Eagles

Ever wonder how many Philly natives played for the Eagles?

Ever wonder how many Philly natives played for the Eagles?

When the Eagles signed Will Parks, who grew up at 2nd and Allegheny and attended since-shuttered Germantown High School, it got me wondering how many Philadelphia natives have played for the Eagles.

The answer is not many. Especially recently.

Going back to 1940, we found 14 Philly natives who played in at least one regular-season game for the Eagles.

We’re not including players from the suburbs [Vince Papale, Josh Adams, Matt Bahr] or Philly natives the Eagles drafted who never got into a game [Raheem Brock, Steve Ebbeke].

Anybody missing?

SHAREEF MILLER [2019]: You don’t have to go very far back to find the last Philly native to play for the Eagles. Miller, their 4th-round pick last year, graduated from George Washington High up in Somerton, and he did play for the Eagles last year – two special teams snaps against the Bills.

BRUCE PERRY [2005-06]: Perry, also a George Washington graduate, was the Eagles’ 7th-round pick in 2004. He played five games with the Eagles and had 16 career carries. On the last day of the 2005 season, he ran 15 times for 70 yards against the Redskins, a 4.7 average. He never had another NFL carry.

UHURU HAMITER [2001-02]: Hamiter was a defensive end who played at Mastbaum High in Kensington, leading the Panthers to the 1996 Public League championship. After playing at Delaware State, he went undrafted in 1998, but he signed with the London Monarchs of the World League and had seven sacks. The Eagles brought him into training camp that summer, and although he didn’t make the roster, he did resurface in 1999 with the Saints and played five games. He returned to Philly and played in eight games.

CHUCK WEBER [1959-61]: Weber went to Abington High, but he grew up in Philly, so we’ll keep him in the Philly section. Weber was actually the Eagles’ middle linebacker in 1960, when Chuck Bednarik played outside. Weber had six INTs in 1960, most by an Eagles linebacker until William Thomas had seven in 1995. In a 1960 game against the Cowboys at the Cotton Bowl he became the first linebacker in NFL history with three INTs in a game. He remains one of only six Eagles with three interceptions in a game and the only linebacker. Kurt Coleman is the last to do it.

EDDIE BELL [1955-58]: Bell went to West Philadelphia High and played at Penn. The Eagles drafted him in the 5th-round in 1953, and Bell, one of the first African-Americans to play in the NFL, had nine INTs in four seasons with the Eagles before spending time in the CFL and then the AFL with the New York Titans, who eventually became the Jets.

JOHN MICHELS [1953]: Not to be confused with the John Michels who was once traded for Jon Harris, this John Michels was a guard who went to West Catholic and then played at Tennessee. He was a 25th-round draft pick in 1953 and played 11 games for the Eagles.

JESS RICHARDSON [1953-61]: Richardson was from East Falls and went to Roxborough High. He was the Eagles’ 8th-round pick in 1953 as a defensive tackle out of Alabama. Ray Didinger tells me Richardson grew up blocks away from the Kelly family and was friends with Grace Kelly, who became Princess of Monaco. He played nine of his 12 NFL seasons with the Eagles, made a Pro Bowl in 1959 and started on the 1960 NFL Championship team.

WALT STICKEL [1950-51]: Stickel went to Northeast High and played at both Tulsa and Penn before the Bears drafted him in the 21st round in 1945. He finished his career with the Eagles, playing in 11 games.

MIKE JARMOLUK [1949-55]: Jarmoluk, an interior lineman, attended Frankford High and Temple and was drafted by the Lions in 1945 before finishing his 10-year NFL career with the Eagles.

BILL MACKRIDES [1947-51]: Mackrides played at West Philly and Nevada and was the Eagles’ 3rd-round pick as a QB in 1947. He spent all but three games of his six-year career with the Eagles and was a backup on two NFL Championship teams. He threw 15 touchdown passes.

BERT KUCZYNSKI [1946]: Kuczynski went to Northeast High and Penn and played in one game for the Eagles.

