Eagles

Eagles legend Harold Carmichael is headed to Pro Football Hall of Fame

Eagles legend Harold Carmichael is headed to Pro Football Hall of Fame

Long-time Eagles great Harold Carmichael, snubbed by the Pro Football Hall of Fame for decades, finally got the call he's been waiting for on Saturday.

Carmichael is going into the Hall of Fame.

Carmichael learned of the honor in a phone call from Hall of Fame President David Baker.

The Hall tweeted out a video of that phone call:

“Oh wow. Oh boy," Carmichael said. "This is so much of an honor, oh gosh. Never thought this would happen. But thank you, God. Thank you for telling me this, David. Appreciate you. I feel like I’m dreaming. I don’t know what to feel. I feel so numb.”

The Hall of Fame announced its 10 senior inductees on Wednesday morning in conjunction with the NFL's 100th anniversary.

"Congratulations to Harold Carmichael on being selected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame," Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie said. "Our entire organization is so proud to see Harold earn this well-deserved honor. Harold revolutionized the wide receiver position and became one of the most productive players of his era and in the history of our franchise. He was inducted into the Eagles Hall of Fame in 1987 and his records will always rank among the all-time greats, but Harold's true contributions to our game extend far beyond his on-field accomplishments.”

Carmichael is only the 7th player who spent more than half his career with the Eagles to make it to Canton.

Brian Dawkins, Chuck Bednarik, Reggie White, Pete Pihos, Tommy McDonald and Steve Van Buren are the others.

Carmichael spent the 1971 through 1983 seasons with the Eagles after getting drafted in the 7th round out of Southern University. He was named a wide receiver on the NFL’s 1980s all-decade team and is also on the Eagles' 75th anniversary team named in 2007.

During his 12 seasons with the Eagles, he caught 589 passes for 8,978 yards and 79 touchdowns. He led the NFL in catches and yards in 1973 and made four Pro Bowls.

During the 11-year period from 1973 through 1983, Carmichael led the NFL with 549 catches, 8,414 yards and 77 touchdowns. 

Carmichael was also a very productive postseason player. He had 9 catches for 203 yards and three TDs in two playoff games in 1979 and was 13-for-174 with a TD during the 1980 super Bowl run.

In all, he was 29-for-465 with 6 TDs in seven playoff games.

"Harold has served as a role model, mentor, and friend to so many during his four-plus decades in Philadelphia as a player, executive, and ambassador,” Lurie said. “He is a one-of-a-kind person who loves this organization, who loves this city and its fans, and who treats everyone with dignity and respect. We are excited to celebrate this honor with Harold and his family."

Carmichael finished his career playing two games for the Cowboys in 1984. 

When he retired after the 1984 season, Carmichael ranked 5th in NFL history in receptions, seventh in yards and seventh in TDs.

Every player who had more catches than Carmichael at that point — Charlie Joiner, Charley Taylor, Don Maynard and Raymond Berry — is a Hall of Famer.

Carmichael still holds Eagles franchise records for catches, yards and touchdowns. Zach Ertz is second with 521 receptions, Pete Retzlaff is second with 7,412 yards and Tommy McDonald is second with 66 TDs.

This is the first time Carmichael has been a finalist.

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How Combine might have changed Eagles' WR plans

How Combine might have changed Eagles' WR plans

The 2020 wide receiver draft picture got a lot more interesting Thursday night.

Alabama’s Henry Ruggs did his thing and ran 4.28 when the receivers ran their 40's at the Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. He didn't break John Ross's record of 4.22, but he certainly did nothing to hurt his draft status. 

Neither did his college teammate, Jerry Jeudy, or Oklahoma's CeeDee Lamb. They remain the consensus top three receivers in the draft, and the Eagles, who have the 21st pick in the first round, would likely have to trade up to draft any of them.

But a few receivers helped themselves with their performances in Indy and a few may have hurt their stock as well, and it all could definitely affect the receiver-starved Eagles’ strategy in April.

HELPED THEMSELVES

JUSTIN JEFFERSON,  LSU: Joe Burrow’s favorite target ran much faster than expected with a 4.43. We already know he’s productive - he caught a ridiculous 111 passes for 1,540 yards and 18 touchdowns - and he backed that up with a faster 40 time than Alabama’s Jerry Jeudy. How much that helps him remains to be seen, but he definitely helped himself.

CHASE CLAYPOOL, NOTRE DAME: There’s been talk about the 6-4, 240-pound Claypool moving to tight end, but then he went out and ran 4.42, which according to the Next Gen Stats twitter feed makes him the first receiver over 230 pounds to run sub-4.45 since Calvin Johnson in 2007. He also caught the ball well and performed well in the other drills. 

DENZEL MIMS, BAYLOR: Mims opened a lot of eyes with a 4.38 Thursday night to cap an overall excellent performance. Only Ruggs and Southern Mississippi’s Quez Watkins ran faster. Mims was generally considered a second-round talent before the Combine but running 4.38 at 6-3, 210 pounds could push him into the first round. 

