Safety Brian Dawkins retires after 16 seasons
On Monday, the National Football League lost one of its greatest defensive players who ever grazed a football field. Safety Brian Dawkins decided to hang up his cleats after playing 16 seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles and the Denver Broncos. He had a Hall of Fame career and changed the dynamics of his position.
Dawkins played 13 seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles. He led a defense for one of the greatest minds of the game, Jim Johnson. His grit and fearless antics on the field for the Eagles and Broncos earned him a trip to nine Pro Bowls and elected him to six All-Pro teams. He finished his career with 26 sacks and 37 interceptions.
“Brian Dawkins is one of the best to ever play the game, a future Hall of Famer who changed the way his position is played,” Broncos coach John Fox said in a statement released by the team. “In many ways, he helped my job as a coach with his great leadership and preparation. He brought so much to the table and was such an enormous asset to our football team.
Nobody has played the safety position in the NFL as long as Dawkins, especially with how hard #20 played. He had a knack for getting to the quarter back and the ball with out giving up the big play. He was also a physical player, hitting the ball carrier with brute force at full speed.
”If you look at the majority of the huge collisions, they come in that second level back there,” Dawkins said last season. ”Safeties are 15-20 yards deep sometimes, we’re coming down running full speed at somebody that’s running full speed at us a lot of times, so those collisions are very, very hard. And so to play the game the way that I play it for this long is an absolute blessing.”
On Sundays, Dawkins’ alter ego ,“Idiot Man,” would be unleashed, running out of the tunnel at Lincoln Financial Field, the stadium would erupt as the crazed man got everyone psyched for the game. He had a special place in the hearts of everyone in Philadelphia and Denver. His contributions off the field, especially in the Philadelphia area will never be forgotten.
His contributions go far beyond the wins, interceptions, sacks, and Pro Bowls he accumulated during his career. Brian is the definition of class and is what you want in a leader. I know our players, coaches, fans and so many within the National Football League feel the same way.
Brian Dawkins will return back to the NovaCare Complex on Saturday to meet with the media. He will then be honored during the season as one of the greatest players to wear an Eagles uniform and to play the game.