Eagles Hall of Fame

Defensive greats Seth Joyner, Clyde Simmons to be inducted into Eagles Hall of Fame on Sept. 23

Defensive greats Seth Joyner, Clyde Simmons to be inducted into Eagles Hall of Fame on Sept. 23

Seth Joyner and Clyde Simmons, late-round draft picks in 1986 who grew into first-team All-Pros and key figures on the great Eagles defenses of the late 1980s and early 1990s, will be this year’s Eagles Hall of Fame inductees, owner Jeff Lurie announced Thursday evening at halftime of the Eagles’ preseason opener.

They will be formally inducted into the Eagles’ Hall of Fame during halftime of the Colts game at the Linc on Sept. 23.

Here’s a complete list of everybody already in the Eagles’ Hall of Fame.

Joyner, an eighth-round pick, played the first eight of his 13 NFL seasons with the Eagles, piling up 37 sacks and 17 interceptions and earning the first two of his three Pro Bowl honors.

He also played with the Cardinals, Packers and Broncos and finished with 52 sacks and 24 interceptions, making him the only player in NFL history with 50 sacks and 20 interceptions.

Joyner, now an analyst with NBC Sports Philadelphia, was actually released by the Eagles as part of the 1986 final cut, only to be re-signed several days later.

“Seth Joyner was one of the most talented and fearless outside linebackers of his era, and the way he committed his heart and soul on every play spoke volumes about his love for the game," Lurie said in a release by the team. "Seth epitomized the complete defensive player — dominant against the run, extremely skilled in coverage and relentless in how he blitzed. Seth is one of the all-time greats in our franchise’s history and he set a powerful example for the generations of players that followed him at his position.”

Simmons, a ninth-round pick in 1986, piled up 121½ sacks in his career. His best season was 1992, when he led the NFL with 19 sacks and earned his second straight first-team All-Pro honors.

During the four-year span from 1989 through 1992, Simmons had more sacks than any other NFL defensive lineman with 55. Only Hall of Famer Derrick Thomas, the Chiefs’ linebacker, had more (58).

Simmons had more sacks than even his more famous teammate, Reggie White, a first-ballot Hall of Famer, during those four years.

When he retired, Simmons ranked 10th in NFL history in sacks. Eight of the nine ahead of him eventually made the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

“Clyde Simmons was one of the most feared pass rushers ever to play in Philadelphia, but he was also ferocious against the run and made his presence felt each and every week in the trenches," Lurie said. "He was a pillar on one of the best defenses in NFL history and an integral part of the team’s success for many years. Clyde’s explosive and aggressive style of play resonated with our fans and also allowed him to become a dominant defensive lineman over the course of his career.”

Among all players in NFL history drafted in the eighth round or later, Simmons and Joyner rank second and fifth in career sacks behind only another former Eagle, Hall of Famer Richard Dent, who had 137½ sacks in his 15-year career.

Joyner and Simmons join Eric Allen and Jerome Brown as the third and fourth players drafted during the Buddy Ryan era named to the Eagles’ Hall of Fame. All four were drafted between 1986 and 1988.

More on the Eagles

David Akers on years with Eagles: 'The fans changed my life'

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David Akers on years with Eagles: 'The fans changed my life'

Editor's note: This story originally ran Aug. 31.

When you talk about David Akers, you pretty much have to talk about opening day 2000.
 
It wasn’t just the hottest game in NFL history and one of the Eagles' greatest wins over the Cowboys, it was the start of an 11-year run in which the Eagles went to the playoffs nine times, reached five NFC Championship Games and a Super Bowl and averaged 10½ wins per year.
 
And when Akers talks about memories of his 12 years with the Eagles, he has to start on that blazing hot afternoon, Sept. 3, 2000, at Texas Stadium.
 
"It was my first game, first year as a full-time kicker, my first kickoff as a full-time kicker," Akers recalled. "And Andy Reid comes in before the game and says if we lose the coin toss, we're opening the game with an onside kick.
 
"I was like, 'You're kidding, right?' I was really worried about not doing well and now we're starting the game with an onside kick? I had already been cut by three teams, and I was like, 'Man, if I screw this up, I might as well just pack up and leave.' "
 
As we all know, Akers' onside kick was perfect, Dameane Douglas recovered, and just a few minutes later Donovan McNabb's TD pass to Stanley Pritchett had the Eagles on their way to a historic 41-14 win over the Cowboys in what came to be known as the Pickle Juice Game.
 
Before he was finished with the Eagles, Akers scored a franchise-record 1,323 points and played a franchise-record 188 games. Along with Jon Runyan, Tra Thomas and Brian Dawkins, he became one of four players in franchise history to play in 10 postseason wins.
 
