In April of 2009, the Philadelphia Eagles lost arguably the most popular player in franchise history.
Brian Dawkins signed with the Denver Broncos, officially ending the seven-time Pro Bowler’s reign with the Eagles.
The Eagles spent the entire 2009 season looking for Dawkins’ replacement, both on and off the field.
They didn’t find either. Sean Jones wasn’t very good and Macho Harris was worse.
Neither is still on the team.
In the 2010 NFL draft, the Philadelphia Eagles thought they had a suitable replacement for Brian Dawkins.
With their second round pick, they selected free safety Nate Allen out of South Florida.
Allen was handed the starting job after free safety Marlin Jackson ruptured his Achilles tendon during a mini-camp activity on June 1st.
He responded immediately in the 2010 season, intercepting an Aaron Rodgers pass in the season opener against Green Bay.
He picked off another pass against the Detroit Lions the next week.
In week three against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Allen recorded his first NFL sack.
For his two-interception, one-sack performance, Allen was named the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Month.
His performance slipped a little throughout the remainder of the season before he suffered a season-ending ACL injury in the Miracle at the New Meadowlands game against the Giants.
Although his season ended in disappointing fashion, Eagles fans have every reason to believe that they have found the defensive playmaker they have lacked since losing the legendary Brian Dawkins two years ago.