Brian Dawkins isn’t too old to be playing football. In fact, he doesn’t even know what the word old means. He does, however, feel that he’s old enough to know what’s good and bad for the league. And as the Denver Broncos’ union rep and a member of the NFL Players Association executive committee, he does have some say in the matter as the league continues to try to come to some sort of labor agreement. Dawkins is still hopeful that the two sides will be able to come to an agreement, but is clearly against a much-talked about 18-game schedule. And it’s not just because he’s old.
Brian Dawkins joined 104.3 the Fan in Denver on the Drive to discuss his age, where the discussions stand regarding the collective bargaining agreement, what he thinks about the proposed 18-game schedule, what he would tell fans who are clamoring for more games and whether he feels the players are being treated fairly during the process.
On what age is old in the NFL:
“I don’t know. That’s for the experts to tell us, who’s old and who’s not. All I know is I have to go out and do specific things and be productive. This game is about production. It doesn’t matter your age. The thing that I’ve always told people is, if a person got on the field and you didn’t know who anyone was and we all changed numbers and just went out and played, how old would you say a person was? You couldn’t tell. All you would know is that’s a football player. That’s how I’ve always represented myself.”
On where the collective bargaining agreement stands:
“As far as I know, as of right now, we’re still trying to get into some depth into the meetings that we have with them. I think we have one coming up here soon and hopefully in that meeting we’ll be a lot further along than we were in the past ones. There’s still some things in the air as far as questions about [number of games], about the rookie scales and all of that that are floating around. One of the things that is hard to do … is anytime you have a business, and say you have an equal share, supposedly, with a partner, you know that partner’s doings, you know that partner’s books. That’s one thing we don’t have as players. … You’re telling us we need to make changes but you won’t really show us why.”
On the potential of an 18-game schedule:
“No, [it doesn’t make sense]. Not even a little bit. From a dollars and cents, I guess for some people that would make sense. But from a physical, longevity, the way the season is right now, I’m not talking about me right now at 36, I’m talking about me at 29, 28, I know how I felt going into the postseason, licking my wounds, so to speak. … If we have only two preseason games, guess who’s going to have to play more in those two preseason games? The starters. So you’re basically playing a 19-game schedule. … On top of that, those free agent guys who usually get those good looks in the last two preseason games, aren’t going to get those looks.”
On what he would tell fans regarding them wanting more games:
“I would like to ask one question, Do you not like the game as it is? … It’s not an even switch. Just because you’re saying you’ll trade two games for two, it’s not an even switch.”
On whether the NFL has been unfair to the players:
“It’s not implemented. It hasn’t tried to be implemented. That’s one thing. We’re still discussing it. Things are at where they’re supposed to be right now, we’re in discussions.”