It has been two years since Brian Dawkins has been in Midnight Green. Two years since the crunching hits delivered in Lincoln Financial Field. Two years since the electrifying interceptions. Two years since the animated entrances onto center stage. Two years since Dawkins played for the Eagles.
I'm not sure about anyone else, but I know that I miss Brian Dawkins more so than any other Eagle to ever play for the team.
Yes, that includes the recently lost Donovan McNabb. I feel as if Dawkins represented what the Eagles were all about, fighting until the end.
Dawkins was the type of player you get on your team every once in a 100 years, and I still can't believe that Andy Reid let him go. So in this article I am writing a tribute to the lost Brian Dawkins and all the great things he brought to Philadelphia.
Dawkins is famous for his hard hits, which usually were delivered in key situations. In his career in Philadelphia, he had a grand total of 33 forced fumbles. We all remember the bone shattering hits he threw down on running backs going around their blockers.
Opposing offenses were afraid of Dawkins because he was the type of player that could end your season in one hit. His ability to knock the ball loose and deliver consistent hard hits puts him as one of the best safeties to ever play the game.
Brian is still one of the best at locating the ball carrier and bringing them down before a big play can happen. In Philadelphia, he was usually the last line of defense, and the opposing team could do little to get by him. In his entire career at Philadelphia he brought in a staggering 898 tackles, almost breaking 1,000 tackles in only 13 years.
Not only was he great at locating the ball carrier, but he could also be a nightmare for the opposing quarterback, racking up a total of 21 sacks in his career. Dawkins's great locating ability and the famous Jim Johnson blitz mentality went hand in hand, consistently giving Dawkins great opportunities to land big hits on the opposing team.
Another aspect of Dawkins's game that he brought week in and week out was his ability to pick off passes deep down the field. During his stay with the Eagles, he collected 34 interceptions and returned 4 of them for touchdowns. Not bad for a Free Safety.
But Dawkins's most important attribute was his ability to lead the defense and the entire team. A team captain for almost his entire career in Philadelphia, he knew how to keep the team moving. I have never seen a team captain do a better job of amping up his team and the home crowd.
Dawkins could give a motivational speech and then provide the play to back it up. He was the type of player that led by example, which was great for some of the younger players on the team. Even when the Eagles lost, he was still amped up and ready to go the next week as if they had never lost.
It is a real shame that Dawkins was never able to get a Super Bowl win while he played for the Eagles. He was elected to countless Pro Bowl Teams, but he, along with the rest of Philadelphia, never won the Lombardi Trophy. He is a definite Future Hall of Famer, which may do him justice in the end.
So Brian, thanks for being there for the Eagles and your excellent play making ability and leadership you provided. You will always be remembered in Philadelphia as our Philly Hero.