Philadelphia Eagles: All-Time Positional All-Stars in Team History
The off-season is a good time to take inventory on the state of your franchise.
The Eagles have given Philly fans lots of reasons to be grateful over the years, but more recently the Eagles failures in the post-season have also given fans lots of bittersweet memories.
As the Eagles weather a sea-change of sorts, with the end of the McNabb Era and the beginning, however brief it may be, of the Vick Era, this would be a good time to examine where some current Eagles rank on the All Time Positional All Stars in Eagles History.
Let's have a look.
Quarterback: Donovan McNabb
It is very difficult to argue with McNabb, because he owns just about every quarterback record there is for the Eagles.
His level of success is also difficult to dispute, as frustrated as we were with it.
Honorable Mention: Ron Jaworski, Randall Cunningham
Half-Back: Steven Van Buren
There will be a contigent of Eagles fans who will lobby for Brian Westbrook here. Those fans are overlooking how brief Westbrook's career was.
There will also be those who will call for Wilbert Montgomery, who is the team's all time leading rusher and was on the 1979 Super Bowl team in a year in which he led the NFL in yards from scrimmage.
But Steven Van Buren was All Pro five times, led the NFL in rushing yards, rushing touchdowns, and rushing attempts four times each, and led the league in yards per carry five times. He was also a kick returner, and led the league in yards from scrimmage twice.
And Van Buren is in the Hall of Fame.
Honorable Mention: Wilbert Montgomery, Brian Westbrook.
Full Back: Keith Byars
Keith Byars came into the league as a half back, but he was built like, and played like, a pass-catching fullback. Later in his career they made him a full back, but not without trying him at tight end first.
Tight End: Pete Pihos
Pete Pihos was one of those renaissance men who could do anything, in the Bill Bradley mode. He was drafted by the Eagles in 1945, but had to serve two years in World War II. Once he joined the team, however, Pihos was dominant force on both sides of the line.
Once the NFL did away with the two-way player concept, Pihos focused on offense. However, the team needed him on defense for the 1952 season, during which he was voted to the Pro Bowl and first team All Pro. After 1952, he switched back to offense and led the NFL in receptions three straight years.
After his father was murdered and the killer exonerated, Pihos went to law school, quitting just one semester shy of graduating.
Pihos is in the Hall of Fame.
Honorable Mention: Keith Jackson, Pete Retlaf.
Wide Receiver: Harold Carmichael
Harold Carmichael spent a shocking 13 seasons in Philadelphia and became the Eagles all time leader in most receiving categories. He also made four Pro Bowls and had three 1,000 yard seasons back when those were harder to come by.
Carmichael, who was a remarkable 6'8", began his career as a tight end before switching to wideout.
Honorable Mention: Fred Barnett
Wide Receiver: Mike Quick
A five-time Pro Bowler and two-time All Pro, Mike Quick packed a whole lot of punch into his comparatively brief career, leading the NFL in yards in 1983 and finishing his career with over 60 touchdowns at a time when no NFL receiver had yet broken 100 touchdowns.
Honorable Mention: Calvin Williams
Center: Guy Morriss
A veteran of 11 seasons with the Eagles and four more with the Patriots, Morriss went to two Super Bowls in his career and lost both of them.
Guard: Bucko Kilroy
Bucko Kilroy played for the Eagles for 13 seasons. He made three Pro Bowls and won two championships with the team in 1948 and 1949.
Guard: Jerry Sisemore
Jerry Sisemore played on the Eagles offensive line for 12 seasons. He was a two time Pro Bowler and played in the Super Bowl.
Tackle: Tra Thomas
Tra Thomas anchored the offensive line from the left tackle position for 11 years, from 1998 to 2008, during the most successful run in Eagles history.
Honorable Mention: Bob Brown, Jerry Sisemore
Tackle: Jon Runyan
During the decade of the 2000's (whatever we're calling that decade), Jon Runyan anchored the offensive line for a potent Eagles offensive attack.
Honorable Mention: Al Wistert, Stan Walters
Defensive End: Reggie White
One of the greatest defensive players of all time, if you took Reggie White's career and split it in two, one half representing his time with the Eagles and one half representing his time in Green Bay, you would have two of the greatest defensive players of all time.
Defensive End: Clyde Simmons
In eight years with the Eagles, he was All Pro twice and once had 19 sacks in a season. Playing opposite Reggie White could not have hurt, but he was still amazing.
Simmons had over 120 sacks during his NFL career.
Defensive Tackle: Jerome Brown
Jerome Brown was a large scary man who dominated the insider of the defensive line for five years. When he died tragically in 1993, he was coming off of consecutive appearances in the Pro Bowl and on the All Pro team.
Honorable Mention: Greg Brown
Defensive Tackle: Ken Clarke
Ken Clarke spent 10 years on the Eagles defensive line, including four years as a nose tackle in the 3-4 scheme. It was as nose tackle that Clarke recorded 10.5 sacks in 1984.
Linebacker: Jeremiah Trotter
Three bad-ass years in Philly, followed by two mediocre years in Washington, followed by three more bad-ass years in Philly.
Honorable Mention: William Thomas
Linebacker: Chuck Bednarik
Possibly the greatest Philadelphia Eagle of all time. An eight time Pro Bowler, five time All Pro, and a Hall of Famer, Bednarik was the last NFL player to go both ways full time.
Honorable Mention: Byron Evans
Linebacker: Seth Joyner
Seth Joyner was one of the beasts of the 1988-1992 defense that sent players home in body-bags. He spent eight years in Philadelphia, and he could kill you in multiple ways: forcing fumblers, intercepting passes, and occasionally sacking the quarterback. Joyner would have had more sacks if he had been with the Saints or the Giants in those days, but the Eagles featured blitzing linemen in an era of blitzing linebackers.
Honorable Mention: Jeremiah Trotter
Cornerback: Eric Allen
Eric Allen was a five time Pro Bowler and only missed one game in his seven seasons with the Eagles.
He is tied with Bill Bradley and Brian Dawkins for most interceptions in Eagles history, and is the all time Eagles leader in interceptions returned for a touchdown with five.
Cornerback: Herman Edwards
Herm Edwards had a brilliant nine year career with the Eagles, but this is the play for which he will forever be remembered.
Honorable Mention: Troy Vincent
Free Safety: Brian Dawkins
One of the great Eagles icons and a leader of the defense for 13 seasons.
Honorable Mention: Wes Hopkins
Strong Safety: Andre Waters
One of the leaders of a ferocious and dominant defensive unit, Andre Waters was actually an undrafted free agent when he joined the team in 1984, and under Buddy Ryan he became know as the viciously tackler we remember him as.
Place Kicker: David Akers
When it comes to Eagles kickers, there is David Akers and there is everyone else.
Honorable Mention: Bobby Walston
Punter: Randall Cunningham
Because a) the Philadelphia Eagles have never featured a single punter for more than four or five years; and b) how awesome is it that Cunningham not only could punt, but also has two of the longest punts in NFL history?
Kick Returner: Timmy Brown
Timmy Brown returned kicks for the Eagles from 1960 to 1967 and is the team's all time leader in returns, return yardage, and touchdowns. His longest return went for 105 yards.
Honorable Mention: Brian Mitchell.
Punt Returner: DeSean Jackson
DeSean Jackson is already the Eagles all time leader in punt returns for touchdowns, and completed this play, one of the most electrifying in Eagles history.
Head Coach: Greasy Neale
Two NFL Championships in 1948 and 1949, plus a .594 winning percentage in 10 seasons.
Honorable Mention: Andy Reid, Dick Vermeil