No, the Wolverine isn’t lacing them up and coming out of the tunnel anytime soon. But he will be watching the Super Bowl, with a heavy rooting interest.
Brian Dawkins spent 13 seasons in Philadelphia, 10 of those years were under Andy Reid. It should come as no surprise that when the Chiefs and 49ers line up for battle on Sunday, he’ll be cheering for his former head coach.
Dawkins was a seven-time Pro Bowler for the Eagles and made first-team All-Pro four times. More importantly, he was the heart and soul of not just the defense but the entire team. Reid helped unleash that fire and he’s ready to pay it forward in tears of joy.
“I know I’m going to shed tears of joy, if that’s the case,” Dawkins told NBC Sports’ Derrick Gunn. “The thing I’m not doing, I know I’m officially part of the media now because I’m talking on camera, but I’m not going to celebrate beforehand. You don’t want to do that. You don’t want to put the cart before the horse but I know that I’ll be extremely excited for him, his family, all the things that have gone through.”
“As a coach, there are so many wonderful coaches that have come from under him that are doing fantastic jobs in their own rights, so many players that continue to reach back and show him the love time and time again, so that tells you what type of coach he was, yes,” Dawkins said.
“But the dude he was, he’s a phenomenal human being, so I’m excited for this opportunity for him to get back to this point but I know that he’s telling them that it’s not time to celebrate yet. We still have work to do.”
Brian Westbrook Pulling for Old Coach, Too
Brian Westbrook played eight seasons under Andy Reid in Philadelphia after the coach drafted him out of Villanova. He was a little-known running back who Reid had heavily scouted and used a third-round pick on him. All he did was rush for 5,995 yards, third-best in franchise history.
The former Eagles coach was able to tap into Westbrook’s full potential, utilizing him as a mismatch problem in the passing game and turning him into a lethal punt returner. He retired with a mind-blowing 10,275 yards from scrimmage, including leading the entire NFL in that department in 2007. On Sunday, Westbrook will be rooting for Reid.
“Andy, he’ll never mention this. He’ll never even say this but of course the legacy is on the line,” Westbrook said. “For the ultimate competitors, for coaches and players in the NFL, winning that Super Bowl, winning that championship, is the ultimate measurement of respect because when you look at Andy’s career he’s brought a team in Philadelphia that was 3-13 prior to him getting there to 5-11 the next year, then to five NFC championship games.”
However, he revealed on FSI’s “First Things First” show that Reid needs to get that Super Bowl ring to be in the conversation of the all-time great coaches.
“He’s won games but the question to Andy has been, can you win that special game? Can you have that special moment? For Andy, he just has to get it done,” Westbrook said. “He’s been very good as a coach but when you talk about that next level of coaches, you have to have the ring to even be in the conversation.”
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