Brian Dawkins

Eagles all-time team: Who joins Brian Dawkins at safety?

Eagles all-time team: Who joins Brian Dawkins at safety?

Throughout July, we’re unveiling our all-time Eagles team. 

We enlisted the help of Eagles reporters Reuben Frank and Dave Zangaro, Quick Slants hosts Derrick Gunn and Barrett Brooks and Quick Slants producer Mike Mulhern to handle the voting. 

Each voter ranked his top five players at 16 different positions. A first-place vote was worth five points, a second-place vote was worth four, and so on. 

Up today: Safety

Complete voting: 

1. Brian Dawkins: 25
2. Bill Bradley: 18
3. Malcolm Jenkins: 15
4. Wes Hopkins: 11
5. Randy Logan: 3
5. Andre Waters:  3

The breakdown: Just like Seth Joyner, Reggie White and Eric Allen, three other all-time Eagles defensive greats that came before him, Dawkins is a unanimous choice with all five first-place votes. Bill Bradley got four of five second-place votes, with Malcolm Jenkins getting the fifth. The Jenkins votes were all over the place — two seconds, two thirds and a fifth. Wes Hopkins was either third or fourth on every ballot.

Did we get it right? The most interesting question is Bradley vs. Jenkins for the No. 2 spot. It’s a little surprising that a guy who played his last snap here 44 years ago gets the edge out over Jenkins, who left this offseason after six seasons in Philadelphia. But Bradley was a two-time All-Pro and three-time Pro Bowler and had 34 INTs in seven seasons here. Jenkins was also a two-time Pro Bowler but never made All-Pro and had 11 INTs in six years. Bradley is in the right spot at No. 2.

Complete team: 

We will fill in the team as we go. 

QB: Donovan McNabb 
RB: LeSean McCoy 
WR: Harold Carmichael 
WR: Mike Quick
WR: Tommy McDonald
TE: Zach Ertz 
OT: Jason Peters
OT: Lane Johnson 
OG: Brandon Brooks 
OG: Bucko Kilroy 
C: Jason Kelce 

DT: Fletcher Cox
DT: Jerome Brown

DE: Reggie White
DE: Clyde Simmons

ILB: Chuck Bednarik 
OLB: Seth Joyner 
OLB: William Thomas 

CB: Eric Allen
CB: Troy Vincent

S: Brian Dawkins
S: Bill Bradley

Next: Punters

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Why Brian Dawkins admired the late Sean Taylor, another huge hitter

getty_ap_sean_taylor_brian_dawkins.jpg
Getty Images/AP Images

Why Brian Dawkins admired the late Sean Taylor, another huge hitter

It might be the greatest play in Pro Bowl history.

Third quarter of the 2006 Pro Bowl in Honolulu. The AFC had a 4th-and-6 near midfield and AFC coach Mike Shanahan ran a trick play, punter Brian Moorman taking the snap on a fake and racing off toward the right trying to run for a first down.

Ka-blouie.

Redskins safety Sean Taylor, then a 23-year-old playing in his first Pro Bowl, came up and absolutely destroyed Moorman, who fumbled the ball out of bounds a few yards short of the first-down marker.

It was the kind of hit you rarely see in a real game. Much less an exhibition.

Taylor had been selected as a Pro Bowl alternate and was only playing because Eagles safety Brian Dawkins pulled out as his wife experienced a difficult pregnancy.

Back home, Dawkins was watching on TV and marveled over Taylor’s hit.

“He blew up the kicker,” Dawkins said. “I couldn’t make it because of the issue Connie was having in her pregnancy with our twins. So he was blessed to go, and that play will forever be a part of our enjoyment when we think of big hits. And of course when we think of his dominance.”

Taylor was only 24 when he was killed during a robbery attempt at his home in Miami in November of 2007. His girlfriend and their 18-month-old daughter witnessed the murder. 

Sports Uncovered, the newest podcast from NBC Sports, goes back to his formative days in Miami, where he became a star of stars on one of college football’s greatest teams; how he attracted the eye of Redskins decision-makers prior to the 2004 NFL draft; and his former teammates and peers answer the question of how Taylor would be looked at today had he not died more than a decade ago. 

Listen and subscribe to Sports Uncovered:

“The year he passed, I thought it all clicked for him,” said Dawkins, who was inducted into the Pro Bowl Hall of Fame in 2018. “He and his girlfriend had just had their daughter and seemed to be in a great place. He was leading differently, from my conversations with some of his teammates. And his play on the field was outstanding.”

Taylor and Dawkins shared a home state of Florida, they shared a position and they shared a mentality. 

They were two of the most ferocious hitters the game has seen in a generation. And when a Hall of Famer like Dawkins admires the way you play the game, you know you’re doing it the right way.

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The big lesson Brian Dawkins took from Michael Jordan

The big lesson Brian Dawkins took from Michael Jordan

Like many of us, Brian Dawkins spent time over the last month watching the ESPN documentary “The Last Dance,” which chronicled Michael Jordan’s journey and final NBA season with the Bulls. 

And it brought back a memory for Dawkins. 

Speaking to NBC Sports Philadelphia’s John Clark last week, Dawkins said there was one main thing that he took from Jordan. 

I heard him say a quote and I took a liking to it. If that person comes to one game and that’s the only game they’ll ever [see], then I want them to see the very best I can give. So I took that. I took ownership of that. It became a part of me as I played. And it’s the same thing in my life. If you come to see me, I want to make sure that that one time you saw me, I gave it my all, my very best. I never took a play off, I never took a time off. 

That definitely showed. Anyone who ever saw Weapon X play can attest to it. 

When Jordan made his NBA debut in 1984, Dawkins had just turned 11 years old. And when Dawkins made his NFL debut in 1996, Jordan was already arguably the best basketball player ever. 

Dawkins said we already knew about Jordan’s competitiveness before “The Last Dance” but we found out more information and more details about that competitiveness. 

And a big part of the documentary was about Jordan as a teammate and a leader. While their styles were different, Dawkins became an important leader himself during his time in Philadelphia.

“My true and absolute belief was that I never wanted to give my teammates what I had left,” Dawkins said. “That means that I needed to sleep, that I needed to eat, I needed to do everything that I can to give you everything that I can. If I was not doing those things, if I was doing a whole bunch of other stuff, yeah, I can give you what I got left, but that’s not all that I have to give. So if I’m doing that and somebody asks me to help them out, I’m going to tell them what I feel would help them become a better versions of themselves as that time.” 

Dawkins made sure to point out that he didn’t create that standard in Philadelphia. It was instilled in him by guys like Troy Vincent, William Thomas and Irving Fryar, who all came before him. 

He did what they did, plus a little more. 

“I added something to it and I wanted to make sure that I passed that on to the next cats,” Dawkins said. 

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