The greatest seasons by Eagles 23 and under

The greatest seasons by Eagles 23 and under

On Wednesday, inspired by Jason Peters’ return to the Eagles at 38 years old, we posted the top 10 seasons in Eagles history by players over 35.

Researching the oldest players to star for the Eagles of course led us to start thinking about the youngest.

Here are the 10-youngest players in Eagles history to start a game, according to Pro Football Reference:

21 years, 63 days: LeSean McCoy, Sept. 13, 2009, at Panthers 
21 years, 125 days: Jeremy Maclin, Sept. 13, 2009, at Panthers 
21 years, 185 days: Joe Scarpati, Sept. 13, 1964 vs. Giants
21 years, 196 days: Bryce Brown, Nov. 26, 2012, vs. Panthers
21 years, 199 days: Neill Armstrong, Sept. 28, 1947, vs. Redskins
21 years, 261 days: Ernie Calloway, Sept. 21, 1969, vs. Browns
21 years, 280 days: Victor Abiamiri, Oct. 21, 2007, vs. Bears
21 years, 285 days: Jack Concannon, Dec. 6, 1964, vs. Cowboys
22 years, 23 days: Josh Adams, Nov. 18, 2018, vs. Saints
22 years, 113 days Nelson Agholor, Sept. 14, 2015, at Falcons

And here are the top-10 seasons in Eagles history by players 23 or younger (plus a couple more we couldn’t leave out).

1. Keith Jackson, TE, 1988

Jackson had one of the greatest rookie seasons in NFL history at 23 when he caught 81 passes for 869 yards and 6 TDs, making all-pro and the Pro Bowl. He still holds the NFL record for most catches by a rookie tight end and is the youngest all-pro in Eagles history.

2. Ben Hawkins, WR, 1967

In his second NFL season at the age of 23, Hawkins led the NFL with 1,265 receiving yards on 59 catches, including 10 TDs. That’s still 5th-most yards in Eagles history. Hawkins’ 1,265 yards were the most in NFL history by a WR 23 or younger until Mark Clayton had 1,389 some 17 years later.

3. Harold Jackson, WR, 1969

In his first year with the Eagles, the 23-year-old Jackson led the NFL with 1,116 receiving yards and had 9 touchdowns. Jackson, Ben Hawkins and DeSean Jackson are the only Eagles with 1,000 yards in a season before their 24th birthday.

4. DeSean Jackson, WR, 2009

D-Jack had a very good rookie year in 2008, but he had a historic season at 23 in 2009, with 1,156 receiving yards, 1,293 scrimmage yards, 9 TD catches, two punt return TDs. He’s one of only four players in NFL history with 1,000 receving yards and 2 punt return TDs in the same season.

5. Lito Sheppard, CB, 2004 

Lito was in his third year but still only 23 when he had five INTs, including two TD returns, and made his first Pro Bowl and 1st-team all-pro on the Super Bowl team.

6. LeSean McCoy, RB, 2010

Because he was 21 when he was drafted, Shady was still only 23 when he had his big 2011 season, with 1,080 rushing yards, 1,672 scrimmage yards, 48 catches and 17 touchdowns. That made him the 3rd-youngest 1st-team all-pro in Eagles history after tight ends Charle Young and Keith Jackson.

7. Tom Brookshier, DB, 1953

As a 22-year-old rookie in 1953, Brookie had 8 interceptions, which remains tied for the Eagles rookie record. He spent the next two years in the Air Force before returning to the Eagles, making two Pro Bowls and an all-pro team and starting on the 1960 NFL Championship team.

8. Jeremiah Trotter, 2000

Trott had a real breakthrough season in 2000, making all-pro and the Pro Bowl for the first time at the age of 23. He was the first linebacker to make 1st-team all-pro at 23 or younger since Junior Seau eight years earlier.

9. Maxie Baughan, LB, 1960 and 1961

Baugham starred on the 1960 NFL Championship team as a rookie and made the Pro Bowl as a 22-year-old in 1960 and a 23-year-old in 1961, making him one of only three Eagles to make two Pro Bowls before his 24th birthday. 

10. Seth Joyner, LB, 1987

Joyner was 23 when he became a full-time starter in 1987, and in the strike-shortened season he had 4 sacks, 2 INTs, 2 forced fumbles and 2 fumble recoveries. He didn’t make a Pro Bowl for four more years, but he should have in 1987.

5 Honorable Mentions

Jeremy Maclin, WR, 2010

Maclin had 773 yards as a 22-year-old rookie in 2009, but the next year he had 70 catches for 964 yards and was 7th in the league with 10 TD catches. 

Cody Parkey, PK, 2014

Four years before Double Doink, a 22-year-old Parkey set an NFL rookie scoring record that still stands with 150 points, which also remains the most points ever scored by someone 22 or 23 years old. He made 32 of 36 field goals for 89 percent.

Mychal Kendricks, LB, 2013

Kendricks should have made the Pro Bowl in 2013, when he had 3 interceptions, 4 sacks, 4 fumble recoveries and 2 forced fumbles. He’s one of only nine players in NFL history to reach those milestones at 23 years old or younger.

Bibbles Bawel, DB, 1952

His real name first name was Edward Raymond Bawel and his last name was pronounced “Bobble.” He made the Eagles as a 23-year-old undrafted rookie in 1952 and had eight interceptions – tied with Tom Landry for 4th-most in the NFL in 1952 - before his career was interrupted by two years in the Army. He returned in 1955 and had 9 interceptions, 2nd-most in Eagles history.

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Why one NFL analyst believes the Eagles are a 'perfect spot' for Antonio Brown

Why one NFL analyst believes the Eagles are a 'perfect spot' for Antonio Brown

This has been a strange year, and sometimes strange things beget strange things.

