Posted: May 3rd, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 27 Comments »

I didn’t get much of a chance to write about Dawk’s retirement last weekend due to the draft.  That was an amazing scene to watch.  It was great to see him and his old teammates.  The Eagles put on a good show.  And Dawk didn’t disappoint.

I can’t tell you how happy I was to hear him talk about Jim Johnson the way he did.  Brian Dawkins was a terrific DB for Clemson.  He was a good player for the Eagles from 1996-1998.  He didn’t become Weapon X until JJ arrived in 1999.

I hope young players watched the event and saw how Dawk was moved to tears as he spoke about the man who changed his career and his life.  So many players are convinced they’ve got nothing to learn.  They attribute any personal success to their natural talent.  Coaches are as much a hindrance as a help.

Are there bad coaches out there?  Heck yes.  There are times when players do have their careers hurt by coaches who don’t know how to use them or don’t get along with them personally.  The relationship between Dawk and JJ was the exception, not the rule.

I just love the fact that on Dawk’s day he wanted to make it Dawk/JJ’s day.  That was awesome. Dawk is a special player, but he understands that Jim Johnson was a big reason for his success.  That’s all the more reason to love Dawk.

When Dr. J retired, I loved the fact that he brought up Steve Mix in his speech.  Mix was a teammate from the late 70s/early 80s.  He wasn’t a great player, but Doc felt that Mix was important to remember.  It is easy to think of Darryl Dawkins, Mo Cheeks, Andrew Toney, Moses Malone, Bobby Jones, and other stars, but guys like Mix should not be forgotten.  He played 668 games for the Sixers, more than Dawkins, Jones, Toney, or Malone.  Mix averaged 11.3 ppg during his time in Philly so it isn’t like he was some scrub either.  He just wasn’t a star.

What will Donovan McNabb say when he retires?  Will he be humble and thank Andy Reid for making him into a star?  Will he acknowledge Rod Dowhower, Brad Childress, and Marty Mornhinweg for all they did for him?

Will McNabb talk about playing with guys like Chad Lewis, Hank Fraley, James Thrash, Todd and Pinkston?  Will he take time to mention someone like Jermane Mayberry?  It is easy to remember stars like Tra Thomas, Jon Runyan, TO, and DeSean, but it would be nice to hear the others acknowledged.  We won a lot of games with them.

I don’t expect McNabb to be as emotional as Dawk.  Donovan has a very different personality.  He’s more light hearted and jovial.  That’s fine.  Frankly, it would be good to see him with a big smile on his face and know that he means it.  I just hope Donovan follows other Philly legends and remembers those that helped him to have such a good career.

I wonder if Derek Landri and Brian Rolle will single me out when they retire?

* * * * *

For I wrote about the most interesting draft picks.  Rather than cover all the picks, I wanted to focus on those that needed some more explanation.  There is good stuff on Kendricks and Kelly in there.  Check it out.

Hit me up with your questions and I’ll answer in the comments section or a later post.

* * * * *

Couple of misc draft nuggets

* Mike Mayock compared Vinny Curry to Cliff Avril, who has been a star for the Lions in their Wide-9 scheme.  NFL scouts think the comparison is dead on the money and love the pick of Curry by the Eagles.

* One thing that I will cover extensively in my Foles write-up is that he does a great job of keeping plays alive.  He very much reminds me of Eli Manning.  You know how we get all kinds of pressure on Eli and will have guys hanging off him or about to hit him and he’ll dump the ball at the last second to some guy…Foles does that kind of stuff on a regular basis.  It kills me when Eli does it to us, but I do like that Foles has that quality.  It will lead to some mistakes, but I like the fact he never wants to give up on a play and has the size/strength to do that.  QBs must play to their abilities.

* I watched a bit of 2010 tape on Brandon Washington.  He looked skinnier to me than what I remember from the Combine.  I need to re-check to see if that is true or just my eyes playing tricks.  Brandon was 6-3, 320 in Indy.  Last year he looked more like a 6-3, 305 type of guy.  Not sure if that is accurate, but if so, that kind of build would make him more attractive to Mudd.

27 Comments on “Remembrance”

  1. 1 iskar36 said at 12:50 PM on May 3rd, 2012:

    Dawks retirement was incredible to watch. Seeing that kind of emotion from a player that put everything he had into every play was a perfectly fitting ending. The one thing that I was disappointed about was the timing of the whole thing. I am curious if it was intentional (I imagine it was knowing the Eagles), but like you said, it was something that was overshadowed by the draft.

  2. 2 TommyLawlor said at 2:31 PM on May 3rd, 2012:

    Don’t know if Dawk pushed for as soon as possible or if the Eagles were trying to stuff a ton of football into one weekend. You would think the Eagles would prefer to save an event like that for the dead period in June/July.

    All the key players were available since it was draft weekend and there were no mini-camps going on. No matter what, it was a great event.

