Brian Dawkins: Philadelphia Eagles' Heart Is in Denver to Stay | Eagles Addict

Dawkins is still sorely missed by the Eagles' defense. Chris Gardner/Getty Images

Yesterday, former Eagle Brian Dawkinswas a guest on 97.5 The Fanatic with Jeremiah Trotter and Harry Mayes. It was an incredibly interesting interview, but there was one segment in particular that had to have perked the ears of the Philadelphia Faithful.

Trotter mentioned that Dawkins was heading into Year 4 of his contract with the Denver Broncos. While admitting that it was unlikely Denver would let him go, Trotter asked that if he did become a free agent, would he be interested in coming back to Philly? Dawkins said:

“No, the place that I would be would be with the Broncos. I mean, my family’s here, I’m here now and, uh, you know, my kids are in school here. I’m not moving them nowhere. So the place that I would be would be here with the Broncos. If they gave me a chance to play and that’s if the Lord put it in my heart to play another year.”

It is doubtful that many fans thought Dawkins would ever suit up in midnight green again, but to hear him say it was hard to hear. Philadelphia fans take pride in the fact that so many of their former stars stay in town and remain forever part of the community.

Brian Dawkins is an all-time favorite. There is not a single Philadelphia athlete from his generation that is as beloved as him. Not Allen Iverson. Not Eric Lindros John LeClair. Not Jimmy Rollins or any Phillie from the World Series team.

Dawkins had a hold of this city’s heart like no one outside of the Broad Street Bullies ever had. In a way, not only did he have Philadelphia’s heart, but he was Philadelphia’s heart.

Donovan McNabb, Terrell Owens and Brian Westbrook may have put on the show that led the Eagles to a Super Bowl berth, but Dawkins was the one the fans truly loved.

In the stadium, he was the one that inspired the crowd to stand on its feet. He was the one that made people watching at home jump off their couches.

When the Eagles lost in those NFC Championship games, Dawkins was the one they mourned with. When they finally got over the hump, in the snow in 2004, it was Dawkins they exalted with.

After the 2008 season, another ending in a NFC Championship game defeat, Dawkins was sent packing. It can be argued that Philadelphia’s heart flew to Denver with him.

Since his departure, fans have spent more time arguing and fighting over Donovan McNabb and Kevin Kolb and Michael Vick. Spent more time complaining about Andy Reid and Juan Castillo, Joe Banner and Howie Roseman than believing that this team could get to the promised land.

The Eagles lost their leader both on the field and in the locker room, but perhaps more importantly, the fans lost their galvanizing force.

Gone are the days when fans would say, “I like watching the defense more than the offense” or “I hope our defense gets on the field first.”

There is talent on that side of the ball, but there is no single player who holds the intangibles Brian Dawkins took with him.

The Eagles don’t seem to value those intangibles. Even though he was still a Pro Bowl player, they elected to let him leave. But a lot more than Pro Bowl votes went with him.

The Eagles are a team without an identity, and without a leader. They are a team that let its heart go.

Maybe there is someone lurking on the roster just waiting to step up and fill that role, but whoever it is has shown no signs yet.

The closest thing has been Brent Celek, but despite his hard work and physical style, he doesn’t generate the same spark.

Brian Dawkins, no player in the last three seasons has masqueraded as a heat-seaking missile the way you did. No player has intimidated opposing players the way you did.

No player has generated hits heard into the upper rows of Lincoln Financial Field the way you did. No player has inspired the fanbase or his teammates like you did.

Philadelphia still misses you. Philadelphia still loves you.

Sadly, the Philadelphia Eagles are still searching to find an adequate replacement for you. Or worse yet, maybe they aren’t.

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5 Responses to Brian Dawkins: Philadelphia Eagles’ Heart Is in Denver to Stay

  1. Smokes says:

    Well I don’t blame Dawkins for not wanting to come back to Philly and saying he’s in Denver to stay. After how the Eagles treated him, unexpectedly letting him go when he loved it here, I’m not surprised at all that B-Dawk said what he did. As I’m sure everyone did, I LOVED having Dawkins here. He was a class act, a team player, and like you said Ron, the heart and soul of not only the defense, but the entire team. He was one of a kind, and I honestly don’t think that we WILL find a replacement that will bring our team the same kind of intensity that Dawkins brought. I know I’m talking like he’s dead, but for Eagle fans, he basically IS.

    Thanks for the interesting stuff Ron 🙂

    • I was pretty damn mad when the Eagles let Dawk walk. I understood the numerous other aging players they let go over the course of the Andy Reid era but he was the first one I was seriously disappointed about…for all the reasons you and Ron point out. They made a big mistake with that one. Letting David Akers go was another one I didn’t agree with or understand.

      This FO gets spiteful when a player rebuffs their overtures for contracts. If the FO offers a contract and the player rejects it, they’re as good as gone in Philly. That’s exactly what happened with Dawk and Akers.

      • Ron Pasceri says:

        I hate this front office, and for all the talk of what changes need to be made, who needs to be drafter, this front office will never change. Jeff Jurie isn’t selling the team, Banner will never leave, and Roseman will never leave. Eagles fans are stuck with these guys, and there is nothing anyone can do.

    • Ron Pasceri says:

      Smokes, another good comment. I agree, I can’t fault Dawkins for not wanting to come back. The front office disrespected him, and they don’t deserve him back.

      You are absolutely right, he will never be replaced. They do need to find some fire and leadership somewhere though.

  2. Bill says:

    with Andy Reid as the coach,the Eagles will never win a superbowl.He hasn’t been able to get his team over the top…especially with the talent he has had over the years.He is a decent coach,but the great ones get to “the big dance” and win,decent one watch it on T.V.

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