Dan Leone may finally feel vindicated.
The game-day employee at Lincoln Financial Field lost his job after a profane Facebook rant regarding the team’s failure to re-sign safety Brian Dawkins in 2009. On Thursday’s PFT Live, former Eagles president Joe Banner identified the handling of Dawkins’ situation as one of the biggest regrets of Banner’s 18-year tenure with the team.
“I think that there were times where the true appreciation we had for the contributions of some of our players, you know, Brian Dawkins comes to mind the most,” Banner said. “That certain situations were handled in a way that maybe the true, sincere, deep caring we had for those people didn’t show the way it should have. I think those players were close enough to us personally to know how we felt, but I also understand how perceptions are driven. And those are people we care about deeply and cherish and value and were invaluable to what we were trying to do here, and there were times I wish that could have been handled a little cleaner, primarily from a public relations perspective.”
Dawkins signed with the Broncos as a free agent at a time when it appeared that the Eagles had low-balled him, and that the Eagles simply didn’t believe he could generate serious interest elsewhere. Dawkins went on to have three solid seasons in Denver.
Banner then was asked whether he had any regrets about the Terrell Owens debacle of 2005, and he opted not to rehash a seven-year-old scar.
All in all, though, Banner has far more reasons for pride, given that he helped transform the Eagles into consistent contenders. Though they never managed to kick in the door on a championship, they’ve been knocking more often than not, which is more than most teams can say.