Brian Dawkins

Brian Dawkins' parade-day message

Brian Dawkins' parade-day message

Brian Dawkins and Eagles fans just connect.

As a player, Dawkins couldn't deliver a Lombardi Trophy. But he's making sure he savors Philadelphia's first Super Bowl, and thanking every fan who helped the team reach the promised land.

Speaking with NBC Sports Philadelphia's Derrick Gunn, Dawkins was asked what he'll remember most about this moment.

“The fans. It’s the fans," he said. "Going down Broad Street and being able to make eye contact with as many as I can, so that I can just say, ‘thank you. Thank you.’ This is you, you, you.’

Knowing that they’re enjoying it the way they are and to be able to continue to enjoy it movivng forward. And that stigma, that angst, that block is gone. Since 1960, it’s been there. You can exhale Philadelphia. Enjoy this, you’re champions." 

And Dawkins is confident this won't be the last green-filled parade down Broad Street.

“They can doubt all they want going forward, but it doesn’t make a difference, because Philadedlphia, you are champions. Fooball champions. And Hall of Famers. So whatever they doubt, it doesn’t matter any more. I think we have a formula in place to continue to build upon. This won’t be our last.”

Dawkins thankful for 'Hall of Fame fans'

Dawkins thankful for 'Hall of Fame fans'

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. — Last year, it was a knock on the door with the bad news. So Brian Dawkins gave the Pro Football Hall of Fame explicit instructions this year: Don't knock on the door this time. Just give me a call with the good news or the bad news.

And late Saturday afternoon, Dawkins' phone rang with the news that he had been voted as part of the Pro Football Hall of Fame's Class of 2018 (see story).

"I could hear my daughter starting to cry in the background and my wife reacting, so I was trying to hold on," he said. "They were videotaping my expressions and the whole experience. 

"I never really dreamt that this would happen. A young small safety out of ol’ country Jacksonville, Fla., my hometown which I love, Duval County, would be in the Hall of Fame. The first player out of my high school to be in the Hall of Fame. The first player out of Clemson to be in the Hall of Fame. I never thought it would be me."

Dawkins, who spent the 1996 through 2008 seasons with the Eagles, is the ninth player who spent the bulk of his career with the Eagles to be selected to the Hall of Fame.

He's the first defensive back in Eagles history to make it to Canton.

He'll be enshrined along with former teammate Terrell Owens (see story) and the rest of the Class of 2018 in Canton, Ohio, on Aug. 4.

“It still hasn’t sunk all the way in, it really has not," Dawkins told NBC Sports Philadelphia's John Clark after Dawkins was introduced with the other Hall of Famers at NFL Honors at the Cyrus Northrop Memorial Auditorium at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. 

"It’s kind of tough to put words behind it. You think about the things you’re probably going to say if it happens, when it happens, but once it happens, it’s hard for (it) to really sink in, the magnitude of what was just told to me a couple hours ago. It’s a blessing."

Dawkins, who now works in the Eagles' scouting department, is the first player who spent more than three years with the Eagles to make the Hall of Fame since Reggie White was inducted in 2006.

"This is tremendous news and I could not be more proud of Brian," Eagles owner Jeff Lurie said. "Being inducted into the Hall of Fame is an honor he truly earned. He epitomized everything we love about the game of football. 

"His intensity, his passion, his love of the game and his leadership were always dialed in at the highest possible level. He connected in every possible way with the city of Philadelphia and our legion of Eagles fans across the country. We cannot wait to celebrate his special night in Canton this summer.”

Dawkins, who now works in the Eagles' scouting department, was a second-round pick out of Clemson in 1996. He was named all-pro four times as an Eagle and made seven of his nine Pro Bowls as an Eagle before finishing his career from 2009 through 2011 with the Broncos.

Dawkins played in 224 games and had 37 interceptions, 26 sacks, 36 forced fumbles and 19 fumble recoveries.  

“I’m so full right now," Dawk said. "Such a blessing. Such a humbling thing to know that the things I was blessed to be able to do on the football field, the trust that the coaches had in me to call the blitzes and the things that they called, the trust with my teammates to sometimes be a sacrificial lamb so to speak so that I can be free on a blitz, but they knew I was going to make the play … 

"All those things begin to flood back to you, about how many other individuals (made this possible), and I cannot and I will not leave those individuals out. And those beautiful, beautiful fans that everybody’s trying to hate on right now. We’re going to all celebrate this. Because it’s not just me. They are Hall of Fame fans. Hall of Fame fans."

Dawk played in the Super Bowl that the Eagles lost to the Patriots for the Eagles 13 years ago in Jacksonville.

A win Sunday over the Patriots on top of Dawkins' election into the Hall would make this a perfect weekend.

“Everything is set up for us to go handle some business," he said. "I’m not saying the Patriots are going to just sit down and hand us anything because that never happens in the Super Bowl. 

"But the way this team has fought all year? No injury has set us back. Not even one iota. Not even a little bit. Nothing has set this team back injury-wise. I don’t see them doing anything but coming out and fighting. Fighting to the last whistle."

