Eagles

Hall of Fame finally gets Harold Carmichael enshrinement correct

Hall of Fame finally gets Harold Carmichael enshrinement correct

We finally know when Harold Carmichael is going into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

And this time the Hall of Fame got it right.

The Hall of Fame announced Wednesday that the Eagles great will be formally enshrined in the Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, on Aug. 7, 2021, along with the rest of the special 20-man Centennial Class that was originally scheduled to be inducted this fall.

Carmichael and the rest of the Centennial Class, selected by a special committee to commemorate the NFL’s 100th anniversary, were originally scheduled to be enshrined on Sept. 18, in a separate ceremony 1 1/2 months after the regular Hall of Fame weekend activities.

This year’s Hall of Fame Game and all the ceremonies were postponed till next summer because of concerns about COVID-19.

Carmichael had been eligible since 1989 but was finally voted into the Hall in January. Despite ranking 5th in NFL history in catches when he retired, this was the first time he had ever been a finalist.

During his 11 years as a full-time player with the Eagles — from 1973 through 1983 — Carmichael led the NFL in yards (8,414), touchdowns (77) and catches (549). 

The Hall of Fame announced that next summer’s Hall of Fame weekend will run from Aug. 5-9. It’s being billed as “Twice the Fun in ’21,” so presumably the 2020 and 2021 classes will both be enshrined during that five-day stretch.

The Hall of Fame is open and a display honoring the 20 Centennial Class inductees is now up.

Three artifacts from Carmichael’s brilliant career are now on display: His Eagles warmup jacket and pants, a pair of game-used high tops and the football he caught on Nov. 4, 1979, that extended his streak of consecutive games with a reception to 109, which broke the record of 108 set by Danny Abramowicz of the Saints and 49ers from 1967 through 1973.

Going into the Hall posthumously as part of the Centennial Class is Moorestown native Steve Sabol, who founded NFL Films along with his father Ed.  

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Eagles to open season in Washington without fans in stands

Eagles to open season in Washington without fans in stands

If you were planning on driving down I-95 for the Eagles’ season opener in Washington, you can forget it. 

The Washington Football Team on Wednesday morning announced that their home games at FedExField will be played without fans. That obviously begins in one month and one day, on Sept. 13, when Washington is scheduled to host the Eagles in the opener. 

Washington said it had developed a “comprehensive health and safety plan” but this decision “comes out of an abundance of caution due to the rapidly changing dynamics of the COVID-19 pandemic.” 

It’s not a surprise. At this point, it would be pretty surprising to see NFL fans in seats throughout the league, but those decisions will be left up to individual states, cities and teams. 

In Philly, it’s still up in the air, although it seems unlikely the Linc will have fans. 

In July, Philadelphia Department of Health commissioner Thomas Farley and Philadelphia managing director Brian Abernathy released a statement saying the Eagles would “be allowed to play, although without crowds.”

Then the next day officials issued another statement, calling the situation “fluid” and seemingly leaving open the possibility for fans in the 2020 season. 

The Eagles already gave their season ticket holders the ability to opt out of the 2020 season. 

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Miles Sanders figuring out his new role with Eagles

Miles Sanders figuring out his new role with Eagles

A year ago, Miles Sanders was the young guy. A 22-year-old rookie in a running back room with 36-year-old Darren Sproles, two-time 1,000-yard rusher Jordan Howard, Super Bowl hero Corey Clement and, for a few weeks, fifth-year pro Jay Ajayi.

Sproles is now retired and working for the Eagles, Howard is with the Dolphins and Ajayi is out of football. Clement is back with the Eagles for his fourth year after two injury-plagued seasons.

And as weird as it sounds, Sanders — with 11 career starts under his belt — is now the savvy vet. 

Even though he didn’t become the Eagles’ regular tailback until Howard got hurt in Week 9, Sanders has almost as many career carries as all the Eagles’ other running backs combined.

There was talk about the Eagles going out and signing a veteran back. It never happened.

Sanders kind of is the veteran back. 

Look at the Eagles’ running back stable going into training camp:

Miles Sanders (23): 179-818 rushing, 50 -509 receiving, 6 TD
Boston Scott (25): 61-for-245 rushing, 24-204 receiving, 5 TD
Corey Clement (25): 142-580 rushing, 32-315 receiving, 8 TD
Elijah Holyfield (22): 0-0, 0-0
Adrian Killians (22): 0-0, 0-0
Michael Warren [21]: 0-0, 0-0

Sanders and Scott, who were both so good down the stretch last year, have both graduated from wide-eyed rookies to mature leaders.

“Just really growing up faster, making us mature faster, knowing that we’re the only two backs that played (at the end of) last year and now we have younger guys in the room — plus Corey’s been here, but he’s been out a couple years,” Sanders said. “But now we’re the older guys, having to be more vocal, making sure we know what we’re doing, setting examples and being role models. It feels good.”

And with Duce Staley and Sproles, that’s 9,337 career rushing yards,7,427 receiving yards and 89 touchdowns of expertise right there in the building.

Staley is in his 10th year on the Eagles’ coaching staff and eighth year as running backs coach, and Sproles is a personnel consultant in the scouting department.

“We still got Sproles in the room helping us out and we still got Duce,” Sanders said. “So with those two guys I think sky’s the limit for this group.”

There were plenty of veteran running backs available if the Eagles wanted one.

Carlos Hyde, LeSean McCoy, Devona Freeman, Lamar Miller, Jonathan Williams and one-time Eagle Wendell Smallwood were on the street two months into free agency.

Doug Pederson and Howie Roseman decided to go with what they have.

“I trust Howie and their process in bringing people in for what’s the best for the team,” Sanders said. “They announced that I’m the guy this year, but having any type of veteran running back in here would be a blessing too just for me to pick their brain and help me out too. I’m always up to learn.”

Clement is the Eagles’ oldest running back. Assuming this is the group the Eagles take into the regular season, it will be the first time in 34 years the Eagles don’t have a running back older than 26.

In 1986, their running back corps consisted of Keith Byars (23), Anthony Toney (24), Michael Haddix (25), Junior Tautalatasi (24) and Charles Crawford (22).

This 2020 running back group has speed, explosiveness, versatility and toughness.

And when you have all that, maybe you don’t even need experience.

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