Brian Dawkins has always been a man who did things big. From his pregame speeches and electrifying runs through the tunnel to his punishing play on the field, no one did it like Dawk. So now that he's traded in his shoulder pads for a note pad and joined the scouting department, did you really think he'd do things any differently?
The Philadelphia Eagles announced Saturday that the surefire Hall-of-Famer had joined the team's scouting department, and in speaking to reporters after practice Saturday, Dawkins said his goals in the front office are much the same as they were during his playing days: he's going to push himself.
"Sometimes you really have to step out of your comfort zone to see what you can achieve," Dawkins said. "This is something that I’m really looking forward to seeing if it’s something that will move to something even bigger."
That statement alone brings to life so many of the "what-if" dreams of Eagles fans. What does "bigger" mean? General manager? Defensive coordinator? Head coach?
Of course, i's all speculation for now. Just as he had to do his rookie year, Dawkins will first need to prove himself a capable talent evaluator. But according to him, he's got the eye for the job.
"Sometimes it’s either, you have an eye or you don’t," he said. "And I’ve been blessed with an eye to be able to see talent. And so if I can help in that respect, I’d love to do that. But also I want to learn everything about running a football team."
Dawkins was hired as part of the Nun-Wooten Scouting Fellowship Program, which helps ex-players get into the scouting world. Though his hiring was just announced, this job was from his first foray into the world of the front office. According to Dawkins, he'd been assisting the Eagles for some time.
"It was more consulting stuff," he said. "Anything I could help out with, with some of the guys, some of the guys they were looking at to bring in for the draft, stuff like that. So I’ve been doing some of that type of stuff, and also some other conversations I won’t get in to, so I’ve been having conversations off and on."
General manager Howie Roseman said Saturday that he'd been working with Dawkins over the past three or four years, soliciting his opinion on potential draftees. Roseman said he'd been trying to bring Dawkins back into the fold since January.
"He’s got such a bright future and he’s got such a great football mind, and a great presence and leadership ability, which translates to the front office," Roseman said. "I always think about [Ravens GM] Ozzie Newsome and how he made the transition."
The details of the job haven't all been ironed out just yet. Dawkins will remain in Denver, where he lives with his family. And he and the team are still ironing out things like travel schedule. But Roseman said Dawkins will have the opportunity to branch out and try different areas that interest him, be it scouting, player engagement or strength and conditioning. For his part, Dawkins said he's excited to get started, and to see where the job can take him.
"It’s not just scouting. I’m trying to grasp the whole gambit of football operations; of how a team is run," he said. "So I’m learning about the scouting part of it, the terminology and all those things. "
Who knows? In ten years we could be looking back at the Hall of Fame career of Brian Dawkins, general manager. But in case you didn't learn this during his 13 years as an Eagle, it's foolish to bet against the man who was never afraid to go big.