  3. 3 izzylangfan said at 1:47 PM on May 3rd, 2012:

    Nice writeup on I have some questions about Kendricks and the SAM linebacker.

    Could Kendricks play will for us since he would appear to have the speed.

    If the SAM in a wide nine plays inside, how does he cover the TE anyway unless he cuts into the middle.

    You have mentioned in the past that the WILL linebacker often ends up covering the tight end in the Eagles scheme. But is that in the wide-9 or was that under JJ’s scheme.

    If Nnamdi is going to cover the top TE’s how important is the SAM in coverage. Last year we allowed Nnamdi to cover the TE’s perhaps because we had 3 good CB’s. However, as we know Asante was far from ideal in that scheme. Thus I wonder how much more risk we are taking if we allow Nnamdi to cover the TE this year given his replacement on the outside might be Marsh, Lindley or Boykin.

  4. 4 Jason said at 5:15 PM on May 3rd, 2012:

    I’d at least be thinking of Kendricks at WILL on running downs, take Rolle out and bring Chaney (or Fokou) in at SAM for some extra size. Kendricks at WILL could also allow him to blitz a bit more too – something he excels at. Then passing downs you could bring Rolle in, Chaney out, and Kendricks might have to go out too for a nickel CB. Will be interesting to see how the Eagles juggle the LBs…

  5. 5 GeorgeFleep said at 8:22 PM on May 3rd, 2012:

    I think an ideal scenario would be Curtis Marsh ready to fill in outside when Nnamdi covers TEs and obviously DRC outside as well. You know DRC filled in for Nnamdi last year outside when Nnamdi was covering the TE. Also all plays are different. Sometimes CB covers TE sometimes its WIL others its SAM. What we are all wondering is what Andy would like it to be most of the time. It seems as if SAM would be the position. Therefore Kendricks would be the guy. It is interesting to see what happens. What is the more aggressive approach that will be done this season on defense?

  6. 6 Christopher Miller said at 2:05 PM on May 3rd, 2012:

    McNabb is retired…he just has not acknowledged it yet. Such a shame to see how things have turned out, but hopefully he takes the high road one last time, and does not decide to do any biographies. Let the past be the past, Don.

  7. 7 Kristopher Cebula said at 2:35 PM on May 3rd, 2012:

    i’m sure that donnie feels that no one signing him is just another example of him being disrespected. hopefully he’ll make it through his retirement speech with grace and dignity like dawk, and not the resentful arrogant prick he has appeared to be the last few times he has spoken publicly

  8. 8 Arby1 said at 2:52 PM on May 3rd, 2012:

    Let’s not forget that Donovan has conducted himself in a classy manner throughout his entire career with the Eagles. It’s the last two years where things have not gone his way that he’s let some bitterness leak out. Perfectly understandable. Nobody’s perfect, especially when you’re facing the end of your career.

  9. 9 Mac said at 3:28 PM on May 3rd, 2012:

    I think Don is a nice guy, but I don’t think I would be inclined to call him classy. To me classy is someone who is smooth, cool under pressure, a gentleman. Donovan is jovial, intelligent, but also came across with an undercurrent of nervousness. Totally likeable dude, but in my opinion he lacks the grace and poise to be called classy.

  10. 10 Arby1 said at 4:40 PM on May 3rd, 2012:

    “smooth, cool under pressure, a gentleman.”

    That’s pretty much how I would describe him at the height of the Terrell Owens sabotage/personal vendetta. What more could you ask of your team leader?

  11. 11 Mac said at 11:40 AM on May 4th, 2012:

    True, I am certainly willing to give you that one. I guess I just can’t shake the fact that I had a tendency to view him as a practical joker.

    Certainly willing to re-evaluate my position.

  12. 12 Mac said at 2:54 PM on May 3rd, 2012:

    Alternately, McNabb could go hook up with his little buddy on the Allen Wranglers!

  13. 13 RC5000 said at 2:42 PM on May 3rd, 2012:

    Doesn’t have anything to do with your article but the following article is on PE.COM today.Nice to hear Polk’s enthusiasm and intelligence in picking the Eagles. I think Duce can be a positive influence in addition to Williams.

  14. 14 ChaosOnion said at 2:47 PM on May 3rd, 2012:

    Thank you for the Kendricks coverage. Once the Cox rumors started, I doubted we would draft Keuchly. Going at #9, the Eagles did not have a reasonable shot. I had some hope, but I went looking for another LB. Kendricks became my favorite player in the draft. Short DBs cover big WRs all the time. With his speed and athletic ability, I think Kendricks will be fine. And he can tackle!

  15. 15 NoDecaf said at 5:19 PM on May 3rd, 2012:

    Is it football season yet?

  16. 16 Gary said at 7:57 PM on May 3rd, 2012:

    Minicamps and OTAs are just around the corner!

  17. 17 GermanEagle said at 5:22 PM on May 3rd, 2012:

    My best man and I will fly from Germany to Philadelphia for the SNG against the Giants, when Dawk’s number will be retired.