HURT THEMSELVES

JALEN REAGOR, TEXAS CHRISTIAN: Reagor, whose father Montae played for the Eagles in 2007, said he planned to run faster than Ruggs: “That’s my plan. He runs after me. I’m going to set the bar for him.”  He also said he expected to run “high 4.2, low 4.3.”  Then he ran 4.47, a full fifth of a second slower than Ruggs. He followed that with a 4.50. How much that hurts him remains to be seen, but it wasn’t what anybody was expecting. 

TEE HIGGINS, CLEMSON: Higgins told reporters at the Combine that he was planning to prove a lot of people wrong with his 40:  “My goal is to hit a 4.4. A lot of guys think I’m gonna run a 4.5 or 4.6, but I’m excited to change people’s minds.” Then without explanation he didn’t run or participate in any drills Thursday night. Not good. 

LAVISKA SHENAULT JR., COLORADO: After a slower-than-expected 4.58 on his first try, Shenault skipped his second 40 and didn’t participate in the other drills, presumably because of the core muscle injury that cost him a couple games during the season. Shenault was considered a late first-round or early second-rounder. He’ll have a chance to bounce back at his pro day, but he didn’t help himself Thursday.

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Temple LBs and roommates in heated competition for combine supremacy

Temple LBs and roommates in heated competition for combine supremacy

Temple linebackers Shaun Bradley and Chapelle Russell know they will have a ton on the line Saturday when their position group gets on the field for drills at the NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. 

Their football careers hang in the balance. 

Not to mention bragging rights. 

Throughout the last few months, the two close friends have been in a heated competition and back-and-forth trash talk battle. Bradley was training with EXOS in Phoenix; Russell was training with EXOS in San Diego. The whole time, they kept texting each other performance numbers and egging each other on. 

That competition reached a new level this week when the two found out they were rooming together in Indianapolis. 

“That’s all we do. We sit in the room and talk about who’s going to win the 40, who’s going to have the fastest (time),” Bradley said. “We do it all day. It’s nonstop. We’ll joke, we’ll talk about it. As soon as one thing hits, he’s like, ‘I’m about to run a faster 40 than you.’ ‘No you’re not.’ Back and forth, back and forth.”

At Temple, the pair of starting linebackers lived together in a house on campus, so it’s a familiar feeling to be together this week at the combine. And in such a high-pressure situation, with so much on the line, it’s comforting for both to go through it all with a close friend. 

Bradley and Russell will be rooting for each other on Saturday but that doesn’t mean they don’t want to outperform each other.  

“It’s been cool,” Russell said. “We always talk trash with each other about who’s faster, who’s going to do this, who’s going to do that. The competition between us two has been intense so I can’t even imagine what it’s going to be like when we get out there Saturday.” 

There are plenty of similarities between the two. 

- Russell is listed at 6-foot-2, 236 pounds. Bradley is listed at 6-foot-1, 235 pounds. 

- Both feel like they have gotten bigger, stronger and faster over the last couple of months. 

- Both are from New Jersey (Bradley from Mount Holly, Russell from Lakewood). Both became huge parts of Temple’s defense and were awarded single-digit numbers (Bradley got 5, Russell got 3) — an honor for the nine toughest Owls on the roster — in 2018. 

- Both put up big numbers in 2019. Bradley led the Owls with 86 tackles and Russell was second with 72. Bradley had 8 tackles for loss; Russell had 8 1/2. 

- And both feel like they have plenty to prove this week. 

While there are some big-name linebacker prospects in Indianapolis this week, the two Temple linebackers aren’t considered to be in that class. During their interview sessions on Thursday, while the big-name players spoke at podiums, Russell, Bradley and the less highly regarded prospects were crammed in the corner of the room at little round tables. 

“I think we’re going to open a lot of eyes,” Russell said. “…  I feel like when we go out there Saturday, we’re going to prove a lot of people wrong.”

Bradley and Russell both said the Eagles were one of the first teams to meet with them this week and each would love the opportunity to stay in Philly and continue to play home games at Lincoln Financial Field. It’s something the Eagles brought up to them in their respective interviews. 

Continuing their football careers in Philly would mean a lot to both men. For Bradley, it would allow him to stay close to home, where his family — including his four siblings, all 13 or younger — would be able to watch him play. 

Bradley joked the one problem he might have if he became an Eagle is remembering to go to the Birds’ locker room at the Linc and not to the Owls’ locker room farther down the hallway.  

But each guy basically said the same thing about the Eagles. 

“If Philly wanted to draft me, I’d be all for it,” Russell said. 

In recent months, Bradley and Russell have been in contact with several former Temple players who have already been through this pre-draft process. Since 2016, there have been 11 Owls drafted — 1 in the first, 2 in the second, 1 in the fourth, 3 in the fifth, one in the sixth and three in the 7th. 

A good showing from either Bradley or Russell on Saturday would go a long way in adding one of them to that list. 

Oh yeah, and one of them will earn those bragging rights too. 

“I’m pretty sure it’s going to be me,” Russell said. “But that’s the competition between me and him. He’ll say him, and I’ll say me.”

We’ll find out soon enough. 

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