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MY ALL TIME FAVORITE EAGLES!! WHO ARE YOURS?

In Philadelphia Eagles on March 5, 2012 at 10:06 pm

Since we’ve been spending a good bit of time covering the Flyers and the 76ers as they head down the stretch in their respective regular seasons and we’ll be covering March Madness and doing a player-by-player analysis on the Phillies 25 man roster beginning very soon I thought we’d take a quick break and jump back to the E-A-G-L-E-S since they never move too far from the center of our thinking anyway.

Today I have picked my 12 favorite Eagles of all time. Obviously, this is open for great debate. I’ve picked these guys for a number of reasons and some just because I liked them. It was actually tough to get down to just 12. Now as a clarification I never saw Steve Van Buren, Chuck Bednarik, Pete Pihos, Tommy McDonald, or Norm Van Brocklin, all Hall of Famers, that didn’t get included on my list. I do go back to 1965 or so, when I saw my first Eagles game at Franklin Field. We’ll discuss that more later.

My list is not in any particular order after the first two guys. Number one stands alone with no one close – BILL BERGEY. Bergey played in the NFL from 1969 – 1980. He was named to the AFL All Star team as a rookie with Cincinnati in 1969 and was named to 4 Pro Bowls with the Eagles. In my opinion, Bergey is underrated and should be in the HOF. He didn’t get the credit he deserved because he played for lousy teams while good players like Jack Lambert received much more credit because he played for the “Steel Curtain” Steelers. Bergey was just as good. Bill Bergey was “The Baddest Man in the Valley”.

My second favorite is BRIAN DAWKINS. B-Dawk brought leadership with him everywhere he went. You could be sure of two things with Dawkins, he was going to come to play every week and he was going to hit you every time he got a chance. B-Dawk played for the Eagles from 1996-2008 which included 183 games, second only to David Akers. Including his time with Denver he has been to 9 Pro Bowls and was named NFL Man of the Year in 2008.

Following is the remainder of the list. I put them in alphabetic order:

BOB BROWN – “Boomer” played for the Eagles from 1964-68 before moving on to the Rams, the Raiders, 6 Pro Bowls and the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Why Bob Brown do you ask? When I was about 7 years old, 1965, my Dad took me to Franklin Field for my first Eagles games. We used to stand in the end zone because we had passes. We were walking in to the stadium one Sunday and there stood Boomer. I have to say two things that I remember very vividly, Brown was probably the first black person I ever remember seeing and he was surely the biggest person I’d ever seen. I saw Boomer at a memorabilia show recently and told him that story and that I had always been a fan of his since. His comment to me was “I hope I didn’t let you down”. A true 1st class guy.

TIMMY BROWN – This is an easy one. On November 6, 1966 we were at Franklin Field when Timmy returned 2 kickoffs, 90 and 93 yards for touchdowns in the same game against the Dallas Cowboys. At that time he was the first player to have ever done it. He still holds the Eagles record with 5 career kickoff returns for touchdowns. Brown played in the NFL from 1959 – 1968, including 1960-67 with the Eagles. He was a member of the World Champion 1960 team. Timmy made 3 Pro Bowls with the Eagles.

WILBERT MONTGOMERY – Wilbert was a 6th round draft pick in 1977 and played 8 season s for the Eagles. As the Eagles became a better team and landed in the Super Bowl in 1980 it was because of Wilbert Montgomery on offense. Wilbert holds many Eagles rushing records. In his career he rushed for 6,789 yards and 57 total touchdowns. He was a 2 time Pro Bowler. Wilbert is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame.

VINCE PAPALE – Vince is an easy choice as a favorite because of his storybook career and the movie “Invincible”. I’m a fan of those things too but I knew about Vince Papale from the rough touch league in Delaware County long before the Eagles. When we were 12 years old or so and playing on the 95 lb team our coaches played in that rough touch league. We were kids and went to all of the games and ran around the fields while the games were going on. Those were tough games. I’ve had an opportunity to meet Vince several times and he’s an all-around great guy.

