Brian Dawkins ‘at peace,’ but might not retire as Eagle

Brian Dawkins said he always wore his emotions on his sleeves — on the field, and in his personal life.

Don’t look for Brian Dawkins to rip up his retirement papers and come barreling out of the tunnel ever again. The former Eagle made it clear that this decision is final, 100-percent.

“There is no coming out of retirement for me. It’s final,” Dawkins said Monday on a conference call with reporters. “I’m at peace. I made a promise to myself and to my God that I would know when [to retire]. I made peace about stepping away from the game even though I know I could play another year. I would rather leave a year too early, rather than a year too late.”

Dawkins said he’s been wrestling with the decision for awhile, but the decision really crystallized itself this past weekend. After spending quality time with his wife and kids, he knew. Dawkins plans to help coach his son’s high school football team in Denver, then he’ll “go from there.” He has no immediate desire to coach at the NFL level.

“I’m not saying I won’t miss football. I’ll always miss playing the game,” he said. “I’ll miss the camaraderie … the knuckleheads in the locker room, joking around, being with the guys, preparing for the game, all that stuff.”

He downplayed that injuries — Dawkins missed significant time last season with a pinched nerve in his neck — played any factor in his decision to call it quits.

“I’ve had pinched nerves in my neck before. I had time to heal,” Dawkins said.

Dawkins was more than just a Pro-Bowl player, he completely re-defined the way NFL players approach the safety position. He walks away as one of the most beloved Eagles in franchise history, a player both owner Jeffrey Lurie and Andy Reid called one of their “all-time favorite players.”

“He poured everything he could into doing whatever was best for his teammates and this organization,” Reid said in a statement. “He was the unquestioned leader of our defense. He will go down as one of the greatest Eagles of all-time and I have no doubt we’ll be celebrating his induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.”

Under defensive coordinator’s Jim Johnson blitz-happy scheme, Dawkins thrived as a playmaker and morphed into his alter-ego, Weapon X. He is one of just five defensive backs to record at least 30 interceptions and 20 sacks in a career. His 42 forced fumbles ranks fifth in NFL history (No. 1 among defensive backs).

“I don’t know if there would have been a Weapon X if it wasn’t for Jim’s ability to use me,” Dawkins said. “Relentless. That’s what Jim preached and he saw that in the way I played.”

When asked for his greatest Eagles memory, there was no hesitation. None. After three straight losses in the NFC championship game, the Birds finally busted through and beat the Falcons to punch a ticket to the 2004 Super Bowl.

“To see the joy on Jim’s face, the joy and the tears in his eyes … I’ll never forget that,” Dawkins said. “That’s the one memory that will stand out the most for me.”

Bitter end? Dawkins might not retire as Eagle

Yes, the Eagles will honor Brian Dawkins this season. Yes, the fans will give him an ovation worthy of a king. Those things are certain.

What isn’t certain … whether Dawkins will retire as an Eagle. He spent 13 seasons in midnight green before heading to Denver for the past three years.

“I haven’t decided that yet,” Dawkins said. “I still love the place [Philadelphia], and I will make that decision at some point.”

The most beloved player in recent memory — save Reggie White — is seriously considering the possibility of retiring as a Bronco. Even though the Eagles have offered him a one-day contract, Dawkins still remembers the bitterness of his departure.

“There is always going to be pain and feelings there,” he said. “You can learn from the mistakes of the past, but you still remember … at the same time, I understand that the commuity, the fans of Philadelphia mean so much to me that I couldn’t allow that [bitter feelings] to complicate or ruin this celebration.”

Dawkins will be in town Saturday to hold an official press conference and say goodbye to his adoring fans. The Eagles will honor him Sept. 30 at Lincoln Financial Field prior to the Eagles-Giants game on Sunday Night Football.

“I can only imagine, man,” Dawkins said, referring to his emotions and the fans’ reaction. “Hopefully, it will be a victory at the same time.”


'Barack Obama cheats on Michelle' claims Japanese politician…

A senior Japanese politician has marred Barack Obama's official visit to Tokyo with bizarre claims that the President cheats on his wife Michelle. Kazuyuki Hamada,…


British Royal family devastated by freak NY death…

The British royals have been left devastated by the death of Mark Shand, younger brother of Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, after a freak fall in…


Philadelphia principal has President Obama's ear

The West Philadelphia head is gathering ideas to present to the White House.


Neighbors testify at Overbrook roommate slaying trial

Neighbors and roommates were called to testify Wednesday in the trial of Renaldo Robichaw, 56, charged with murder for the death of roommate Albert Smith, 48.


‘Survivor: Cagayan’ recap: Episode 9

It was only an hour-long episode, but there's a lot to cover this week. The drama of Survivor strikes again as the identity of the…


TV watch list, Wednesday, April 23: 'Suburgatory,' 'Modern…

'Suburgatory' The men of "Suburgatory" go camping and Tessa mentors a social outcast in a Miss Chatswin contest, which brings her, once again, into conflict…


Latin culture highlighted at Filadelphia film fest

Get ready to have a “Bad Hair” day at the upcoming Filadelphia Latin American Film Festival. We mean that in the best possible way. The…

The Word

The best lines from Oprah's ex-stepmother's Daily Mail…

Oprah’s ex-stepmother, Barbara Winfrey, is out for revenge.


2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24…

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24 version


Eagles will spend Thanksgiving in Dallas, play four…

The Eagles have an impressive, challenging and exciting schedule in 2014.


NFL releases Eagles 2014 schedule

The Eagles have four primetime games, face the Cowboys on Thanksgiving and host the Seahawks in a dynamic, challenging and impressive schedule.


All signs suggest Steve Mason will start in…

Flyers head coach Craig Berube elected to put Steve Mason in net for the final minutes of Game 3.


Pippa Middleton's Etsy pick: Golden Thread Jewelry

Get a look at the jewelry Pippa Middleton loves and find out how you can buy it too.


What every parent needs to know to get…

Mom and author of "Small Talk," Tracey Blake, shares her five practical tips to help you develop your children's language skills.


Subway crush: Meet your soulmate on your commute

Read about a couple who has been 40 years after meeting on the train.


Happy birthday, Game Boy! The handheld console turns…

Nintendo's Game Boy turns 25 this week. To commemorate, we look at some of its better games, like "Tetris" and "The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening."