Philadelphia Eagles News

Chairman/CEO Jeffrey Lurie

On the moments from Brian Dawkins' career that really stick out"Oh my god, there are so many moments with Brian. If you were to poll the wide receivers in the NFL of who they were most afraid of going over the middle, I would say Brian Dawkins would be number one. He's a sure fire Eagles Hall of Famer and I think NFL Hall of Famer. He was one of the greatest players of all-time, and one of the greatest Eagles players in the history of the franchise, that's how good he was."

On whether Dawkins embellished what Lurie was trying to build in terms of on and off the field character: "He did. The thing I'll always remember about Brian was, way back when we were building the team and our record wasn't that great, every single game, whether we were competing to be in the playoffs or not, this guy was out there going 100 miles per hour and set the example for the whole building of the franchise. There were other elements of course, including getting a franchise quarterback, but the whole tone was set by Brian Dawkins. For me, that's why he's one of my favorite players in the history of the game. From my ownership of the team, I've always said that he's my favorite player that I've ever had."

On whether he has seen a player that has meant more to a city than Dawkins did to Philadelphia: "Not really. He embodied everything that was great about Philly and he tried hard no matter what. He gave his heart and soul to the NFL and to the Eagles. He was not only all heart, but a great talent. It is so difficult in this league to find great safeties. You have Ed Reed and Troy Polamalu, and Brian Dawkins was right up there as a spectacular player."

On why he was embraced more than any other athlete in Philadelphia: "Brian embodied everything about a working class city. He was talented, worked hard, appreciated who you are, be comfortable with yourself, look in the mirror and don't try to put on airs, just be hard, tough, and want to win. He loved the fans, and I think they knew it. With a lot of players, there's a barrier sometimes in being able to connect with the fans in terms of communicating from your heart. Brian always communicated from his heart. The way he'd run out onto the field and the way he played. It's one thing to be alive and energetic, but to play with that consistent intensity every game of his career was, for me, extremely special."

On watching his entrances coming out of the tunnel and out onto the field: "Every time Brian ran out, I'd get goose bumps. It was uplifting – you're excited for every player on the team and you're excited for the game to start, but when Brian went through the tunnel, it was like you felt physically different. You felt goose bumps, and it was like, let's get the game going and let's watch #20 out there. It was very, very special, and it's hard to explain. He was just a very special football player and person."

On whether Lurie has a favorite memory of Dawkins: "There's so many, I don't know at this second if I can come up with one. Many times, I've looked at big time receivers going over the middle against the Eagles and seeing the hesitation that Brian forced them to have, so it was more that. The other thing is, if you can remember, in the red zone, Brian's intensity to get the players around him to deny touchdowns. To me, that was one of the unspoken values around him. The red zone defense was phenomenal when Brian was on the field, and he just rallied with intensity, talent, and a desire to win that I think made us a top red zone defense. I think we need to get back to that."

On what he meant to the Eagles: "What he meant and will always mean is that he is a very special person, over and above being a great player. An even better person."

On whether he has any regrets that Dawkins not ending his career with the Eagles: "I think we all would have loved to have seen that. We have remained close ever since, and I just wanted what was best for Brian at all points and he got a couple extra years in Denver. I think he enjoyed them. We always talked and he's always going to be an Eagle. Really, one of the greatest of all time."

On the atmosphere when he is honored against the Giants on Sept. 30: "First of all, it's going to be a great atmosphere going against the Giants on Sunday Night Football, but having B-Dawk out there, #20. I just think there is no way to exaggerate that-over the top."

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