KEVIN REILLY – I’m sure this is another guy that has you shaking your head and I have another interesting story. When Kevin was a student at Villanova he was a student teacher at Collingdale High School when we were Junior High students. Of course as football players ourselves we gravitated to where he was. Kevin then played for the Eagles in 1973 and 74. He was a backup linebacker and an excellent kickoff team guy. Kevin later lost his arm to cancer but has overcome. He currently works on Eagles broadcast and is a motivational speaker. Check him out at http://kreilly.com

JERRY SIZEMORE – I like offensive linemen and Sizemore was my favorite. He was a 1st round draft pick, the number 3 pick in 1973 out of Texas. He played with the Eagles until 1984. Jerry’s 12 seasons on the O-Line are the 2nd most seasons played behind Chuck Bednarik. His 156 games ranks 4th among Eagles lineman. Sizemore made 2 Pro Bowls and was a big key to the emergence of Wilbert Montgomery and the run to the Super Bowl. He is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame. Sizemore never played a down in the NFL for anyone but the Eagles.

JEREMIAH TROTTER – I think it was the toughness of Trotter that attracted me to him or the 3 different stints he had with the Birds. None the less Trott made 4 Pro Bowls as the Middle Linebacker of the Eagles. Trotter and Dawkins were the leaders of the defense that led the Eagles to 2004 Super Bowl.

HERSCHEL WALKER – I just liked everything about this guy except that he played for the Cowboys and the Giants during his career. He was the ultimate team player with the Eagles between 1992 and 1994. In ’92, he rushed for 1070 yards. In 1994, Herschel became the first NFL player to have gains of 90 or more yards rushing, receiving and on a kick return in the same season. The man could do it all. Walker finished his career with 8,225 yards rushing with 61 TD’s and 4,859 yards receiving with 21 TD’s. He made 2 Pro Bowls. In my mind Herschel is the best college football player I’ve ever seen. He won the 1982 Heisman Trophy and is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame.

ANDRE WATERS – Another #20 who just brought the hammer every time he stepped on the field. Waters was tough! Many thought he earned the nickname “Dirty” Waters but one thing’s for sure the other team knew he was on the field. Andre was undrafted out of Cheyney in 1984 but made the Eagles and played with the team until 1993, before finishing his career with Arizona. He led the Gang Green Defense in tackles 4 years. He was the leading tackler on the 1992 team that was ranked #1 in the NFL in rushing defense, passing defense and total defense. Andre made his only Pro Bowl in 1991.

MIKE ZORDICH – Another tough, hard nose player. Zordich played at Penn State, another good reason to like him.  Mike was a 9th round draft pick who was originally cut by San Diego. He played for the Jets and the Cardinals before playing for the Eagles from 1994-1998. Mike played a total of 185 career games in 12 NFL season. He had 20 interceptions and returned 3 of them for touchdowns. He also had a fumble recovery for a TD for the Eagles.

Penn State All Time Football Team – Part 4

In Penn State All Time Team, Penn State Football on January 13, 2012 at 8:06 am

PART 4– Now that the Joe Paterno era of Penn State football has officially ended I wanted to have some fun and come up with my All Time Joe Paterno Penn State football team. There was actually a lot of thought that went in to this. I did a good bit of statistical research, used my long memory of Penn State football games and seasons gone bye and of course a lot of my opinion. I also tried to base my picks on their Penn State career and not their NFL career which leaves a few NFL Hall of Famers off the 1st Team. Please feel free to leave your comments. All positions can easily be disputed since there have been many great players to come through Happy Valley. I’ve even taken the liberty to add a few extra players because I couldn’t split the hair on who to pick. It was tough enough as it was. Part 1, I will pick the Offensive Line (5) and TE (1). Part 2, I will pick the WR (3) and QB (1). Part 3 I will pick the RB (3) and it was tough. Part 4 the DL (4), and DB’s (4) and Part 5 I will pick the LB’s (4), it was impossible and I may still change my mind at the last second, the kicker (1) and punter (1).  I’ve added a 2nd Team and an Honorable Mention list.

LET THE ARGUMENTS BEGIN!!!!

I have selected 4 DEFENSIVE LINEMEN on my 1st Team. I actually found this to be the easiest group to pick. Here you go:

Courtney Brown – 1st Team All American (‘99). Courtney won the Nagurski, Bednarik and Lombardi Awards as well as being named Big 10 Defensive Player of the Year. He ranks #1 in career sacks with 33 and career tackles for loss with 70. He was unblockable. Brown was the 1st selection in the 2000 draft by the Cleveland Browns. He played in the NFL from 2000-2006.

