MVP Sports Channel

Read & Recognition | Dawkins Career: Brilliance

Brian Dawkins is hanging up his cleats after 16 NFL seasons.  The complete body of work for Dawkins’ is nothing less than legit Hall of Fame caliber.

Ironically, Dawkins bows out amidst the fanfare of the upcoming 2012 NFL draft, where teams spend countless hours looking over the talents of the majority of collegiate athletes.  Staffs have long analyzed; over- analyzed and over-thought their selections in hopes of finding such a player as Brian Dawkins.  Good Luck (pun intended)!  They come along so seldom.Dawkins

The veteran safety didn’t stand behind a podium with lights, cameras and all eyes focused on him dressed in his best suit. No real pomp & circumstance for such an outstanding player in the NFL.   Instead the future Hall of Famer simply posted Monday on his Twitter account, ”I would like to thank the Eagles & the Broncos 4 believing in me.  I would like 2 thank all my teammates & coaches that I have been blessed 2 go to battle with. Along with u, the fans 4 helping make my career 1 that I have enjoyed tremendously. In other words. I am announcing my retirement from the NFL.”

The 38 year old Dawkins’ address mentioned organizations, teammates, coaches and fans. Thirteen years in Philadelphia playing in front of very-tough-to-please Eagles fans, undoubtedly had much to do with playing at a high level for such a long span of time.  The high expectation levels may have figured in almost as much as his coaches, who were under the same scrutiny.   Heat and pressure over an extended time are what create a diamond from a mere lump of coal. No coincidence, Brian Dawkins has had a true gem of a career.

A long-time family friend who designs custom jewelry uses words like clarity, depth & brilliance in his evaluation of diamonds.  I believe the same terms should be used when examining a career.

Dawkins, who played his college career at Clemson, played out his final three years as a pro in Denver as a Bronco.

Off the field Dawkins impacted the league as a member of the NFLPA executive committee, ironically, urging the league to put limits on full contact during camp and regular season.   The change in policy is one of the things Dawkins credits with his longevity.  Dawkins was able to play a year beyond multiple knee injuries putting him in rare air when it comes to duration of a career for an NFL safety.

Dawkins played his way into nine Pro Bowls, including last season and was a six-time All-Pro.

His parting statement was brief, but his career was one that endured longer than any other to play the safety position except two.  Both Eugene Robinson and Paul Krause also contributed 16 seasons to NFL fans.  Both are Hall of Famers.  Dawkins is most certainly to follow.

The first post-announcement endorsement of this notion came from Dawkins’ former boss, the Broncos’ John Elway responded via Twitter, “Congratulations on a Hall of Fame career, Dawk!!!”

In this case, it doesn’t take one to know one.  It’s crystal clear.  Brian Dawkins belongs in Canton.

 

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