Playing 16 years in the NFL is a feat in and of itself. Playing 16 years at safety? Well that’s almost unheard of.
The only other player to play safety for 16 years in the NFL is Paul Krause. Krause entered the Hall of Fame in 1998 after playing for the Washington Redskins and the Minnesota Vikings. He sits atop the leader board for interceptions with a total of 81 picks in his career. To put that in perspective, Rod Woodson sits 3rd on that list with a total of 71 interceptions.
Brian Dawkins is the only other safety in league history to play 16 years. In one of the most violent positions on the football field, Dawkins feels blessed that he’s made it this long.
“Safeties are 15-20 yards deep sometimes,” Brian Dawkins said. “We’re coming down, running full speed at somebody who’s running full speed at us a lot of times, so those collisions are very violent. To be blessed to play the game the way that I play it this long is an absolute blessing.”
Dawkins is either loved or hated all around the league for his physical style of play and a heart bigger than most.
In his 16 years, B-Dawk has played in 210 games and amassed 1,118 tackles. Half of those hits could be heard from half way around the world. He has 23 career sacks, 37 interceptions, 35 forced fumbles, and 173 pass deflections. This goes to show you that the harder you work, the luckier you get.
Dawkins didn’t know his career would play out the way that it has.
“When I came into the league, I was just trying to make a team,” Dawkins said. “As you got along, I said ‘let me get faster’ and fast comes, then ‘if I can get double digits that would be awesome’. Double digits came and went and I was still playing, so now it’s just at the point where as many (games) as the good lord bless me with, I going to go out and do it.”
And he does it well. He not only plays well, but he leads well. He’s the team’s dealer in hope, courage, and respect, and that’s why he was named a team captain once again.
So, from one relatively healthy year to the next, here’s wishing Dawkins continued success as he embarks on yet another season – thankfully dressed in orange and blue.