Birds Flying High

These have been so much fun to write over the last few days as many of the members of this year’s Hall of Fame class played when I was growing up so this has given me a lot of time and many days to look back and reflect and the careers of these players entering such a legendary setting. There’s one more to break down. When I think of the safety position, I think of guys that can cover a ton of ground in the backend of the secondary, I think of a guy that can come into the box and make tackles and I also think of guys that could put a hit on guys trying to come across the middle and Brian Dawkins was simply all of that. He played during a time when he wasn’t considered to be the best at his position because two guys named Troy Polamalu and Ed Reed were both playing at such high levels during that time, Brian was just as solid as those two. In his second year of eligibility for the Pro Football Hall of Fame, he got in.

When I think of energetic football players and guys who wanted to leave their blood, sweat ,and tears on the field, I immediately think of Brian Dawkins. During his time with the Philadelphia Eagles, he was the heart and soul not just of the defense, but that entire football team. Each team has that guy that can spark things up as a leader and a player and that was number 20. He was definitely the heartbeat of those Eagles teams in the 2000’s. He played the safety position as if he were a linebacker. He was as complete of a safety as they came and he did everything that I described up top. He was able to cover receivers whether they were slot guys, possession receivers and when tight ends caught the football over the middle of the field, he was there to greet them each time. I’ve often stated that every football team has that enforcer and that was Brian Dawkins when he played for both the Eagles and the Denver Broncos. He wanted to make you think twice about attempting to run in his direction after he tackled you. I’ve seen him pick guys up and body-slam them into the ground to stop someone.

I’m so happy that this guy is heading to Canton to be enshrined with all of the greats. I absolutely loved the passion he played with and how he would try to get everyone to feed off his energy. If I had to think of one NFL player that compares to Brian Dawkins, it’d be Kam Chancellor.