Bruce Clark – 2-Time 1st Team All American (‘78 &’79) Bruce was the first junior to win the Lombardi Award as the top defensive lineman in the country. He finished 8th in career sacks with 19 and 4th in career tackles for losses. Clark was drafted in the 1st round of the NFL draft by the Green Bay Packers but never played for them. He played in the CFL, NFL and WFL from 1980-1991.

Mike Reid – 1st Team All American (‘69). Elected to the College Football Hall of Fame. Reid won the Outland Trophy and Maxwell Trophy in 1969. Mike holds the PSU record of recording 3 safeties in a game, season and career. He received the Walter Camp “Alumnus of the Year” award in 1987. In 1995, he received the NCAA Silver Anniversary Award. Reid was a 1st round draft pick of the Cincinnati Bengals. He played in the NFL from 1970-74. He played in 2 Pro Bowls.

Devon Still – 1st Team All American (‘11). Still just completed his Penn State career by making every 1st team All American team and being selected Big 10 Defensive Player of the Year.

2nd Team:

Matt Millen –1st Team All American (‘79). Millen played on the same defensive line as Bruce Clark. Matt ranks #5 in career sacks with 22. Millen was drafted in the 2st round of the NFL draft by the Los Angeles/Oakland Raiders. He was a linebacker in the NFL. He played in the NFL from 1980-1991. Matt was named All Pro 2 times and won 4 Super Bowl rings as a player.

Larry Kubin – Larry made sacks fashionable before they were as a defensive end. He recorded 30 in his PSU career second to Courtney Brown. Kubin was a 6st round draft pick of the Washington Redskins. He played in the NFL from 1981-1985. He earned 2 Super Bowl rings.

Steve Smear – 2nd Team All American (‘68). Smear teamed with Mike Reid on the D-Line helping make up the first of the great PSU defenses of the Paterno era. Steve was drafted in the 4th round by the Baltimore Colts but played instead in the CFL from 1970-75.

Randy Crowder – 1st Team All American (’73). Crowder anchored the defensive line for the undefeated team. He was a 6th round draft pick of the Miami Dolphins and played in the NFL from 1974-1980.

Honorable Mention:

Mike Hartenstein, Walker Lee Ashley, Tamba Hali, Tim Johnson, Randy Sidler, Lou Benfatti, Anthony Adams, Jimmy Kennedy, Aaron Maybin, Bob White,  Brad Scioli, Jared Odrick, Justin Kurpeikis, Michael Haynes, Jay Alford

I have selected 4 DEFENSIVE BACKS on my 1st Team. Here they are:

Neil Smith – 1st Team All American (’69). Neil still holds the PSU record for career interceptions with 19. He shares the single season interception record along with Pete Harris.

Pete Harris – 1st Team All American (’78). Pete shares the single season interception record with Neil Smith.

Mark Robinson – 1st Team All American (’82). Mark was the leader of a strong group of DB’s that won the 1982 National Championship and Sugar Bowl. He was a 4th round draft pick of the Kansas City Chiefs. He played in the NFL from 1984-1993.

Darren Perry – 1st Team All American (’91). Perry’s 299 interception return yards and three interceptions for touchdowns are school records. He was an 8th round draft pick of the Pittsburgh Steelers and played in the NFL from 1992-2000. He was selected All Pro in 1994.

2nd TEAM:

Ray Isom – An anchor of the ’86 defensive back field that won the National Championship and beat up the Miami Hurricanes in the Fiesta Bowl. Isom, as the free safety, led the hitting.

Bryan Scott – Three-year starter at Penn State, playing in all 48 career games, and finished his career with 202 tackles, five interceptions. He was a 2nd round pick of the Atlanta Falcons in 2003. He is still playing in the NFL.

Mike Zordich – 1st Team All American (‘85). A 4 year letterman at PSU who finished his career with 201 tackles. Mike was known for his toughness and hard hitting. He was drafted in the 9th round by the San Diego Chargers. He never played for them but played for the Jets, Cardinals and Eagles from 1987-1998.

Kim Herring – 1st Team All American (’96). Kim was a 2nd round draft pick of the Baltimore Ravens. He played in the NFL from 1997-2005. He won a Super Bowl ring with the Ravens.

HONORABLE MENTION:

Harry Hamilton, Tony Pittman, Shawn Mayer, Alan Zemaitis, Paul Lankford, Leonard Humphries, Shelly Hammonds, David Macklin, James Boyd, Bhawoh Jue, Calvin Lowry, Justin King, Anthony Scirrotto

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