Terrell Owens digs deep to find his Hall of Fame presenter

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Terrell Owens digs deep to find his Hall of Fame presenter

A day after we found out that Brian Dawkins picked Troy Vincent to introduce him at the Pro Football Hall of Fame induction ceremony this summer, Terrell Owens has picked his presenter. 

No surprise: It's not Donovan McNabb.

After alienating many people in the league throughout his tremendous career, Owens picked a name from his early days. Longtime NFL assistant coach George Stewart, who was Owens' receivers coach in San Francisco, will introduce T.O. at the 2018 induction. 

In a video released by the Hall of Fame, Owens said Stewart "knew what to get out of me."

Now special teams coordinator and assistant head coach for the Chargers, Stewart has been an NFL coach for three decades. He began his time in San Francisco in 1996 (Owens' rookie season) as a special teams coach but was their wide receivers coach from 2000-02.

"Things that George Stewart may say, it may be shocking to a lot of people, but not to him because he knows who I am," Owens said. "... To know who Terrell Owens is, you really have to spend some time with him. Fast forward, George Stewart became a father figure to me."

The first season Stewart became the 49ers' receivers coach, Owens went to his first of six Pro Bowls and was named an All-Pro for the first of five times in his career. Owens was a Pro Bowler and an All-Pro in all three of the seasons that Stewart held the position in San Francisco. 

Of course, Owens' growth under Stewart led to his becoming one of the biggest stars in the NFL.

Eventually, Owens forced his way out of San Francisco and got to Philadelphia. With the Eagles, Owens had a short and tumultuous two seasons, but was also dynamic on the field and nearly helped them pull off a Super Bowl win over the Patriots. 

Owens averaged 93.5 receiving yards per game during his time in Philadelphia, the highest average in franchise history. It wasn't his play that led to his downfall in Philly. It was his beef with McNabb, along with his attempt to strong-arm the Eagles into a new contract. 

Owens was a divisive personality for his entire career. It's likely the reason it took him three tries to make it into the Hall of Fame. Because his numbers don't lie: He's one of the best receivers of all time.

Brian Dawkins chooses longtime teammate for Hall of Fame intro

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Brian Dawkins chooses longtime teammate for Hall of Fame intro

Brian Dawkins has chosen longtime teammate and close friend Troy Vincent to introduce him this summer at Dawk's Hall of Fame induction.

Dawkins was selected in February for enshrinement in the 2018 Pro Football Hall of Fame induction class.

"The presenter that will actually be on the stage will be Troy Vincent," Dawkins said in a video posted on the Pro Football Hall of Fame's website.

"My teammate in Philadelphia. We came there the same year. Almost from Day 1 he kind of ... not kind of, he took me under his wing on becoming a professional. Not just a football player but a professional. The details. The details that he went through, the particulars of how he played the position of cornerback was the same way he lived his life (and ran) his businesses that he had off the field.

"He's a guy I can call anytime. Any time of night. And tell him 100 percent all what's going on with me, and I know he's not going to judge me, and it's not going to leave his lips (for) anybody else.

"And the most important thing for me, being a man of faith, is that I know he's going to pray with me. So all those things combined are the reasons why Troy was the perfect guy to introduce me to the Hall of Fame."

Vincent, a native of Trenton and graduate of Pennsbury High in Fairless Hills, Bucks County, spent his first four seasons with the Dolphins before signing an offer sheet with the Eagles before the 1996 season that the Dolphins didn't match.

The Eagles drafted Dawkins in the second round a month after signing Vincent, and the two spent eight years together in the secondary, reaching the playoffs five times and the NFC Championship Game three times.

During those eight seasons, Vincent reached Pro Bowls and Dawkins made the first three of his nine Pro Bowls.

Vincent retired after the 2006 season and Dawkins after the 2011 season.

Dawkins, Vincent and Eric Allen are the only Eagles defensive backs picked to five or more Pro Bowls.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame 2018 enshrinement ceremony is scheduled for Aug. 4 in Canton, Ohio.

Dawkins' former Eagles teammate, Terrell Owens, will also be inducted. He hasn't yet announced who will present him.

Dawkins will be the 21st former Eagle inducted into the Hall of Fame but only the ninth who spent the majority of his career with the Eagles.

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."