Springs: I'm No Dawk

Shawn Springs smiles at a news conference this afternoon at the NovaCare complex. (David Maialetti / Staff Photographer)

Shawn Springs is not Brian Dawkins, the soon-to-be-34-year-old free agent defensive back said today.

"He's a guy that will never, ever be replaced in Philly," Springs said during a press conference held in conjunction with his Eagles visit, at NovaCare. "I think he's going to always be a part of this community. Brian Dawkins is one of those guys you could actually see in a Denver uniform and still think he's an Eagle ... We're a totally different style of game. I have a lot of respect for him as a person, moreso than a football player. He's a great man.

  "I came in the league as a true cover corner, who can play safety besides, and who can blitz ... Brian Dawkins came in as a true safety .. that's like comparing apples and oranges."

But the Birds, still pretty well-stocked at corner despite the departure of Lito Sheppard, are looking for help at safety, clearly, and they've brought in for a chat a respected veteran with a lot of mileage on his clock. The comparisons will be hard to avoid, should Springs sign. He has visited the Patriots and indicated he might visit the Saints, as well.

Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Johnson was on the Seattle staff when Springs was drafted third overall there in 1997. Springs said they had a detailed discussion today about how Johnson might see Springs fitting into the Eagles' defense.

   "Jim mainly said, like, safety, and that was fine with me ... when I played for Washington, I was all over the field," Spring sad.  "I wasn't a full-time safety, but we had a lot of packages where I was like a safety."

Stay tuned.