Brian Dawkins announced his retirement from the NFL today. He started 221 career games, the fourth most of any DB in history. Suffice to say, when you're in that many games you've had a lot of teammates and touched a lot of careers. So it's no surprise that we're already getting reactions from Eagles reacting to Dawk hangin' em out.
We'll start though, with the man at the top. Eagles owner Jeff Lurie released this statement.
"Brian Dawkins is one of my all-time favorite players and one of the best to ever put on an Eagles uniform. On the field, in many ways, Brian re-invented the safety position. He had the speed and athleticism to line up against the game's best receivers, and was equally effective in the run game. His love for the game was infectious and he poured his entire heart and soul into everything he was doing from the moment he entered the stadium until he left. Everyone who ever watched Brian play saw that and it was impossible not to love that about him. He was one of the best leaders to ever play here. "
Brian Westbrook, who along with Dawkins, was one of the faces of franchise over that same era paid tribute on twitter.
Brian Dawkins is simply One of The Best Eagles Player to ever put on the jersey and The Best Man I have had the pleasure of playing with!— Brian Westbrook (@36westbrook) April 23, 2012
Quintin Mikell, who has the unique perspective of having come up as a safety in the organization with Dawkins as a mentor, talked to Les Bowen today.
Former longtime Eagles teammate Quentin Mikell on what he learned from Brian Dawkins: "How to blitz, how to cover, how to tackle. There was nothing that he wasn't able to do. I pretty much modeled my whole game on him."
"I couldn't have had a better role model, in terms of my life in the NFL ... He was the ultimate professional. When he went to battle, he brought everything he had."
Hugh Douglas spoke to Geoff Mosher
"If they got past LBs and the D-line, when they got to him there was gonna be hell to pay because he was already pissed they got that far."
"The game is gonna miss a guy like that."
"The thing I wish we could have done [for Dawk] ... is win a Super Bowl. If anybody ever deserved to win one, it was him."
Brian Dawkins!! Played hard every time even in practice!! #bestIeverplayedwith— Hugh Douglas (@Bighugh53) April 23, 2012
We'll add more as they come in.