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Old 09-10-2009, 04:59 PM   #1
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Default Broncos Dawkins quickly wins over teammates with hard hits leadership qualities

ENGLEWOOD, COLO. Brian Dawkins' favorite superhero is Wolverine, the member of the X-Men known for his stamina, agility, superior athleticism and high pain threshold.

You can see why after the 35-year-old safety didn't take long to win over teammates and become a leader for the Denver Broncos. All they have to do is watch him play.

He brings a menacing presence to a Denver defense that has sorely lacked one since linebacker Al Wilson's retirement nearly three years ago.

"He'll talk the talk, and he'll walk the walk," cornerback Champ Bailey said. "I don't like guys who come in and like to talk a lot and don't do everything. He's the opposite of that."

A year ago, Bailey complained that his nasty attitude wasn't rubbing off on his defensive teammates.

Dawkins has been the answer to Bailey's pleas. Now, the Pro Bowl corner has the perfect partner to help him infuse a tenacious disposition.

Dawkins provides a giant dose of toughness and leadership, precisely why the Broncos courted the 14-year veteran to shore up a defense that's been dismal the last two years.

"He makes me want to meet his level of play," defensive back Andre' Goodman said. "If this guy can play like this at his age, why wouldn't you want to follow him?"

Dawkins has become a collector of all things Wolverine, photos and action figures taking up an entire locker stall next to his.

And just like the superhero, Dawkins is an intimidating figure.

"He's been better than I ever expected. He's a true leader," Bailey said.

That's why the team recently anointed him captain, along with Casey Wiegmann, Kyle Orton, Daniel Graham, Wesley Woodyard, Mario Haggan and Bailey.

Dawkins' leadership skills are renown. In Philadelphia, he was the heart and soul of the defense. The Broncos are now hoping that he's the bedrock even at his age of their rebuilding efforts as they digest defensive coordinator Mike Nolan's 3-4 scheme.

His fiery attitude has quickly rubbed off just like Bailey had hoped. If practice loses some of its zest, Dawkins tries to elevate the tempo.

"Every practice is a game day for him," Goodman said.

Not quite.

Game days are special. Game days are when he becomes even more animated, transforming from a mild-mannered family man into a crazed ball of energy when he walks through the tunnel.

Dawkins' pre-game rants fire up a team, his bone-jarring hits during a contest inspire a squad.

That's just his style.

"I play with emotions on my shoulders," said Dawkins, a seven-time Pro Bowler with the Philadelphia Eagles. "I have a great time on the football field ... Whatever energy I have for that day is going to be given completely and fully on the field for my teammates."

Orton is certainly appreciative that he's joined forces with Dawkins and no longer has to face him.

"He's an emotional guy," Orton said. "I've never seen anything like it."

Dawkins hasn't played much in the preseason after breaking his right hand in training camp. He'll wear a cumbersome cast for the season opener Sunday at Cincinnati.

"Doesn't affect me at all," Dawkins said. "I can do everything I need to do."

Including pick off passes?

"My hands are not the best as it is without the club," he said, smiling. "I'll be able to adjust and do what I need to do with the football."

For Dawkins, his decision to leave Philadelphia wasn't reached lightly. It was hard for him to say farewell to a team he helped lead to five NFC championship games and a Super Bowl.

But he liked what he saw in Denver, so he signed in late February.

Then the fireworks went off.

Broncos coach Josh McDaniels found himself embroiled in a clash with Pro Bowler Jay Cutler, leading to a trade that landed the strong-armed quarterback in Chicago.

Later, Pro Bowl receiver Brandon Marshall asked for a trade when the team rejected his request for a new contract. He grew more unhappy throughout training camp and was suspended for the preseason on Aug. 28 for detrimental conduct. He's since returned to the team, and teammates say he has had a better attitude.

This kind of drama wasn't exactly what Dawkins signed on for when he came to town.

Yet his determination hasn't wavered.

"I don't see anything that's going to hinder us or hamper us from going out and playing that type of defense we want to play," Dawkins said. "As far as personalities go, we have a great group of guys."

http://www.sfexaminer.com/sports/ap/58448497.html
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Old 09-10-2009, 05:11 PM   #2
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I think some people will get a more clear picture of true leadership on the field after watching this ball of fire play. Guys like this refuse to let teams do to them what has been done to our defense the last three years or so.
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Old 09-10-2009, 05:19 PM   #3
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Bittersweet that we got this guy so late in his career. But, thrilled to have him.
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Old 09-10-2009, 05:48 PM   #4
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i CANNOT WAIT to see him come out of the tunnel sunday!
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Old 09-10-2009, 05:53 PM   #5
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Listening to him before a game in the huddle gets me pumped to the point that I want to tear down a ****ing mountain.
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Old 09-10-2009, 05:54 PM   #6
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Listening to him before a game in the huddle gets me pumped to the point that I want to tear down a ****ing mountain.
I'm glad we're on the same side...you'd be one scary SOB amped up like that
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Old 09-10-2009, 05:57 PM   #7
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I'm glad we're on the same side...you'd be one scary SOB amped up like that
Heh, your no slacker yourself buddy.
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Old 09-10-2009, 05:58 PM   #8
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Bittersweet that we got this guy so late in his career. But, thrilled to have him.

