Eagles QB Jalen Hurts doesn’t have the « cannon » Donovan McNabb did, but he can play with his legs.
Hall of Famer Brian Dawkins went to five NFC Championship Games in 13 years as a member of the Philadelphia Eagles. He fell four points from winning the elusive Lombardi Trophy in 2005 and never made a return trip. Not for lack of exertion.
Dawkins wore his emotions on his shoulder pads in 224 career games, including 183 in midnight green. He would get a ring in 2018 when the Eagles won the only Super Bowl in franchise history after moving to a front office role.
According to Dawkins, it was bittersweet and it was a long way to get there . Dawkins took a Zoom call with Heavy to discuss his legendary career and the state of the current Eagles. Spoiler alert, it’s probably too early to compare Jalen Hurts to Donovan McNabb.
Brian Dawkins said it was bittersweet to finally get his Super Bowl ring as part of the front office in 2018. I told him that as a player he deserved one, that the team should have won one. « I feel the same way, brother, it was absolutely bittersweet, » said Dawkins. #FlyEaglesFly #Eagles
Here’s what B-Dawk had to say about Hurts and the state of the current Eagles:
Mike Greger (MG): It’s only been two starts in 2021 but what have you got seen by young Jalen Hurts?
Brian Dawkins (BD): He knows how to get up. He’s had a lot of negatives in his young life and check out how he dealt with it, right? So that tells me he can be quiet in the middle of the locker room when the going gets tough, when things aren’t going well, to help the guys move in a better direction. He’s young, I don’t put everything on him now, but it seems to me, everything seems to me, he’s already battle-tested.
BD: The ability to avoid danger, the ability to maneuver, to close the bag move – these are some of the things you see these two guys are capable of. I think Donovan had a stronger arm. Donovan had a cannon with him, so he had a stronger arm.
But what I see about Jalen that I’m most looking forward to is not his play on the field, he has to get into the quarterback position Earn Alabama, then lose it, straighten yourself up to go somewhere else to earn this starting job. That tells me you have a young man who won’t collapse under pressure.
Fun fact: #Eagles QB Jalen Hurts has three games with 250 passing yards and 50 rushing yards – the fourth most in team history:
MG: Listening to Hurts during press conferences and hearing his teammates talk about him opens your eyes. He seems to have defeated the mental side. Which is more difficult, isn’t it? BD: The mental makes the game slower. When our minds are running around everywhere, just like when you see them as a fan, it moves at lightning speed, but when your mind is in control the game literally looks – for those who really get it – the game looks like a walkthrough. It’s slowly starting to move when you have your mind under control. ”
MG: I know you have a relationship with K’Von Wallace, the sophomore security guard who started his first job last week the Eagles had. He and her son Brian Jr. were roommates at Clemson. How is it developing?
BD: It’s early. There are still things he needs to get better at, and he knows that, pretty sure he knows. It’s the same for many on this team. You need to learn a little bit about how things are done in the National Football League in the blink of an eye. It’s different from college. So he’s in the field, and that’s a good thing. That bodes well for him if he can stay away from the penalties.
K’Von Wallace: « The Eagles following is the best, man. They are right up there with Clemson’s. » Wallace’s roommate in the first two years at Clemson was Brian Dawkins’ son Brian Jr.
MG: The security situation in Philadelphia is a legitimate thing. It goes back to Wes Hopkins and Andre Waters before you. Is there extra pressure with the Eagles playing?
BD: It started before me, I wanted to raise the stakes when it came to the security position. Jump back in the day, Wes Hopkins and Andre Waters, all the way back to Bill Bradley. My idea of what security is is an absolute game changer. That idea didn’t come from anyone in the history of Philadelphia, it came from someone in the history of the 49s, and that’s Ronnie Lott. He influenced the game in every statistical category, there was no part of his Game he was weak in. So did e I modeled my game.
Dawkins suffered an uncomfortable divorce from the Eagles in 2009, which left a bad taste at the time. He eventually made amends with the franchise that put him 61st overall in 1996, but it was a strong reminder that the NFL is a business.
And something his « big brother » Troy Vincent got him into remembered. So Dawkins was forced to sign with the Denver Broncos and play his last three years in Mile High City, where he won two more Pro Bowls.
MG: You say in the book that the Eagles give you a low -Ball offer you did not expect in 2009. Any harsh feelings towards the organization?
BD: One of the things I had to do was forgive. Because if you don’t forgive someone, it doesn’t hurt that person, it hurts you. So I didn’t necessarily forgive them, I forgave them because I didn’t want this to affect my future relationships. Because if I hold onto this hatred, this distrust or whatever, then this poison seeps into other relationships, whether you realize it or not.
Brian Dawkins signs a 1-day contract with the #Eagles. His number 20 will retire on September 30th against Giants. pic.twitter.com/u1qGS6WF
MG: Eagles fans didn’t want you to go though. Not so. It didn’t seem fair.
BD: And the relationship it would have leaked into would have poisoned my relationship with the fan base and I didn’t want that, or my former teammates. No, I didn’t mean to. I’m not going to let the decision-making of a few individuals, whoever it is, negate everything I’ve worked so hard for.
The affection between Dawkins and the Philly believers was natural, of a similar kind Mindset born. They shared a certain « dark side ». The Hall of Famer goes into great detail in his new book « Blessed by the Best » about how much he adores and respects them.
In it, Dawkins talks about giving an Eagles fan the game plan on a Saturday night and him to send to the changing room on Sunday. He firmly believes that this person – provided he was athletically gifted – would be successful (see: Vince Papale). And so Dawkins played the game. MG: The connection you had with the Eagles fans was something no Philadelphia athlete had before you. Where does it come from? How did a Jacksonville kid do it?
BD: And so my mentality was, I don’t expect you to cheer me on. I should give you a reason to cheer me on. That was my way of thinking. Because I work. I won’t blame anyone else. Sometimes it’s not my fault, but I take the blame and give praise. So when you look at me like, ‘Dawk, you did the piece’ and I think, ‘No, I have to give you credit because he’s the one who presses the quarterback and so on and so on.
MG: Tell me about the Vince Papale effect. Why do you think someone could come in from the South Philly Playground on Sundays and play?
BD: I was playing with my feelings, damn it, I didn’t care what you think. I will have a good time. I’ll come out on the field and play the fool And I believe fans, if you got the chance to play and you got that chance on a Saturday night – all of a sudden you showed up at the hotel and knew the game plan, you had athletic ability and you played the position – if you were in the security position or the defense played, you would have played the way I played. You wouldn’t have been completely calm. No, you would have been anywhere. Because this is your only chance to play the game. You would have played the game the way I played it.
“I can’t think of any other adjectives to describe how much I love these crazy cats. I’m crazy. You are crazy. We’re crazy together ”#BrianDawkins #FlyEaglesFly pic.twitter.com/WcMfs9iI6B
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