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Brian Dawkins voted into Pro Football Hall of Fame

Paul Domowitch, The Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News on

Published in Football

"Jim allowed me to be me a hundred percent. He devised ways to utilize what God had given me. He brought out everything I could do, and actually encouraged me to do more by putting things in, blitzes specifically, that were extremely challenging. And I had to do a lot of things to bring them to fruition. To have success with them.

"So, Emmitt brought this dude out of me and made me believe I could be more than I thought I was. Jim got that guy. He got that individual who was ready to do any and all things possible with these things that God had given me. So without those two individuals in my life, there's no way I'm here. Emmitt bringing it out of me and Jim unleashing it on the NFL."

Even though he never weighed more than 190 pounds, Dawkins was a physically dominating player who could line up all over the field and cover running backs or tight ends or even the other team's top wide receiver. He was one of the most feared tacklers in the game. His 36 forced fumbles are 17 more than Lewis had in his career.

"Brian was one of the best players I've ever coached against," former Packers and Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren said. "You had to prepare for him because he was such an integral part of what they did.

"If you had some inkling of knowing where he was going to be, you might have a little bit of a chance of making something work."

 

"Brian morphed into whatever Jim wanted him to be on a weekly basis," Jon Gruden said. "He could cover. He could blitz. He could play man or zone. And he was an excellent one-on-one tackler. It was just hard to create yards after the catch with him in there. He was a vicious football player and a great competitor. He was the key to that defense."

(c)2018 The Philadelphia Inquirer

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