."

On what was said to Akers:

"I told him what I wanted to tell him. I'll keep that between us. It was to the extent that ‘I love you man.'"

On why he spoke to Akers:

"I try to be there for every guy on the team. Especially when a guy is going through what he is going through. You know I am always there if he needs to holler at me or talk to me or anything. To see him come back and be able to kick that thing. That's huge for us. That's huge to be able to fight through that pain, I'm pretty sure he had in his leg or anybody who had a pull. That's huge. I just told him ‘I appreciate you. I appreciate everything you give us every week'."

Eagles vs. Raiders post game locker room quotes

09-25-05

TE Mike Bartrum, WR Greg Lewis, TE L.J. Smith and RB Brian Westbrook

TE Mike Bartrum

On Kicker David Akers' game:

"He's a tough guy. They call him a kicker, but he's not a kicker. He's a football player. He came through for us and my heart goes out to him. I hate to see him hurting like he is. For him to make that kick is huge, it's dedication and it's everything that Coach [Andy] Reid wants in a football player."

WR Greg Lewis

On the game winning drive:

"There were guys out there making plays. [WR Terrell Owens] T.O. had a few catches out there. I had an opportunity to make a catch, but I didn't make it. We got down there pretty close and [K David] Akers came out there and hit the game winner. We expect to do that."

On needing to step up with QB Donovan McNabb being injured:

"I don't think it has to do with stepping up when someone is hurt, we just have to go out there and do our job. That's what they pay us to do."

TE L.J. Smith

On Donovan being banged up:

"It's pretty obvious he was hurting out there. He was not 100% out there and you could tell when he was trying to scramble. He was not himself, but he was able to persevere through those adversities out there. He came out in the second half, did a great job, and led us to a victory."

On whether the offense felt like they needed to do something extra in the second half:

"Donovan put guys in great positions and was better with the throw in the second half. We were able to get the ball and get some extra yards with it. We knew we needed to pick it up and guys getting yards after the catch are examples of guys being determined, trying to do their part and trying to get in the end zone. Even with my fumble, I was just trying to get into the end zone and, boom, the ball came out. Everybody was trying to do a little extra."

RB Brian Westbrook

On a career high 147 yards today:

"It feels good. I got a couple of opportunities to make some plays and Donovan did a great job of throwing the ball. The offensive line did a great job protecting and we were able to make some plays down the field today."

On getting one-on-one coverage:

"They play a lot of man-to-man and we felt that when they played that against us, we needed to take advantage and on some plays today we did."

On whether he feels like he can take advantage of man to man coverage most times:

"I think I have the ability to run pretty good routes and any time we get single man coverage from a linebacker or a safety, I need to get open and make plays."

On stepping up when it was clear that Donovan was not 100%:

"We knew that Donovan was a little dinged up, but as a team we try to focus on every play and try to have him not work too much. He does a great job of making plays with his feet, but with his injury he might not be able to do it as much as he wants to. We have to make plays, get open and we need to continue to do a better job of that."

On the 3rd and 1 play that resulted in the longest catch of his career:

"It was a swing route that we tried to make them think that we were only trying to get a first down. We went to the flat and once they bit on that, we took it up field. I was pretty wide open and I should have scored on the play. The guy did a great job of catching me."

On trying to score a touchdown on the last drive:

"As an offense, we were trying to get the ball in the end zone. We didn't know exactly what was going on with [K David] Akers, but we had confidence we were going to get the ball in the end zone. Unfortunately, we didn't have enough time to score a touchdown, but luckily we got it close enough and Akers was able to win the game for us."

On how important it is to win close games:

"It's big. Sometimes we are going to play in close games. It's not going to be 42-3 every week. We need to go out there and win the close ones. Today we needed to get into a 2 minute situation to get close to the end zone and that was one of the things we needed to work on from last season and we did a pretty good job."

On David Akers performance:

"Dave is a tough guy. You could tell he was disappointed when he got hurt on that opening kickoff, but it was great for him to come back and win it for us. He's a great guy and a great competitor."

Quotes from the locker room

Defense

SS Michael Lewis, CB Lito Sheppard, CB Sheldon Brown

SS Michael Lewis:

On the Raiders passing game:

"If you focus on [WR] Randy [Moss], they're going to throw it backside to the other guys, as you saw with the last touchdown. Their vertical passing game is probably the best in the league. It forces you to commit extra guys into coverage."

On the performance of the defense:

"My hat's off to the cornerbacks. You've got [CB] Lito Sheppard, [CB] Sheldon Brown and [CB] Rod Hood. These guys do an excellent job. You guys have to talk to them and ask them what's their specialty in that area. It was just an all-around good effort."

On K David Akers playing hurt:

"You talk about elite kickers, and to our team, you see him go down, it was a little bit tough. But he was able to battle back and come back in and play. Man, that was huge for us, the game winning field goal. To play through pain like he did, it was tremendous man. A lot of our guys need to give him his credit, because he was able to come back in and kick a field goal, and that was huge. He's a real football player. He does it all. My hat's off to Akers."

CB Lito Sheppard

On seeing Akers go down on the first play:

"I was like, ‘Man, it's going to be a long day,' because that takes points off the board when you don't have a field goal kicker. And we were in field goal range a couple of times, and we had to do other things to get the points on the board. So, it definitely hurts us if you don't have him."

