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Will Parks explains why he signed with the Eagles, talks about idolizing Brian Dawkins

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The safety is excited to come home.

Detroit Lions v Denver Broncos Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

The Eagles recently added safety — and Philadelphia native — Will Parks, who spoke to the media on Tuesday afternoon about his versatility throughout the secondary, what it means to sign with his hometown team, and more.

Parks was asked who his favorite Eagles player was growing up and he didn’t hesitate to say Brian Dawkins.

“Brian Dawkins is one of my favorite safeties ever.”

Dawkins was actually the first person he met during pre-game warmups when Parks and th Denver Broncos played Philly in 2017, and the Hall of Famer reached out when he decided to sign with Philly. Parks said he’s excited to pick his brain and learn from him, and when the COVID-19 situation has subsided, he’s excited to get together with the Philly legend.

Here’s what else Parks had to say:

On his versatility

He was moved around throughout his high school and college career, so he feels comfortable being moved around the secondary. Parks noted that knowing different positions allows you to be able to understand the defense as a whole better and excel at each spot.

Parks said that he likes getting different looks, and one of the big reasons he liked Philadelphia during free agency was because of how Jim Schwartz uses his players and doesn’t limit them to a singular role.

On signing with Philadelphia

In addition to how Schwartz utilizes his players, Parks also said that his family and the city were big draws as well, and it was the perfect situation to continue his legacy. He listed everything from coming home to the scheme, the fans and the city, as reasons he’s excited to be an Eagle.

He also refuted that he was disappointed in signing just a one-year deal, noting that it’s a chance to prove himself and every year is a one-year deal in the league. At least, that’s how he views it.

Parks was asked what it’ll mean for kids coming up in his old neighborhood to see Parks play in an Eagles uniform, and he admitted, “I think it’ll hit different”.

“You don’t have to be a statistic,” is his message to the kids. He looks forward to getting out into the community and showing kits that they can do anything they’re passionate about — and it doesn’t just have to be as a football player, but they can be doctors, lawyers or even media members.

The safety also clarified that his dad is a Cowboys fan, but his mom is a “die-hard Eagles fan”.

On a potentially shortened offseason

Park prides himself on being the hardest working person in the room, and it’s tough with gyms being closed, but he understands everyone needs to be careful given the situation. He has to be able to adapt, whether that’s training differently, like in the house or somewhere no one is around — the safety has even gone to Memorial Park and worked out on the monkey bars, for example.

He’s also not worried about the possibility of OTAs being pushed back.

“I don’t believe it’ll make too much of a difference.”

Parks went on to explain that football is very important to him and he’ll reach out to coaches to learn the terminology and get other work done in the meantime. The safety has been in Philadelphia since March 9, so he’s already in the city ahead of OTAs.

On new teammate Darius Slay

Parks said he is very familiar with Slay and they’ve been in communication the past year and half. It started with some Twitter back and forths and now they chat occasionally.

The two new Eagles secondary players spoke earlier in the week and are both excited about getting to work.

“He’s super excited to come here.”

On Malcolm Jenkins

He was asked about trying to fill the shoes of Malcolm Jenkins, and Parks knows it’ll be a challenge. Parks and Jenkins have the same trainer so they are familiar with each other and Parks has the utmost respect for Jenkins and what he did in Philadelphia. The safety understands that he has a lot to prove in order to be in the same conversation as Jenkins in Philadelphia football.

Of note — he said that he also shares the same trainer as Sidney Jones, who he said is “going to come back a dog.”