Monday, April 23, 2012

Denver Broncos Safety Brian Dawkins Retires

After sixteen accolade-filled seasons of playing professional football, veteran safety Brian Dawkins is hanging up his cleats for good.  At age thirty-eight, Dawkins played with a super hero-like mentality, defying age and all obstacles while acquiring the nickname Weapon X as his alter ego.

"The Lord has blessed me (by allowing me) to play in the NFL for sixteen years," Dawkins Tweeted on Monday morning.  "I would like to thank everyone that believed in me. Along with the fans for helping make my career one that I have enjoyed tremendously."

Throughout his career -- from the time he was drafted in the second round of the 1996 NFL Draft by the Philadelphia Eagles to the time he retired in 2012 as a member of the Denver Broncos' secondary -- Dawkins had two lockers.  One of them was his, the other, belonged to Weapon X.

Dawkins' teammates and coaches describe him as a quiet and friendly Christian man that loves his family and the game of football.  Every player that faced Dawkins on the football field met a different man -- a player who transformed into a super human before the first snap of the ball and maintained that energy until the final whistle blew.

And that's how Dawkins went about his business for sixteen years.  He was a leader and friend in the locker room and a terrifying warrior on the football field.  In his career, Dawkins recorded more than 1,000 tackles, 26 sacks, defended 98 passes, intercepted 37 passes and forced 28 fumbles.

"I would like to thank all my teammates and coaches that I have been blessed to go to battle with," Dawkins said.  A nine-time Pro Bowler, Dawkins is considered a first-ballot Hall of Famer.

“Brian Dawkins is one of the best to ever play the game, a future Hall of Famer who changed the way his position is played," Head Coach John Fox said in a statement Monday. "In many ways, he helped my job as a coach with his great leadership and preparation. He brought so much to the table and was such an enormous asset to our football team.

"It’s been an honor and a privilege to coach Brian. Although I will miss the positive impact he had on our team, I congratulate Brian on a tremendous career and wish him and his family all the best going forward.” 

Thanks for the memories, Brian.  We'll see you in the Hall of Fame in 2017.

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