Brian Dawkins heads into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday.

What type of legacy did Dawkins leave on the field? Here is what some of those who know Dawkins best said about him:

>> READ MORE: What do you need to know about his induction? Get all that — plus more stories — here.

"Preparing for Dawk was like chasing ghosts. You just never knew where the pressure was coming from because the indicators never applied to him.'' – Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh

"Brian morphed into whatever Jim [Johnson] wanted him to be on a weekly basis. He could cover. He could blitz. He could play man or zone. And he was an excellent one-on-one tackler. It was just hard to create yards after the catch with him in there. He was a vicious football player and a great competitor.'' – Oakland Raiders coach Jon Gruden

Brian Dawkins with Jim Johnson and Andy Reid.
Ron Cortes / Staff Photographer
Brian Dawkins with Jim Johnson and Andy Reid.

"He was my idea of what a free safety should be. A physically dominating player. He could play the ball. He was a superb tackler. Tough as nails. Whatever I could say about him doesn't aptly describe him because he was just a sensational football player. I always thought that in in order to be in the Hall of Fame, you had to be a dominant player at your position in your era. That equals Brian Dawkins.'' – Former NFL general manager and Hall of Famer Ron Wolf

"Brian is one of the best I've ever coached against. Jim built his defense around him. You had to prepare for him because he was such an integral part of what they did, the things they did, on defense. If you had any chance of making something work against them, you had to have some inkling of knowing where he was going to be.'' – Former NFL head coach Mike Holmgren

"There were no deficiencies in Brian's game as a defender. Zero. He was one of the most complete football players in the last three decades of the sport.'' –former Eagles cornerback Troy Vincent

"Brian was a very quiet guy. My dad thought he was sneaky when we were dating. He kept telling me he's just too quiet. Later on, my dad would say, 'Boy, I could've messed that up. I'm so glad I didn't.' Because he's still quiet to this day. He talks more than he did, but he's still quiet.'' – Brian Dawkins' wife, Connie

Brian Dawkins and his wife Connie have been married for 24 years."Brian treated every year as if he was a rookie trying to win a roster spot. He'd go full-throttle all of the time.'' – Connie Dawkins

"Neither one of them were big talkers. They both had ultimate respect for one another. And they didn't have to say anything. Dawk knew that Jim was going to take care of him with the scheme. And he understood his value in Jim's scheme. And he respected Jim for that. For taking his talents and maximizing them. Jim just loved Dawk's ability. He loved him as a player.'' – former Eagles coach Andy Reid on Dawkins' relationship with the late Jim Johnson

>>READ MORE: From Clemson to Canton | Brian Dawkins' career in photos

"Brian had a little bit of athletic arrogance. He knew he was pretty good. But he had to get the speed of the game down and all of the checks down before he could really show his talent. Once that happened, he was off and running. The two people I compared him to back then were Kenny Easley and Ronnie Lott. He lived up to that comparison.'' – Emmitt Thomas, Dawkins' first defensive coordinator with the Eagles

"We wanted to bring more physicality to the team. My most vivid recollection of Brian before the [1996] draft was the Senior Bowl. He was playing special teams and had two massive hits on punt coverage. I mean, this is the Senior Bowl. You're sitting there saying, 'OK, anybody laying a hit like that in the Senior Bowl, they just can't help themselves. They're a physical player and like to be tough and intimidating.''' – former Eagles president Joe Banner

Jeffrey Lurie hugs Brian Dawkins after the Eagles beat the Falcons to advance to Super Bowl XXXIX in 2005. Lurie said Dawkins is one of his favorite Eagles players.
INQUIRER FILE
Jeffrey Lurie hugs Brian Dawkins after the Eagles beat the Falcons to advance to Super Bowl XXXIX in 2005. Lurie said Dawkins is one of his favorite Eagles players.

"I don't think a lot of people truly appreciated the preparation Brian put into a game, both physically and mentally. This was a grinder. This wasn't just a talented, high-spirited, emotional player. He grinded. He deserved the greatness he achieved.'' – Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie

"I remember the first time I came in and saw those cartoon figures in his locker. I'm like, OK, what's up with this, man? One day it's just Clemson stuff and stuff from high school. Then you come in one offseason, and where there used to be a brush or soap or some hair cream, there's these action figures.'' – Troy Vincent on Dawkins' fondness for Weapon X

Troy Vincent making a diving interception against the Chargers in front of Brian Dawkins.
JERRY LODRIGUSS / Staff File
Troy Vincent making a diving interception against the Chargers in front of Brian Dawkins.

"If Brian had been in a normal defensive system, he would've been a great player, but he wouldn't have been the trend=setter, the difference-maker, that he was. I mean, defenses are totally different now. A lot of people take credit for the zone-blitz stuff. But nobody played the two-deep zone pressures that Jim [Johnson] played. He was the first guy to do all that. And he was able to do it because of Dawk. It just wasn't something anybody else was doing before Jim and Dawk started doing it.'' – Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh

On Saturday, Brian Dawkins will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Want to thank him for the memories? Share with us your message for or about the Eagles legend and we'll feature the best on Philly.com. Email your messages — and photos in your Dawkins gear — to us at audience@philly.com.