Dawkins was in town Tuesday and spoke at the team's new state-of-the-art training facility in Camden, N.J. The nine-time Pro Bowl selection and four-time All-Pro pick played 13 seasons for the Eagles from 1996 through 2008.
"I don't want to encourage you, I don't want just inspire you, come here and be hyped for a practice or two, or the first couple of games," Dawkins told the team, according to NBA.com.
"I'm talking about when the season is in the grind ... will you remember this conversation, and will you have these conversations amongst yourselves during that time, of remembering where you came from. Because having goals and aspirations are wonderful, but if I'm not willing to consistently put in the work, have the conversations, hold one another accountable, it will not work. It'll be just another dream."
"He's a man's man," 76ers coach Brett Brown said of Dawkins on Tuesday. "The attitude, the toughness, the teammateship, the healthy lifestyle, the commitment to his organization, where do you stop?"
The former safety did several exercises with the team, including one where he told the players to look at each other and repeat after him.
"Look to your teammate to your left and your right," Dawkins said, according to NBC Sports Philly. "Tell your teammates 'I got you.' Everything in practice, 'I got you.' All season 'I got you.'"
THE Brian Dawkins at the Complex today talking to the team before practice. pic.twitter.com/42n0cOaEtm— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) October 3, 2017
Dawkins, 43, is the Eagles' executive director of football operations for player development.
"I want to make sure that I give these people something to cheer for," Dawkins said in a video from NBC Sports Philly. "I never stepped on that field expecting them to cheer for me. Let me repeat that. I never stepped on that field expecting them to cheer for me. It was my job to give them something to cheer about"