On whether he expected Akers to come back in the game

"I thought it was done. The whole time we were driving the ball, I was like ‘Man, it's going to be tough because we have to score a touchdown.' And they were thinking that too I reckon. I don't think they thought he was coming back. It was starting to get a little nerve-racking. I thought we were going to have to go to overtime."

On whether the defense tried to kick into an extra gear when that happened:

"Yeah, we knew the offense was struggling a little bit, so we wanted to come out and play the best we could to keep us in the game. We were trying to get a turnover, and maybe we could get a score to try and help them out a little bit."

On the Raiders passing game:

"It was tough. They were able to get some matchups in the middle of the defense that they got a lot of big plays on. We're going to look at it and we'll be alright. We kept the big play down until late in the 4th quarter, but we'll be alright."

On the performance of the secondary:

"We take pride in what we do in the secondary. That's one of the things. This defense revolves around the secondary's play. And if we don't give up any big plays we're going to be a tough defense. We just want to hold up our end of the bargain and not lose a game for our team."

CB Sheldon Brown:

On whether this was business as usual for him:

"It's always business when we step on the football field. There's always a new guy trying to make his name off of you. So, no matter if it's Moss or whoever we play, we take pride in what we do."

On whether their focus was to not give up the big play:

"Most definitely. We want teams to complete a 12-15 play drive to beat us because in the long run we think we can wear the guy down, just like a boxing match. You keep checking away, checking away. And we think we have the athletes and the endurance that we can come away at the end."

On QB Donovan McNabb and Akers playing hurt:

"When you see those guys give their all and continue to fight, it just does something. You can give what you have plus more because they're giving the little bit they got, and they want it so bad. And we definitely feed off of that and we appreciate what they do for us."

On whether stopping the run was important:

"It's always important to stop the run because that's where the game starts, up front, physical. And most of the time, the team that's most physical wins the game. So every week, that's what our main concern is. We want to stop the run and we want to force teams to throw the football."

Philadelphia Eagles Locker Room: LB Adams, LB Trotter, LB Jones, LB Simoneau

LB Keith Adams

On shutting down the Oakland running game:

"We knew that it would be big to come in and take away their running game so that our secondary can be allowed to play the way they play. We have a Pro Bowl secondary, so we knew that if we stopped the run up front, they were going to do it, and they did it."

On limiting big plays:

"They have a good team; they have athletes that are capable of making miracle plays. We wanted to limit the amount of big plays that they get; we did a good job and it was a good team win."

On the importance of winning close games:

"You definitely have to win the close ones. Every game is not going to be a blow out. You have to be a real good team to win the close ones like this, and it's the mark of a champion when you can pull a game away like this."

LB Jeremiah Trotter

On David Akers:

"He showed a lot of heart, gutting it out for us, and we didn't have anyone else. We tried to get it down there close. Close enough to where he could make it, and he came through really big for us."

On a kicker being a football player:

"He looked like a football player to me, especially with the game on the line like that. That's a lot of pressure and you're beat up like that; he really came through for us."

On the Raider offense:

"We knew going to the game that they had an outstanding offense. They've got outstanding receivers, good quarterback, and anytime time that we play against Norv Turner's offense, we always have trouble getting to the quarterback. We played great for the most part. They made a move there at the end of the game, and if you play against a good team like that and continue to put them on the field, they're going to make some plays. The big thing about it is we kept fighting and overcame it."

On shutting down the Raider running game:

That was our number one goal. You see what they did with no running game, so you can imagine what kind of passing yardage they would've had if we wouldn't have stopped the run. So that was our number one goal to pound them all day. He's an outstanding running back (Jordan), but I'm proud of the front seven for doing a great job stopping the run, that way we could have that extra guy in the secondary."

On the team competing in a close game:

"You can't blow everybody out. I told everybody before the game that you've got to scratch and claw for everything. You've got an excellent team coming in with its back against the wall. We knew we were going to be in a dog fight, and I'm just proud of everyone coming together and continuing to fight for four quarters."

LB Dhani Jones

On Oakland starting out fast:

"Everything happened with the first two or three minutes of the game, and you realize that there's fifty-eight minutes left. You don't quit after two minutes; you just keep moving."

On the play of the defensive line in stopping the run:

"You have a great supporting cast in terms of the defensive line, and they make our job a little bit easier. You've got Hollis Thomas, Sam Rayburn in the middle as defensive tackles and Mike Patterson making a lot of big plays; those guys are necessary for the linebackers to fly through and they made a lot of big plays as well."

On Mike Patterson in his first career start:

"Mike did a great job. He's a mature defensive tackle; probably one of the most mature individuals I've ever met, and I look forward to him playing more."

LB Mark Simoneau

On his missed extra point:

"I kind of hit my foot before I got to the ball and I just kind of chunked it. I was trying to make sure to get it up a little higher and by doing that I kind of just hit the ground before I got to the ball."

On David Akers coming back to kick:

"What can you say, the guy fought through it. He's in tremendous pain. He was in the locker room forever; we didn't think he was coming back out. We were going to make due as well as we could, and here he comes out of the tunnel. I saw him when we came out after halftime, he was down there kicking extra points, and he said ‘I'm going to give it a try, I think I can do it.' Then we had the situation in which he kicked the extra point, and then to kick the field goal, we got him in position and he nailed it."


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