    THAT’s how much we love Brian Dawkins and the Eagles.

  18. 18 Baloophi said at 5:36 PM on May 3rd, 2012:

    AND hate the Giants…

  19. 19 Baloophi said at 5:31 PM on May 3rd, 2012:

    in your folder on drafting tendencies and strategies…

    From Roseman’s PFT interview:

    “…we weren’t going in looking for defensive tackle, [but] Flecther Cox was by far the best player on our board when we traded up and got him. And then the same thing, when we moved back at 51, Vinny Curry was the top player on our board. We all took a deep breath and hated that we had to move back, but we had committed to getting a fourth-round pick back.”

    What’s interesting to me is the commitment to getting a 4th round pick back. Andy even used the phrase “made whole again” when referring to acquiring the pick. Seems to imply they value quantity over quality in rounds 2 – 5 if they were committed to getting that pick no matter how the board played out…

  20. 20 Cliff said at 7:16 PM on May 3rd, 2012:

    I’ve always said that Dawkins is the one athlete I’d travel to the HOF to see inducted. Wore his passion on his sleeve and was a great person. Dawk isn’t an athlete you feel weird about rooting for because he’s done something stupid.

    I went to college with a guy who’s family owned a farm. Apparently, Dawkins was a longtime customer of his family’s. I don’t know what their business was, but he always had the coolest things to say about Dawk because he just seemed like a normal, blue collar guy.

  21. 21 D3Keith said at 9:47 PM on May 5th, 2012:

    “I’ve always said that Dawkins is the one athlete I’d travel to the HOF to see inducted.”

    Wrote this verbatim somewhere recently. When it happens, let’s organize the IB meetup in Canton.

  22. 22 Razz_A_Matazz said at 7:41 PM on May 3rd, 2012:

    Tommy, you prolific son of a gun! Thanks, for single handedly spouting out more high quality Eagles content, than any other sources combined. All of us junkies appreciate it.

    Brian Dawkins. What a beautiful example of a human being. I have to admit getting choked up, while watching the ceremony. Felt like I was a part of it. At one point, when he went over to the guys and started hugging everyone, I was a little bummed. It looked for a minute, like he snubbed McNabb and left him hanging. A few minutes later when he was finished the camera panned to a shot of them in a long tearful embrace in the middle of the stage. Good to see. I hope he is able to comport himself in a similar fashion, when the time comes.

    I appreciate the way you’ve helped me to feel more comfortable with the Foles pick. I started to come around draft day, when I watched the Gruden show. Your analysis helps me feel like I’m not crazy for feeling that way.

    Loved the PE write up. Great stuff on Kelly. Somehow, even happier about this draft after reading it. Sounds like he’s got potential to be a solid swing tackle in this system. I was excited when they drafted him, but that was just because I assumed he was the love child of Dennis Reynolds and Charlie Kelly. Either way, this dude could definitely pull of the duster.

  23. 23 Gary said at 8:02 PM on May 3rd, 2012:

    “I wonder if Derek Landri and Brian Rolle will single me out when they retire?”

    Retirement, Hall of Fame induction, one or the other I’m sure.

    You’ve probably seen this by now Tommy, but in case you haven’t, here’s a transcript of Howie Roseman talking with PFT about the draft picks: Pretty interesting I think.

  24. 24 D3Keith said at 9:48 PM on May 5th, 2012:

    Landri already singled you out, Tommy … when he re-signed, he referred to his “pretty big following” on the internet.

    That can’t be reference to anything else.

  25. 25 GeorgeFleep said at 11:05 PM on May 3rd, 2012:

    If eagles counted D Ryans as a draft pick because they gave up a fourth for him. What do they consider Trent Edwards? What made the eagles even think about getting Foles when they have already acquired Edwards in the offseason. I get that they like him and Reid believes in the approach of getting a QB every year. Is RB Brown more of north and south runner or more of a break away runner. Could he return punts? Or is it all up in the air and hope NFL coaching can improve him significantly. Will there be 3 variations of nickel this year with different combinations of LBers: Kendricks, Ryans, Clayton, Mathews. What is the best situation. Do you think they would do dime or nickel or maybe something different? Im just saying who knows they have options. It seems that if they do dime they would need more S on their roster.

  26. 26 Flyin said at 11:38 PM on May 3rd, 2012:


    Regarding your article about Bryce, do you have any concerns about him readjusting to playing football full-time after basically a 2 year hiatus it seems?

    I recall you being concerned about skier Bloom getting back into football shape after years out.

    I know the skill isn’t equal, just more on the conditioning of the body.

  27. 27 Some random thoughts from around the NFC East: My favorite pick from each team in the bEast – Blogging the bEast said at 10:09 AM on May 5th, 2012:

    […] in a little bit f disbelief that Curry slipped all the way to 59.  My boy Tommy noted a comparison made by Mike Mayock to a current NFL player. I can see […]