Yes it is, but for once we have an honest to God safety on this team. A position long neglected. I will savor it regardless.
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Old 09-10-2009, 06:01 PM   #9
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Bittersweet that we got this guy so late in his career. But, thrilled to have him.
How much does he have left in the tank?
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Old 09-10-2009, 06:08 PM   #10
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Let's take these SOB's out!!!!!!

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Heh, your no slacker yourself buddy.
Thanks Man.

I just wanna see Dawkins come as advertised...really, this is just the whole John Lynch thing all over again.
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Old 09-10-2009, 06:24 PM   #11
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Dawkins is noticably faster.
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Old 09-10-2009, 06:29 PM   #12
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love this one
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Old 09-10-2009, 06:32 PM   #13
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love this one

It's great with the sound tuned past off..
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Old 09-10-2009, 06:37 PM   #14
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How much does he have left in the tank?
Well, he had a good year last season. I think we'll be lucky to get two complete, healthy seasons out of him at this stage. But, it's still a great move for a young, developing defense and new coaching staff.

I think he'll have a nice year for us this year, though... and this year is an important part of our rebuilding process.
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Old 09-10-2009, 06:39 PM   #15
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Well, he had a good year last season. I think we'll be lucky to get two complete, healthy seasons out of him at this stage. But, it's still a great move for a young, developing defense and new coaching staff.

I think he'll have a nice year for us this year, though... and this year is an important part of our rebuilding process.

He just needs to pass on all his attitude to WW.
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Old 09-10-2009, 06:41 PM   #16
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He just needs to pass on all his attitude to WW.
Too bad Woodyard couldn't move to safety. I'm guessing it's just not a natural position for him. It would sure be nice to have him at a (future) position of need.
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Old 09-10-2009, 06:44 PM   #17
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Too bad Woodyard couldn't move to safety. I'm guessing it's just not a natural position for him. It would sure be nice to have him at a (future) position of need.
For the future captain i just want WW to be making plays with a passion and pride which gets the other players going and playing hard as far as going to safety whos knows all i care is if hes productive and bustin heads.
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Old 09-10-2009, 07:34 PM   #18
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Well, he had a good year last season. I think we'll be lucky to get two complete, healthy seasons out of him at this stage. But, it's still a great move for a young, developing defense and new coaching staff.

I think he'll have a nice year for us this year, though... and this year is an important part of our rebuilding process.
So a two year rental at this point? but I notice how much tougher our defense looks with him on our team.

It's all about playing tough and playing to the best of your abilities, good things will happen.
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Old 09-10-2009, 07:41 PM   #19
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This is a guy I can enjoy rooting for.
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Old 09-10-2009, 07:54 PM   #20
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Too bad Woodyard couldn't move to safety. I'm guessing it's just not a natural position for him. It would sure be nice to have him at a (future) position of need.
He played Safety his freshman year at Kentucky I believe... that or in High School.

He has the speed to do it so you never know...

In all honesty though I see him eventually taking over for Andra Davis.
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Old 09-10-2009, 08:03 PM   #21
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He played Safety his freshman year at Kentucky I believe... that or in High School.

He has the speed to do it so you never know...

In all honesty though I see him eventually taking over for Andra Davis.
Woodyard got one game to play safety and he had to do it under the "coaching" of Bob Slo-wit. In other words nobody knows if he can play it or not. I'd love to see him make the jump and replace Dawkins in a couple years back there.
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Old 09-10-2009, 08:21 PM   #22
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love this one
Holy Shiit!!! I calling Dawkins The UNMOVABLE FORCE

If he can bring that energy he will make every defensive player a better player.

I bet Philly fans hated to lose him.
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Old 09-10-2009, 08:23 PM   #23
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This is a guy I can enjoy rooting for.
Exactly!!!!!!
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Old 09-10-2009, 08:34 PM   #24
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So a two year rental at this point? but I notice how much tougher our defense looks with him on our team.

It's all about playing tough and playing to the best of your abilities, good things will happen.
Hopefully it's two years of high level performance so we avoid the Lynch thing.
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Old 09-10-2009, 08:37 PM   #25
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Hopefully it's two years of high level performance so we avoid the Lynch thing.
I hated the way Lynch was dumped same goes for Al Wilson. I'm glad Shasnny is gone and I cut the barb off his hooks when we went fishing.
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