MIKE MANDARINO [1944-45]: A West Catholic and La Salle grad, Mandarino played in 13 games for the Eagles in the 1940s.

BUCKO KILROY [1943-55]: Kilroy grew up in Port Richmond and attended Northeast Catholic and played college ball at both Notre Dame and Temple and also served in the Merchant Marines before spending his entire 13-year NFL career as an interior lineman with the Eagles, often playing both ways. He started 103 games for the Eagles, playing on both the 1948 and 1949 NFL Championship teams and was named to the NFL’s Team of the Decade for the 1940s. After his playing career, Kilroy spent nearly 50 years as an NFL executive, including 37 years with the Patriots.

JACK FERRANTE [1941, 1944-50]: Great story. Ferrante grew up in South Philly and then West Philly and briefly attended high school somewhere in the city, although nobody seems to remember exactly where. He left school to work during his sophomore year and was only 18 when he starting playing semi-pro football. After earning a local reputation, he got a tryout with the Eagles in 1941. He played three games and caught two passes, then got another tryout in 1944, and this time he stuck. Ferrante wound up spending the next seven years with the Eagles, catching 169 passes for 2,884 yards, 31 TDs (tied with Brent Celek for 12th-most in Eagles history) and a 17.71 average (7th-best in Eagles history) while starting for the 1948 and 1949 NFL Championship teams.

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Eagles still living rent free in Tom Brady’s head

Eagles still living rent free in Tom Brady’s head

It has been over two years since the Eagles took down the Patriots in Super Bowl LII. 

And Tom Brady still isn’t over it. 

Even though Brady is the greatest quarterback of all time, even though he’s won six Super Bowl rings — and one of them has come since then! — the Patriots' 41-33 loss to the Eagles is still rattling around in his head 840 days later. 

It came up on Sunday during The Match: Champions for Charity. 

 

“It’s the Eagles that I cringe, bro, not the Falcons.”

Well, yeah. Brady and the Patriots erased a 28-3 lead in Super Bowl LI to beat the Falcons to cap off the 2016 season. The Patriots were primed to repeat if the pesky Eagles and Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles didn’t get in the way. 

Earlier on Sunday, during the Peyton Manning/Tiger Woods vs. Brady/Phil Mickelson match (they raised $20 million for coronavirus relief efforts, by the way), Manning said he should have brought his brother Eli or Nick Foles to caddy for him just to rattle Brady. Eli and Foles are the two quarterbacks who have taken down Brady in Super Bowls. 

And Foles had some fun playing along too. 

This seems like a good time to remind everyone that there’s a real goat named Foles at the Franklin Park Zoo in Boston.

Maybe that’s the real reason Brady left New England. Couldn’t even take the family to the zoo without a reminder of Super Bowl LII. 

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Dispelling 10 long-standing Eagles myths

Dispelling 10 long-standing Eagles myths

These are all accepted Eagles truths, passed down over the years and taken for granted as gospel.

Only one thing.

They're wrong.

We’re here today to dispel 10 long-standing Eagles myths. To shoot down the conventional wisdom and replace it with cold, hard, indisputable facts.

It probably won’t help, but we’re going to try! 

Myth No. 1: Donovan never won any big games!

To this day, only 11 quarterbacks in NFL history have won more playoff games than McNabb, and every one that’s eligible is already in the Hall of Fame. Playoff games are big games. McNabb may not have won the biggest game, but he won plenty of big games. 

Myth No. 2: Mike Mamula was a first-round bust!

Mamula averaged .41 sacks per game as an Eagle. Brandon Graham has averaged .36 sacks per game as an Eagle. Mamula played five seasons and had 31 1/2 sacks, or 6 1/2 sacks per season. Trent Cole is considered an all-time Eagles great and averaged 8 1/2 sacks per season. Two sacks fewer sacks per season than a multiple Pro Bowler doesn’t make one a bust. Now, should he have been the 7th pick overall? Of course not. But Mamula was an average player. Jon Harris and Marcus Smith were defensive end busts. Not Mike Mamula. 

