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Dawkins speaks out

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Dana Pennett O'Neil wrote an interesting piece on Brian Dawkins and what he had to say to the team after the game. The man is clearly the leader on this team and he let the team he wasn't very happy...

After 11 years in the NFL, Brian Dawkins has learned a thing or two.

He has learned that sometimes it's best to back off and sometimes it's best to nurture.

And then there are the times when a guy simply needs to speak his piece. Loudly, clearly and succinctly.

Yesterday was one of those times.

The heart, soul, fire and brimstone of the Eagles' defense gathered his team around him after the dispirited, 13-6 loss to Jacksonville and let them know that he was less than happy.

"What is missing is that sense of urgency in the beginning of the game," Dawkins said. "I don't know if we are waiting for something to happen, waiting for the big play, but the sense of urgency is not where we need to be as a team... There is no excuse for that."

Building that confidence, that's what Dawkins wants to do. He is one of the few guys left in the Eagles' locker room who remembers the lean years, 6-9-1 in 1997 and 3-13 in 1998. He knows what can come of waiting around for something good and then watching the bad instead steamroll through a season.

He purposely didn't talk before the game, hoping that the urgency he wanted to see would be there without him reminding players it needed to be. But when it didn't show up, when a flat-footed Eagles team lollygagged its way through four quarters, losing at home, which to Dawkins is doubly offensive, he felt like it was time to talk.

Now with time to think thanks to a bye week, Dawkins hopes his words seep in.

"If we do what we are supposed to do as a team, not just talk about it, but actually do whatever it is we need to do to get us going early, we need to do that," he said. "This week is going to be key for us to find that out, to soul-search, to dig deep, to be honest with ourselves and with each other and to come out this next half [of the season] and ball."

If Andy Reid isn't going to inspire this team and call them out, if McNabb isn't going to call them out... Someone needed to. There is no more perfect person to whip this team back into reality than #20. Hopefully the rest of the team is listening. They've got Washington at home after a bye in what will certainly be the most pivotal game the Eagles have played in 2 years. It's a division game at home where they either pop back over .500 and start a run at a wild card or put the final nail in the coffin for the 2006 season. I'm going to talk a bit on Tuesday about how the NFC playoff race is shaping up at the halfway point, but thanks to the glut of disappointments & mediocrity that make up the NFC they are still in it.