The Eagles signing walking locker room distraction Antonio Brown? Yep, that would be strange.

But at least one NFL analyst believes Brown and the Birds would be an ideal pairing.

Mike Florio put that opinion forward Monday morning on ProFootballTalk, as he and Chris Simms each chose three teams they think are "most likely" to sign the embattled wideout. Here's the list they came up with:

Seahawks, Packers, Patriots, Eagles, Steelers, and Saints.

The Eagles were listed fourth in the duo's discussion. Here's why Florio thinks Brown landing in Philly is a good idea:

I will go with the Eagles next. They need that threat, they need that presence. And especially with the stuff that went down with DeSean Jackson several weeks ago - even though that has died down, from a health standpoint you don't know what you're getting from Jackson. He had a great Week 1 game last year, and then he was nothing the rest of the season. He's older, older than Antonio Brown by a year or two. And you look at the lack of weapons around Carson Wentz, and you think back to what Wentz was able to do with a revolving door of slappys last year. 

I think the Eagles would be a perfect spot, and I think that's an organization that could find a way to - you remember the emotional intelligence buzzword from Jeffrey Lurie, the owner of the team, when they hired Doug Pederson to be the coach. I feel like Pederson could find a way to press the buttons, and hold it together, and get the most out of Antonio Brown. It would really make that offense better.

I understand what Florio is saying here. Pederson has indeed shown an ability to hold a locker room together in the face of adversity - the Josina Anderson-Carson Wentz leaks, for example. And the Eagles, when they signed Michael Vick in 2009, showed a willingness to give second chances.

But I don't see this one happening.

For one, Brown was suspended last week by the NFL for the first eight games of the 2020 season. Brown was suspended for multiple violations of the league's personal-conduct policy, and he still has an ongoing league investigation into a lawsuit filed by his former trainer, in which she alleged that she was sexually assaulted by Brown.

Which means the information learned about Brown, and his ultimate punishment from the league, could both get even worse. That simply doesn't sound like a situation the Eagles want to get involved in, no matter how dire their wide receiver situation becomes.

Not to mention that Howie Roseman made a point to try and make the Eagles younger this offseason, and Brown, 32, simply doesn't fit that approach.

Would Brown make the Eagles better if - not when - he eventually played in a regular season game? Yeah. We don't know what kind of football shape he'd be in after extended time off, but Brown caught four passes for 56 yards and a touchdown in his only 2019 appearance, and he was one of the two or three best receivers in the league from 2013 to 2018. Brown can obviously still play, even if he might never return to his absolute peak form.

Still, I'd be absolutely shocked if that upside outweighed the almost innumerable risks that come with adding a player like Brown.

Brown has said he is looking forward to "new beginnings" after his suspension, and that may be true. I just don't think he'll find that beginning in Philadelphia.

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Doug Pederson discusses positive COVID test, coaching layoff

Doug Pederson discusses positive COVID test, coaching layoff

Doug Pederson, speaking from quarantine at his South Jersey home, emphasized Monday that he believes the NovaCare Complex could not be any safer.

Pederson wouldn’t comment when asked specifically if he believes he contracted COVID-19 away from the Eagles’ South Philadelphia training complex, but it did sound that way.

“This is something I don’t necessarily want to comment on for myself or speculate on anyone else obviously,” Pederson said. “I’m just going to reiterate the fact that I feel very good about the safety of our building and the protocols that we have in place. That’s one thing I do know, and going through this has reinforced that for me at this time.”

The Eagles announced Sunday that Pederson tested positive for the virus. With training camp continuing in Philadelphia, Pederson remains separated from the team indefinitely.

Although quarterbacks coach Press Taylor was sent home because he had worked in close quarters with Pederson, there haven’t been any other reports of positive tests in the NovaCare.

Three veteran players, Lane Johnson, Nate Gerry and Jordan Mailata, went on the COVID reserve list before reporting to camp. Of those three, only Johnson is known to have contracted the virus.

“I’m very comfortable and confident that the protocols we have in place at the NovaCare are in the best interest of the football team and all those who enter the building,” Pederson said. “It still is a very safe environment. One of the things we all need to learn and what I need to learn taking away from this is that obviously we need to protect ourselves when we’re in the community, away from the building.”

Pederson said he’s in constant communication with his players, coaches and staff, and in that way this period is not unlike the spring, when Pederson led daily team activities through Zoom calls.

Pederson said he has no symptoms but is quarantining himself from his family members until he tests negative and is cleared to return to work.

“I’m feeling great,” he said Monday afternoon on a Zoom call. “Energy level is high, really no symptoms whatsoever. I’m very fortunate because this virus attacks (all) people a little bit differently.”

Although Pederson is able to run team meetings and meet with players virtually, he can’t be on the field, and starting Tuesday, teams are allowed to hold non-contact, non-padded walkthroughs.

Duce Staley, who holds the dual title of running backs coach and assistant head coach, is running these practices.

Staley, Pederson’s teammate here in 1999, has been on the Eagles’ coaching staff for 10 years.

“Duce being assistant head coach, he assumes my role, the day-to-day activities in the building,” Pederson said. “He and I talk every single morning, I give him sort of my thoughts on where I’m leading and what I’m thinking and then he carries that message forward. He’s done a great job so far and will continue to.”

But make no mistake about it … this is still Pederson’s team.

“One of the things I learned during the offseason is that I can still run the team virtually and that’s what I’ve been able to do today and yesterday, holding staff meetings, team meetings, things of that nature,” he said.

How long will Pederson be out?

It’s impossible to tell. 

“I’m not going to speculate on a timetable for me,” he said. “Treat it just like players. When I’m back I’m back.”

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