A demon with a killer's instinct.
That is Brian Dawkins.
He has, as Bill Bergey described it, the entire package.
"He's got a nose for the ball," Bergey said of the 12-year safety who was a second-round draft pick in 1996. "He breaks for the ball. He anticipates real well. I have watched Brian Dawkins for many years now. If I want to know where the ball is going, I watch Brian Dawkins."
Dawkins' resume is Hall of Fame worthy. Regular-season games played: 157. A franchise-record 15 playoff appearances, including eight wins. A franchise-record 94 career wins. An average of 100 tackles per season. Thirty-two interceptions, two shy of the team record. Six Pro Bowl appearances, each legitimately earned.
And entering the 2007 season, Dawkins is the longest-tenured athlete now playing in Philadelphia.
Stats. Longevity. Results. And, he is a leader, a fan favorite, a family man, and a philanthropist.
Dawkins has, by any measure, the entire package.
"It's very important," the humble Dawkins said. "I guess anything you do, you want to be known as one of the best at your position and also with your organization. To say out of the history of this team I would be up there ranked among some of the most well-known Eagles, it's truly an honor."
At age 33, Dawkins is considered one of the best safeties ever to play football. His unique combination of size and speed allows him to defend the run and catch a receiver in coverage. He is, as Bergey said, at the center of almost every play, whether it reaches the secondary or not.
In debating the best Eagles of all time, Ron Jaworski left off the present-day Birds but called Dawkins a future "first-ballot" Hall of Famer. The other panelists unanimously ranked Dawkins ahead of Donovan McNabb.
McNabb didn't disagree.
"It's been a privilege to play with a guy who comes and exudes so much energy in order for us to achieve that goal - and that's winning," McNabb said. "Dawk exudes so much energy that after games, he's exhausted. That's what I love."
Said Dawkins: "I really don't know where I rank, but I do believe I have connected with Philadelphia fans. I really appreciate them, and I think we have a great time on Sundays. I go out and I am who I am, and we have ourselves a party every Sunday."
With Eagles: 1996-present
Highlight: Dawkins is the franchise leader with 94 career wins, including eight in the playoffs.
Records: The six-time Pro Bowler is one of three players in NFL history with at least 32 interceptions and 18 sacks - his 18 sacks are tied for fifth on the NFL's all-time list among defensive backs.