The biggest leaders on the Denver Broncos has decided it is time to call it quits.
There were no tears. Just Brian being Brian. The greatest thing about this all is he was able to be at peace with his retirement and was not forced to. Here are some of the things said:
ON HIS DECISION:
"Today was a lot better. I'm at peace with the decision, so it's more of a joy to be able to see these guys."
HEALTH OF HIS INJURED NECK
"My body feels good. It really does. My neck, that nerve area is cool, nothing's wrong with it," he said. "My strength is back where it was and my knees, things don't ache like they do during the season when I'm walking up and down the steps."
ON THE OPTION OF RETURNING
"For them to open the door the way that they opened the door for me when I got here, I was a guy coming off my 13th year and a lot of people were saying I should retire them. They opened the door and said, Listen, this is your home, and gave me free reign to be me. They gave me that opportunity to come here and just be, and it's been a blessing to be able to play for another organization that, to be honest with you, I feel loved. That's important to a player"
FUTURE WITH THE BRONCOS
"They know I'm going to be around, and any time they need me for anything, whether it's to help with the guys or whatever, I'm open to be used as they need me. My door is open, as they have told me their door is open the other way as well."
DEFINING MOMENT OF CAREER
"If there was one defining moment in my career, it was after winning the NFC Championship--- the late great Jim Johnson giving me a hug and I remember him saying "We did it Dawk!"
ON COACHING HIS SON
. "It's one of the reason's I've made this decision." From Brandon Spano:" Dawkins says that the family is very happy and is son and daughter have been all smiles.The family is excited for him to be around"
"I'm more of a guy that encourages. I'm not a screamer...that being said I have no idea what kind of coach I am."
DAWKINS ON WHY MANNING CHOSE DENVER
"The way things are going, the upswing...I can see why (Manning) decided this is the place he wants to hopefully end his career."
OTHER BRONCOS ON DAWKINS RETIREMENT
"It's sad to see him go, he's definitely been a leader in our locker room...that's the guy I want to play football like."
"I think he has an even longer career in coaching. He knows a lot about football and expresses it very well."
"We're going to truly miss him. We'll continue his legacy and continue to play hard."
"Everybody has to take on a little bit of his role. You can't really ask one person to replace what Brian Dawkins brought."
"It's not every day you get to be in a locker room with a person like that...he's just the perfect professional football player."
"I remember being nervous the first time I saw him in the locker room after I got drafted (in PHI)...he welcomed me with open arms."
"I was fortunate enough to play with John Lynch...& here comes Brian Dawkins. That same intensity. Can't ask for better safeties."
"It means I'm the old guy now. It sucks,"But I don't think my role goes any higher as far as leadership. I'm going to be who I'm going to be.
Bailey on Dawkins to HOF: "A guy that's played at a high level for as long as he has...his numbers...there's nobody like him."
"I think every player would like to go out on top. Who goes to a Pro Bowl in his final year?"