Myth No. 3: Todd Pinkston was worthless!

Pinkston didn’t have a great career, but he served a purpose. During the four years from 2001, his first season playing significant snaps on offense, until 2004, his last  season before his career-ending Achilles injury, Pinkston had 19 catches of 40 yards or more. During that same four-year period, only Terrell Owens (25) and Randy Moss (22) had more in the entire league. Pinkston’s 15.1 yards-per-catch during that span was 7th-highest in the league. Pinkston overall had a disappointing career for a 2nd-round pick, but he was actually one of the NFL’s top deep threats in the league when he was healthy. 

Myth No. 4: Chip Kelly was a terrible coach!

Chip Kelly was indeed a terrible general manager. One of the worst. His personnel decisions were unfathomable. He had no clue how to communicate with players, how to deal with the scouting staff, how to build a roster. But he did go 10-6 and 10-6 in his first two seasons as the Eagles’ head coach — one of only three Eagles head coaches to win double-digit games in his first two years — and became the first Eagles coach with a top-4 offense two years in a row since Greasy Neale in the 1948 and 1949 NFL Championship seasons. Chip’s .553 winning percentage as Eagles head coach is higher than Buddy Ryan, Dick Vermeil or Ray Rhodes. And Chip certainly build a very good coaching staff. Six of the assistants he hired were on Doug Pederson's staff in 2017.

Myth No. 5: Doug Pederson has to run the ball more! 

The Eagles have the 9th-most rushing attempts in the NFL in four years under Pederson.

Myth No. 6: Trent Cole was a good player but always faded at the end of the season!

This one always bugged me because people would keep repeating it but never bother looking it up. Trent had 24 1/2 career sacks in Weeks 1 through 4, 18 1/2 Weeks 5 through 8, 25 1/2 weeks 9 through 12 and 22 Weeks 13 through 16. So in his 10-year career, he actually had more sacks the second half of the season (47 1/2) than the first half of the season (43).

Myth No. 7: If Alshon didn’t drop that pass in New Orleans, the Eagles would have beaten the Saints in their 2018 playoff game!

Alshon’s drop, which turned into a Marshon Lattimore interception, ended the season, but the narrative that the Eagles would have beaten the Saints if he held onto the ball is flawed. If Alshon caught that pass — the last pass Nick Foles threw in an Eagles uniform (so far) — the Eagles would have had 3rd-and-3 at the Saints’ 23-yard-line at the two-minute warning down six. The Eagles were 12-for-25 that year on 3rd-and-3 so there was only a 48 percent chance they’d even have a chance to convert a fourth down. And even if they did, they were 20th in the NFL in 2018 in red-zone touchdown percentage (33 of 56 drives). And even if the Eagles did score, the Saints may have had time to do get within field goal range. A lot more had to happen for the Eagles to win that game than Alshon catching that pass. 

Myth No. 8: The Eagles should have kept Nick Foles instead of Carson Wentz!

Since the Super Bowl, Wentz has completed 66 percent of his passes with 48 TDs, 14 interceptions and a 96.4 passer rating. Foles during the same span has completed 68 percent of his passes with 13 TDs, 10 INTs and an 87.8 passer rating. 

Myth No. 9: Buddy Ryan was a great coach!

Imagine having Reggie White, Jerome Brown, Seth Joyner, Eric Allen, Clyde Simmons, Wes Hopkins, Byron Evans, Andre Waters, Keith Jackson, Mike Quick, Keith Byars and Randall Cunningham and never winning a playoff game?

Myth No. 10: The Eagles should have moved on from DeSean Jackson. He’s always hurt!

Even missing most of last year, Jackson has still played the second-most games of any NFL wide receiver since he was drafted in 2008, behind only Larry Fitzgerald. Jackson and Fitzgerald are the only active NFL wide receivers to start 10 or more games in 10 seasons.

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