Unveiling the complete all-time Eagles team

Unveiling the complete all-time Eagles team

Over the last few weeks, we have been unveiling our all-time Eagles team. 

We enlisted the help of Eagles reporters Reuben Frank and Dave Zangaro, Quick Slants hosts Derrick Gunn and Barrett Brooks and Quick Slants producer Mike Mulhern for voting. 

We asked each person to rank their top five players at 16 different positions. A 1st-place vote was worth five points, a 2nd-place vote was worth four, and so on. 

Here is the full team: 

QB: Donovan McNabb 
RB: LeSean McCoy 
WR: Harold Carmichael 
WR: Mike Quick
WR: Tommy McDonald
TE: Zach Ertz 
OT: Jason Peters
OT: Lane Johnson 
OG: Brandon Brooks 
OG: Bucko Kilroy 
C: Jason Kelce 

DT: Fletcher Cox
DT: Jerome Brown

DE: Reggie White
DE: Clyde Simmons

ILB: Chuck Bednarik 
OLB: Seth Joyner 
OLB: William Thomas 

CB: Eric Allen
CB: Troy Vincent

S: Brian Dawkins
S: Bill Bradley

P: Donnie Jones
K: David Akers
RET: Brian Mitchell 

A few notes: 

• There were seven unanimous selections in 16 categories, meaning all five of us had this person as our No. 1 at their respective position: Jason Peters, Reggie White, Seth Joyner, Chuck Bednarik, Eric Allen, Brian Dawkins and David Akers. 

• In addition to those guys, there were five players who earned 24 of 25 points, meaning they were No. 1 four times and No. 2 once: Donovan McNabb, Zach Ertz, Brandon Brooks, Jason Kelce and Donnie Jones. 

• The hardest position to find a consensus on was the return man. Brian Mitchell took the No. 1 spot with just 16 total votes; he was the only No. 1 vote-getter to earn fewer than 22 votes. 

• There was no perfect way to do this, so we put the Eagles in 11 personnel (three wideouts) on offense and a 4-3 front of defense. The 4-3 was the easier decision. When it came to the offense, that decision meant that just Steve Van Buren, Tommy McDonald or Pete Retzlaff would make the team. That’s not an easy choice. Ultimately, we kept the Hall of Fame receiver. 

• Our goal was to put together a starting lineup, which means we had to leave some all-time greats off of the list above. There are three members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame who received votes but didn’t make the team: Van Buren, Terrell Owens and Jim Ringo. 

• And there are three players with their numbers retired with the Eagles — Retzlaff, Tom Brookshier and Al Wistert — who didn’t make the team. There are just nine retired numbers in franchise history!

• The most fascinating position was defensive tackle. Fletcher Cox and Jerome Brown both made the team and they finished 1-2 in all five ballots. Cox was first in three and Brown was first in two. 

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Eagles all-time team: Picking a returner wasn’t easy

Eagles all-time team: Picking a returner wasn’t easy

In the last few weeks, we have been unveiling our all-time Eagles team. 

We enlisted the help of Eagles reporters Reuben Frank and Dave Zangaro, Quick Slants hosts Derrick Gunn and Barrett Brooks and Quick Slants producer Mike Mulhern for voting. 

We asked each person to rank their top five players at 16 different positions. A 1st-place vote was worth five points, a 2nd-place vote was worth four, and so on. 

Up today: Returner  

Complete voting: 

1. Brian Mitchell = 16
2. Timmy Brown = 15
3. DeSean Jackson = 14
4. Darren Sproles = 13
5. Brian Westbrook = 9
6. Steve Van Buren = 8 

The breakdown: 

Despite taking just two of five top spots, Mitchell ended up winning the voting. If you were wondering, Jackson, Van Buren and Timmy Brown took the other No. 1 spots. 

We didn’t break this down into punt and kick returners and, ultimately, it proved pretty tough to pick just one guy. Our votes were all over the place. 

Did we get it right? 

