Brian Dawkins Shares His Love For The NFL With 2013 RookiesBREAKING NEWS, Eagles, General News, News Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013
This past week I was in Aurora, Ohio, just outside of Cleveland for this year’s NFL Rookie Symposium and it was a quite a week. Current NFL Vice President and 2012 Eagles Hall of Fame cornerback Troy Vincent brought in a series of speakers to prepare the 2013 draft class for the NFL. Some of the speakers were brought in to show the youngsters how to be a NFL player, while others were brought in to show them how not to do it.
For me the highlight of the week was hearing former Eagles safety Brian Dawkins talk about how much playing in the NFL meant to him. The talk from Dawkins finished up the week for this crop of NFL rookies and it’s too bad they couldn’t have run out of the auditorium right onto NFL field to start the season. Weapon X started out slow, but built up to a passionate end.
Dawkins talked about growing up in Jacksonville, Florida and dreaming on playing in the NFL. He talked about going accepting a scholarship offer from Clemson because none of the Florida schools, Florida State, University of Florida, or Miami would recruit him because of his size or lack thereof. He went to Clemson with a chip on his shoulder. He had something to prove
He talked about being drafted by the Eagles and coming in with something to prove. Dawkins was again questioned by scouts because of his lack of size. The former Pro Bowl safety emphasized the scouts’ inability to measure his heart and desire to be a great player.
Dawkins explained his build up to game time. He was a mild-mannered quiet guy for the entire week, but he would turn into the Weapon X at game time.
He eventually described the importance which he gave to each season, while preparing for them. Current Cleveland Browns Assistant General Manager Ray Farmer, who became a friend of Dawkins when they were both drafted by former Eagles head coach Ray Rhodes, spoke to the group and let them know what NFL front offices were looking for from their players.
Farmer described Dawkins’ incredible workouts, which exemplified his attitude as a player. The Browns front office guy talked about Dawkins working like he was an unaccomplished rookie, who was just trying to make the team.
Former Eagles wide receiver Irving Fryar shared his experiences with the group. It took a while for him to learn what being a PRO really meant
Former Arizona Cardinals and St. Louis Rams cornerback Aeneas Williams talke to the group about having clear goals of what kind of player and most importantly what type of man they wanted to be.
Pat Kearny former defensive linemen for the Seattle Seahawks and Atlanta Falcons, who also has a Masters degree from Columbia University Business School, talked about how to properly manage your money. He kept things simple and got more complicated for those who could handle it in a smaller group.
I told all the youngsters in my smaller group to put their money in savings account and not get involved with any investment that they couldn’t understand. Most of these youngsters have never had any money, so they should put their money in the bank and not run the risk of losing it.
Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Adam Jones, formerly known as “Pacman” Jones spoke to the group about all the many mistakes he has made during his career. He talked about how he had the wrong attitude and didn’t appreciate the opportunity that was set before him.
We were trying to help the youngsters grow up as people.
Even more repentant for his mistakes was former Ohio State running back Maurice Clarett, who never played in the NFL, but wound up doing time in jail for a crime he committed. Clarett talked about taking the opportunity to play in the NFL for granted. The former Buckeye star talked about getting out of shape and hanging around with the wrong people.
Former New York Giants Super Bowl hero David Tyree was there talking to the youngsters as well as former Green Bay Packer and Eagles wide receiver Antonio Freeman.
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