Deserving Hall of Famers, Agholor's improvement, more in Roob's observations

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Deserving Hall of Famers, Agholor's improvement, more in Roob's observations

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. — One day left until Super Bowl LII finally gets here, and it's a happy edition of Roob's 10 Random Eagles Super Bowl Observations because it starts with …

1. Dawk is a Hall of Famer (see story).

2. That deserved its own line. But let me share a quick story. It was the day before the Eagles left Lehigh for the 2006 Hall of Fame Game in Canton, and I wanted to talk to Dawk about one day maybe being a Hall of Famer. Dawk at that point was getting ready for his 11th NFL season and his career was already remarkable, although he would go on to make four more Pro Bowls, three of them with the Eagles. I waited and waited and waited for Dawk, who was out on a practice field talking to Sean McDermott, now the Bills' head coach but back then the Eagles' assistant defensive backs coach. Eventually, there was nobody left at the entire compound except Sean and Dawk, talking intensely as the sun blasted down on them, and me standing there watching from 40 yards away. Finally, after close to half an hour of intense conversation, they began walking over toward me, and I asked Dawk what they had been talking about. And he said, "We were just talking about the Hall of Fame and what it takes to become a Hall of Famer and what it means to be one and the level of play I need to continue playing at if I'm going to one day become one." Dawk always wanted to be the best ever, and on Saturday he was recognized that way. Nobody is more deserving.

3. As for T.O., I can't say I'm happy for him. I don't particularly like him or care about him. I saw the effect he had on that 2005 Eagles team. He set out to destroy the Eagles from the inside because he was unhappy with his contract, which really speaks volumes about what he was all about as a player and a person. But this is the Hall of Fame, not the Hall of Teamwork or Hall of Unselfishness. There's no denying the numbers. He was definitely deserving (see story).

4. I keep having this vision of Alshon Jeffery having a huge game Sunday. Alshon has been strong in the postseason so far, with nine catches for 146 yards and a couple touchdowns against the Vikings. I don't think the Patriots can cover him. I don't think they can stop him. I think he has a T.O. 2004 Super Bowl type of game.  

5. I spent a few minutes Thursday just watching a very self-assured, very relaxed, very poised Nelson Agholor sitting on a podium surrounded by TV cameras and microphones fielding all sorts of questions about Nick Foles, about Doug Pederson, about Jeffery, about the Super Bowl, and I couldn't help think … "This guy couldn't catch a pass and got benched last year." And look at him now. It's just remarkable how far Agholor has come. From a guy who caught 11 passes for 99 yards the entire second half of last season to playing a major part on a Super Bowl team. I asked him if he's taken a moment to reflect on the last year and he said he hasn't. Which probably is another sign of how far he's come. "I’ll be able to process it when it’s all said and done," he said. "The most important thing right now is to get my energy and my focus and for us to get the job done. And when I’m home in the offseason with my family, we can give hugs and I can thank them, but right now the most important thing is to get the job done. Just being here isn’t my dream. I feel like a lot of my teammates understand that and feel the same way. I don’t want to just be here. Being on this podium is cool and we appreciate being here, but at the end of the day getting the job done is the most important thing.”

6. So how much sleep do you think you'll get tonight?

7. Interesting to note that the Patriots have never scored in the first quarter of their seven Super Bowls under Bill Belichick. But they’ve also only allowed one touchdown in those seven first quarters and 15 total points. The Patriots are so good at adjusting and finishing strong. Of their five Super Bowl wins, they've only led going into the fourth quarter twice. They are just never out of a game, which we obviously saw last year. Then again, the Eagles are pretty darn good late in games as well. They haven't allowed a second-half point in their two playoff games, and they've outscored their last five opponents 45-15 after halftime. But the Patriots are 184-22 when leading at halftime, including a 48-2 mark in their last 50 games. They're 19-4 under Belichick in the postseason when they lead at halftime. I feel like it's really important for the Eagles to get off to a strong start. Be physical early. Set a tone that, "Hey, we belong here as much as you!"

8. Foles has handled himself so well this week. Definitely not wide-eyed or in awe of the moment. If he's overwhelmed, it's not showing at all. Two months ago he was an anonymous backup running scout team with Shelton Gibson, Marcus Johnson and Greg Ward. On Sunday, he starts in a Super Bowl. God, I love sports.

9. Time for my pick. I just feel like the Eagles have the edge up front on both sides of the football. I expect the Eagles' offensive line to give Nick Foles time to throw and give the running backs room to run and their defensive line to overwhelm the Patriots' offense and wear down New England's O-line. The strength of the Patriots is the greatest quarterback of all time. The strength of the Eagles is their two lines. And I'll take the team relying on two dominating lines over the team relying on a 40-year-old quarterback. I'm going Eagles 27, Patriots 20, and Philly celebrates an NFL championship for the first time in 57 years.

10. Nick Foles Mind-Boggling Stat of the Day: Postseason performances with 69 percent accuracy and no interceptions in Eagles history: Nick Foles 3, Every other quarterback in franchise history: 0.