Behind Enemy Lines: Brian Dawkins

The Pro Bowl safety talks about best friend Troy Vincent -- and how different the Redskins' offense looks to him.


Q: How did you and Troy Vincent become so close?
A: "We bonded real quickly. We both came in together the same year and I was a rookie. He helped me out in so many different aspects, in football and also life in dealing with family, children and everything. We have been a blessing to each other and he has definitely been a blessing to me. I call him my big brother."

Q: What makes Troy a good leader?
A: ''Troy is someone who genuinely cares about people's well being. A lot of people say they care but this guy really cares. He has a love for people and wanting to see them do well in every aspect of their lives."

Q: How hard was it for you to see him leave?
A: "It was very hard. I was kind of prepared for it because we talk so much. At the same time it was hard. Like I said I call him my big brother and he was someone that I leaned on tremendously here for everything. Whether it was being a team leader, I didn't have to speak too much when he was here because he took all of the questions. When he left, a majority of the things fell upon me. He taught me the way before he left."

Q: What is the mood of your team right now?
A: "The mood of the team is to do what needs to be done to get us back on the winning side of things. That is doing some of the little things, whether it is a penalty, off sides or a dropped ball. Those are the things that will cause us to lose close games. If we don't do those things the outcome will be different."

Q: Does the Redskins offense look different to you this year as opposed to previous seasons?
A: "You can tell it is not "Gibbs ball" where you are pulling everybody, running the running back and pounding the defense. That is not what they are dong. Last week is a taste of what they are going to try to get back to. They ran the ball quite a bit last week. I think that is going to be his solution to what is going on there: to run the ball, control the clock, do the passing plays and the boots that they have always done. I think they are going to get back to trying to run the ball more."

Q: You guys are 7-0 under Andy Reid after the bye week. Does coming off a bye give you a major advantage this week?
A: "Every year is a new year. We have so many guys on this team that are new and don't even know what happened last year or the year before as far as wins after the bye week. This year is a different set of circumstances with where we are sitting at 4-4. This is an important game for us. This is a game that we feel we need to win. It is back at our house and we need to come out and do what we need to do to get on the winning side of things and get on a roll."

Q: What makes Brian Westbrook a special runner?
A: "What makes Brian special to me is that first of all, he can make you miss in the open field. He is always a danger when he gets the ball in the open field. Once he makes you miss by that third step he is pretty much full speed. There are not many guys in the NFL that can do that. He can make a cut on you, stop on a dime and by that third step be almost at full speed. To have a guy that can catch the ball out of the back field and then break a long one running the ball, he is a viable weapon at any time of the game."


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