This is a tough one, but Mitchell is a solid choice. He spent just three of his 14 NFL seasons in Philly, but he was really good. He had two kick return touchdowns and two punt return touchdowns in those three seasons. He averaged 11.7 yards per punt return and 25.3 yards per kick return. Both averages are higher than he had in Washington. So we’re talking about No. 2 in all-purpose yards having three of his best years as a returner with the Eagles. 

Brown played for the Eagles in the 60s and averaged 9.3 and 26.5 yards as a punt and kick returner, respectively. In his eight years as an Eagle, he returned one punt and five kickoffs. 

Jackson is an electric punt returner and has taken four to the house, including that famous one against the Giants, but he has returned just four total kicks for the Eagles. Sproles had four of his seven punt return touchdowns with the Eagles but also didn’t return kicks. Westbrook returned kicks as a rookie but then was a punt returner. Van Buren returned both and had a total of five return touchdowns. 

Complete team: 

QB: Donovan McNabb 
RB: LeSean McCoy 
WR: Harold Carmichael 
WR: Mike Quick
WR: Tommy McDonald
TE: Zach Ertz 
OT: Jason Peters
OT: Lane Johnson 
OG: Brandon Brooks 
OG: Bucko Kilroy 
C: Jason Kelce 

DT: Fletcher Cox
DT: Jerome Brown

DE: Reggie White
DE: Clyde Simmons

ILB: Chuck Bednarik 
OLB: Seth Joyner 
OLB: William Thomas 

CB: Eric Allen
CB: Troy Vincent

S: Brian Dawkins
S: Bill Bradley

P: Donnie Jones
K: David Akers
RET: Brian Mitchell 

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Eagles all-time team: Appreciating David Akers

Eagles all-time team: Appreciating David Akers

Throughout July, we’ve been unveiling our all-time Eagles team. 

We enlisted the help of Eagles reporters Reuben Frank and Dave Zangaro, Quick Slants hosts Derrick Gunn and Barrett Brooks and Quick Slants producer Mike Mulhern to handle the voting. 

Each voter ranked his top five players at 16 different positions. A 1st-place vote was worth five points, a 2nd-place vote was worth four, and so on. 

Up today: Kickers

Complete voting:

1. David Akers = 25
2. Jake Elliott = 16
3. Tony Franklin = 8
4. Gary Anderson =7
5. Tom Dempsey = 6
6. Alex Henry = 3
6. Paul McFadden = 3
6. Cody Parkey = 3
9. Sam Baker = 2
9. Roger Ruzek = 2

The breakdown: Interesting that nine different kickers got votes, and only David Akers and Jake Elliott were named on all five ballots. Tony Franklin finished third but was only mentioned on three ballots. Gary Anderson was fourth but only mentioned on two ballots. Akers was a unanimous top choice, and Elliott was a distant second, with three seconds, a third and a fifth.

Did we get it right? It’s not easy comparing kickers from different eras, since kicking accuracy has improved so dramatically over the years. Paul McFadden was the 6th-most most accurate kicker in NFL history after 1987, his 4th NFL season. He’s now 93rd. Alex Henery was 6th after three seasons. He’s now 34th. Cody Parkey was 8th after three seasons. He’s now 17th. But Akers, a 6-time Pro Bowler and two-time all-pro, is the unquestioned best in Eagles history. His penchant for clutch kicks, his big leg, his willingness to stick his nose in and make a tackle and his longevity — 16 NFL seasons, 12 in Philly — make him an all-timer.

Complete team:

QB: Donovan McNabb 
RB: LeSean McCoy 
WR: Harold Carmichael 
WR: Mike Quick
WR: Tommy McDonald
TE: Zach Ertz 
OT: Jason Peters
OT: Lane Johnson 
OG: Brandon Brooks 
OG: Bucko Kilroy 
C: Jason Kelce 

DT: Fletcher Cox
DT: Jerome Brown

DE: Reggie White
DE: Clyde Simmons

ILB: Chuck Bednarik 
OLB: Seth Joyner 
OLB: William Thomas 

CB: Eric Allen
CB: Troy Vincent

S: Brian Dawkins
S: Bill Bradley

P: Donnie Jones
PK: David Akers 

Up next: Returners

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More on the Eagles