Outside Linebackers Coach Mike Dawson -- December 27, 2019
Q: As an assistant coach, when thereís some uncertainty about staff changes that might take place during the offseason, whatís your approach to that? Is it just part of the job?
A: Yeah, Iíve been coaching for a long time. Thereís always a chance of stuff happening. For me, itís you can control what you can control. Youíre going to come to work, youíre going to work as hard as you can, and youíre going to do that day in and day out no matter what the situation is. Thatís the stamp you want to leave as a professional and as a coach.
Q: Markus Golden talked to us a little bit yesterday about how much getting to double-digits means to a pass rusher, the idea of getting to that point. What have you seen from Markus this entire season that you expected and maybe didnít expect to see when you coach him for the first time?
A: The thing about Markus is as soon as youíre around him, you feel his energy, his enthusiasm, his love of the game. Heís a guy that plays with a lot ofóheís intense all the time, whether itís the meeting room or practice or walkthrough or the games. That part has been awesome to be around. The other part that I didnít know one way or the other, but how he rubs off on the other guys. His leadership, how he kind of helps and talks to and brings the other guys along with him, and kind of pulls everybody in that positive direction, I think has been really fun to watch and be around.
Q: What kind of satisfaction do you get as a coach to see a guy kind of reach his potential like that?
A: I think as a coach, you always take pride when the guys do well, and it always cuts you pretty deep when they donít maybe do as well as you want them to. To have a guy have success, you think itís great. I also know that he wants more. I know that he could point out some more plays that he could have made or wanted to make or things like that. Thereís always that goal. Good is never good enough and great is never great enough, so you always want to try to get more and more out of it. You have to keep working to get that. I donít think you ever kind of stay the same. Youíre either taking little mini steps back or mini steps forward throughout your progress and your career. You have to focus on keeping the forward momentum and the forward progress going.
Q: You werenít here at this time last year, but there was so much optimism about Lorenzo Carter off his rookie season, everything he showed. Does that feeling still exist after this season, or did he not progress as much as everybody thought he would? He was talking about 10 sacks in the preseason.
A: Sure, I think everybody had the same kind of conversation that you had with Markus. You want guys that are hungry, that expect a lot out of themselves and want to set high goals. No one rises to low expectations kind of thing. Heís a guy that puts a lot on himself. I think that heís worked as hard as heís worked over the last month or so, and he keeps working to get better and better and better. I think it showed up a little bit last weekend, and hopefully he can keep building off of that and keep it going.
Q: What is the difference? Last weekend, like you said, we thought it was one of his best games. What is it that makes it one of his best games? Whatís his key to success?
A: Thereís probably throughout the course of a game 70, 90, 60 plays. Each one of those is an individual spot, or an individual effort. To be able to stack those probably and put those together where you are having more and more positives, thatís probably key. Thereís always good bursts and just be able to stack those good ones one play at a time throughout the course of the 70 plays. I think thatís what makes a difference for a guy.
Q: Whatís the biggest thing Oshane (Ximines) needs to do from now until next year?
A: I think you always want to get bigger, faster, stronger. Learn more, study more. I think thereís a million different things guys can do. Whether theyíre a rookie or even a vet. Whether itís continue to gain knowledge by watching others or self-evaluations. Also, how you train, how you work. I think the experiences that heís had are going to help leapfrog him into more and more success and give him a better idea of exactly what he has to prepare for during the offseason.
Q: Is that one thing he needs? Bigger and stronger is one of the first things you said. Coming from where he came from to this league, is that something you see as being necessary for him?
A: I think thatís probably a blanket for all guys. (Nobody says) ĎHey, I need to get a little slower or a little smaller,í I think everybody wants to hit the offseason training with that thought process in mind is more of what I meant.
Q: Sometimes guys come in and itís a different level? He didnít get to spend the all whole offseason with you guys.
A: Thatís the point. Now that you have been through this and you have seen it, you know what it takes. I think that will encourage him. Heís a hard worker in the weight room. You guys have been around him, his arms certainly donít look like mine. Heís a jacked up, pretty good-looking dude. I think he will continue to have that mindset. Heís a guy thatís very prideful, super intense so I think that will probably drive him to get better and better at what heís doing, in all the phasesómentally, physically, the whole deal.
Q: How did Kareem (Martin) come back?
A: When you have a layoff like he had itís always hard to come back and get into that quote-unquote football shape. You can always run with the strength and conditioning and do it on your own and that stuff. To be able to get out there and do it on the field and be with the guys, I think itís always the challenge. That stopping, sudden bursts, sudden stops and then getting going again. I think thatís a different type of game shape I guess is the best way to say it. The thing about him is heís mentally been in it the entire time. Heís a very smart guy that knows the system. For him to be able to come out and get some reps for us has been great.