Brian Dawkins isn’t worried about how he’ll feel in December.
Right now his focus is on Week 2. But he still appreciates the way Head Coach John Fox designs his practices to keep players fresh throughout the season.
“We do what we need to do, get out of practice what we need to get out of it,” Dawkins said. “At the same time, (Fox) is always preaching about being fresh — fresh in the mind and fresh legs. For me, obviously, that’s beneficial.”
Fox talked about that philosophy Thursday when asked about how he ran training camp.
“I think having fresh players counts, especially in December,” he said. “People remember what you do in December, and we’ve always prided ourselves on finishing strong. You’ve got to rest them. It’s a marathon, it’s not a sprint, and you train different for a marathon. Whether it’s camp or our in-season schedule, we do our best to improve and get better in all three phases as well as keep the players fresh so they can play on Sundays.”
Dawkins felt plenty fresh in Week 1, when he led the team with nine tackles in his 26th appearance on Monday Night Football.
“‘Dawk’ is incredible,” Defensive Coordinator Dennis Allen said, talking about the number of big hits the safety made on Monday. “That’s the way he plays the game and he’s always played the game that way. That’s what has allowed him to play the game for so long.”
Dawkins said he expects Fox’s practice schedule to pay dividends as the season progresses — but he’ll concern himself with that when the time comes.
“Let’s take care of business now and worry about that then,” he said.
Champ Bailey (hamstring), Elvis Dumervil (shoulder), Brandon Lloyd (groin), Knowshon Moreno (hamstring), Demaryius Thomas (finger), Marcus Thomas (shoulder/groin), Ty Warren (triceps) and D.J. Williams (elbow) did not participate in Thursday’s practice.
A number of those players came out to the field to watch their teammates practice, however.
Below are photos from Thursday’s session.