Brian Dawkins is just like you. Okay, well maybe not exactly like you. Unless, of course, you're an All-Pro safety, a potential Hall of Famer and one of the most beloved Philadelphia Eagles of all time. But where you and Dawk are probably pretty similar is with your concern over the state of the Eagles' quarterback position.
Dawkins attended Monday night's 27-7 win over the New York Giants to celebrate his former teammate Brian Westbrook's induction into the team Hall of Fame. After the game, Dawk gave his thoughts on the state of this current Eagles team.
"Have they played their best football, or anywhere close to it?" Dawkins asked, shaking his head. "No. And they’re in first place. So that tells you that, obviously, the East is struggling right now. A lot of things are going on."
Most of what Dawkins sees--and really, what most of the Eagles fanbase is seeing--is trouble under center. While Dawkins does see Sam Bradford's issues as correctable, he warned that failure to correct them will hurt the Eagles against better teams.
"Bradford has got to cut down on mistakes," Dawkins said. "Those mistakes are what prevents you from doing what you want to do down the road, when you start facing this team next week. Even this coming week - I’m talking about the Carolina Panthers. Completely different ball game. That defense won’t be the same defense that you just saw out there on the football field [against the Giants].
Bleeding Green Nation asked Dawkins if he thought, at a certain point, these issues with Bradford were no longer correctable in-season. After all, Bradford has thrown two or more interceptions in four of the first six games. Dawkins wasn't buying it.
"They’re always correctable ... I thought last week [against the Saints] with Bradford, he made some good decisions," Dawkins said. "Tonight, it was kind of herky jerky a little bit. And then that one down the middle, I know a lot of people are thinking that Riley [Cooper] stopped the route, but regardless. Throw the ball down the middle of the field with a safety there? You can’t do that. You just can’t do that."
The Eagles traded for Bradford with the hopes that he would elevate the play of the offense, but that hasn't been the case. Bradford threw three interceptions Sunday, bringing his season total to a whopping nine. That's second only to noted pizza pitchman and chicken parmesan aficionado Peyton Manning.
To Dawkins, Bradford's struggles are related to the time he's missed due to injury. Bradford missed the entire 2014 season with a torn ACL. And compounding that, Bradford's now with a new team. But at a certain point, Dawkins said, that ceases to be important.
"He’s still, in my opinion, getting comfortable doing it again after missing so much time away from the game. But, again, as we get later on in the season, as this thing continues to go on, you can’t make those mistakes, because now you could potentially hurt your team’s changes for doing what you want to do as far as playoffs are concerned."
Here's hoping Dawk is right, and that Bradford is able to pull it together. After all, the Eagles are in first place in the NFC East with a crucial stretch of games, including the undefeated Panthers and the Dallas Cowboys following the bye week.