The efforts of players looking to get together for offseason workouts is getting increasingly intriguing as the NFL lockout wears on. Some teams like the Saints. As I highlighted on Monday, some teams like the New Orleans Saints have most of their team together after coordinating what they would do in this event. Drew Brees was reportedly the man behind the Saints’ unofficial workouts. Add the Denver Broncos to the ranks of teams getting together thanks to Brian Dawkins rounding up a dozen or so players together on Tuesday to put in some work. Dawkins prefaced his entire explanation of the get-together by saying that the workouts were completely voluntary. He was clearly not trying to bridge any divides considering the relatively small number of atendees. Instead, the consumate professional and leader was just organizing an opportunity for guys to convene and work out together when they otherwise might not have. A couple of things I’m interested in keeping an eye on going forward: Firstly, will all the teams eventually get on this bandwagon of having some or most of the players coordinate workouts?
Secondly, if they don’t, and we do eventually have a season, will there be any correlation between teams that got together to work out and the success they have?
Brian Dawkins joined 104.3 The Fan in Denver with The Drive to discuss how and why he coordinated the workouts, what exactly the players are doing, where the lockout stands right now and what his and other players’ current mindset is regarding the prolonged labor issue, if he was offended when the Broncos took two safeties in the draft, whether he regrets going to a Denver team that has struggled and what he sees going forward with the team.
What prompted him to spearhead the Broncos’ training efforts?
“During the offseason, for as long as I’ve played this game and most of us have played this game, and most of us have played this game, there have been specific things that are done during the offseason to make sure we’re conditioned. This year, because of the lockout, that’s not in place. As I looked at things as they were going on and the judgments got pushed back further and further, I just wanted to have a place for guys to be able to come if you can make it.”
Is it more about getting in shape than it is about trying to practice?
“That’s what it is. I’m not asking these guys … about 7 on 7s, not about one-on-one-pass drills, one-on-one coverage, none of that. It’s what we would usually do if we were at the facility over there.”
On some guys simply not having the resources such as personal trainers to stay in shape out on their own:
“No, because for a lot of, especially young guys, all they know is the workout facility. That’s all they know. Now that that’s been taken away from them for the time being, I’m not saying they aren’t working out, I just wanted to give them a haven to come to know it’s going to be something structured. … For me, this is not a story. This is what we do anyways.”
What is his sense on where things stand with the lockout?:
“I think that the frustrations are where they are because things are being pushed out. We’re frustrated as well. I’ve just been saying have patience because I believe we will have a season this year and I believe we will be out there doing what everybody wants to see and that’s football being played. We want to play it and the fans want to see it and I believe that will happen.”
How did he feel on draft weekend when two safeties were picked?:
“No different than when I was at Philadelphia when they drafted safeties there. The thing about it is, the longer I play, they’re going to draft young guys regardless. It’s a blessing for me to be where I am, doing what I do, the way that I do it. I won’t change who I am or the way that I prepare myself. I know players say this from time to time, but I really mean this, when I go into training camp, from Day One, I went in there saying, ‘I’m going to earn my job.’ That’s no different today.”
Given the current struggles of the Broncos, does he regret going there?:
“No, I don’t look back and say, ‘What was I thinking?’ I say, ‘What happened?’ … I was brought here to do specific things, and that doesn’t change with the record.”
What does he see in his crystal ball going forward?:
“With Coach Fox coming in and all the things that I know about him and from talking to the guys that I’ve talked to that have played for him … the excitement to turn this thing around in quick fashion, it intrigues me. I want to be here. I signed on to this things for good times and bad.”