It was a speech that any presidential candidate could have been proud of.
Asked repeatedly about the Eagles' pass coverage in general and his own pass coverage in particular during the Eagles' 41-37 loss to the Dallas Cowboys Monday night, veteran safety Brian Dawkins defended himself extremely well.
"Playing defendsive back, it comes with the territory," Dawkins said. "This is not the first time I've given up a couple of plays and it won't be the last time. It just comes with it. The thing about being in the secondary is you have a short memory. You line up and you play again and that's what I do."
Dawkins said he doesn't expect to be cut slack because he has a resume that includes six Pro Bowls, countless big plays and a lot of big victories.
Is Brian Dawkins too slow to still be the Eagles' free safety?
|Yes, he's too slow. |
|| 1267 (40.7%)
|No, he's still a valuable player.|
|| 1849 (59.3%)
Total votes = 3116
"No, man, this is Philadelphia," he said. "Do you know where we are? This is Philadelphia. There aren't too many people who are going to be cut slack and I understand that. I'm not going to make a big deal of it because I know those same fans that are questioning what I'm doing will be the same fans who will be hip, hip, hooraying when I grab a pick and take it to the house."
The veteran safety said he doesn't think he's any more limited just a few weeks removed from his 35th birthday (it's Oct. 13) than he was at 22. In fact, he believes he is better.
"I can get to where I need to be in enough time to make the plays I need to make without cheating too deep or putting my teammates in an awkward position," Dawkins said.
And now for the big conclusion, which was prompted by another question about his age.
"I guess this is the age question today," Dawkins said. "I play the game the way I play the game. How I looked at film when I was 22 ... was I hope they don't play-action fake and throw deep because I'm probably going to bite on the fake. That's how I looked at film and how I played the game.
"Now, I recognize formations and I know where I need to be. A lot of times I know where I need to be, but sometimes I make mistakes. I'm not thinking about when I was this age how I ... Kill that! I am 34 years old ... proud of it. Thank you Jesus for allowing me to get to 34 playing in the NFL. I'm going to continue to play this game at a high level for as long as I can. I'm going to protect my body and make sure I'm out there on the field for my guys. I'm going to play ball.
"I'm going to play ball at 34. I'm going to play ball at 35 and whatever else comes out after that, I'm going to play ball. So if I give up a deep ball and you want to say I'm slow, go ahead. Guess what, the next time I'm going to try to make the same play again at 34 or 35 years old. Thank you very much."
And with that, the veteran safety stood up from behind the microphone and made his exit.