On Wednesday evening, Akers learned that this fall he'll become the 50th inductee in the Eagles Hall of Fame.
 
Akers is scheduled to be inducted Oct. 23 at halftime of the Eagles-Redskins game at the Linc.
 
“I loved my time in Philly," said Akers, who kicked here from 1999 through 2010. "The fans changed my life. People talk about the billboard we left (when he left Philly), but honestly, it was a true bottom-of-the-heart thank you from my family.
 
"I hope when the fans look at everything, they know I tried the best I could. I always did it for the team, the organization, the fans, and the reality is that none of us are perfect and obviously I would like to have some field goals back in my career, but if I rewrote how things went down, I probably wouldn’t change very much. And I wouldn’t change where I played my 12 years."
 
After getting cut by the Panthers, Redskins and Falcons as an undrafted kicker out of Louisville, Akers found a home in Philadelphia. And even though he finished his career with brief stops in San Francisco and Detroit — it was with the 49ers that he tied the then-NFL record with a 63-yard field goal — it was in Philly that he put up historic numbers and made five of his six Pro Bowls.
 
In NFL history, only three kickers have played in more postseason wins with the same team than Akers — Stephen Gostkowski of the Patriots has played in 15, Adam Vinatieri played in 13 for the Patriots and Roy Gerela of the 1970s Steelers played in 11.
 
"The one thing about Philly fans, they’re so passionate, and it was an honor to play for them as long as I did," Akers said. "They go to the games when we're not doing well. They let you hear it but they're always going to be there. And when you're doing well? This is the greatest city to be around when you're playing well, and guys who don’t get a chance to experience that, it’s a shame."
 
Akers ranks 12th in NFL history with 1,721 points and 11th in history with 386 total field goals. He's the No. 2 scorer in NFL postseason history with 175 points, 59 fewer than Vinatieri.
 
He's also 12th in NFL history with 27 field goals over 50 yards.
 
And now he joins five former teammates — Dawkins, McNabb, Jeremiah Trotter, Brian Westbrook and Troy Vincent — along with Jim Johnson as the seventh representative of the Andy Reid Eagles in the team's Hall of Fame.
 
“When Mr. Lurie (owner Jeffrey Lurie) called me, I have to say that I was shocked but humbled just because I have so much gratitude for what the Eagles did for me," Akers said.
 
"They gave me the opportunity when the Redskins and Panthers and Falcons had not been successful for me. My first kickoff in the NFL went 90 yards for a touchdown the opposite way, and I missed a 49-yarder, then got cut two days later.
 
"It's unbelievable how quickly those 12 years went with the Eagles. Such great runs with so many wonderful players and great coaches, a lot of who were very successful after moving on from the Eagles."
 
Akers learned he had been selected to the Hall of Fame Wednesday night during the Taking Flight for Autism fundraiser at the Linc.
 
"Obviously the one thing that sticks with me is the last time I played in an Eagles uniform is not a day I'd like to remember (2010 playoff loss to the Packers)," he said.
 
"So it was a little surreal being back on the stage at the Linc where a lot of other positive memories happened. Looking back on my career, just overwhelmed with gratitude, to be honest with you."

David Akers to be inducted into Eagles Hall of Fame on Oct. 23

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David Akers to be inducted into Eagles Hall of Fame on Oct. 23

Kicker David Akers, who played in more games and scored more points than anybody in Eagles history, will be inducted into the Eagles Hall of Fame at halftime of the Eagles-Redskins game on Oct. 23 at the Linc.

Akers spent the 1999 through 2010 seasons with the Eagles and played in 188 games, breaking the franchise record of his longtime teammate and close friend Brian Dawkins, who played in 183 from 1996 through 2008.

Akers scored a franchise-record 1,323 points as an Eagle — nobody else has scored more than 900. He’s one of four Eagles to play in all 10 playoff wins over the last 20 years, along with Dawkins, Tra Thomas and Jon Runyan. Those four played in more than half of the postseason wins in Eagles history (10 of 19).

“David Akers embodies everything we look for in a player both on and off the field,” Eagles owner Jeff Lurie said in a statement released by the team Wednesday. “He was talented, reliable, tough, and of course, clutch.

"He played a major role in the success of this franchise during his time here, but he also loved this city and our fans and he made a tremendous impact in the community. We are proud to enshrine him alongside the greatest figures in Eagles history.”

Akers, who retired following the 2013 season after 12 years with the Eagles, two years with the 49ers and one with the Lions, ranks 12th in NFL history with 1,721 total points and 11th with 386 total field goals.

He made 27 of 50 career attempts from 50 yards and beyond and made 81 percent of his attempts overall.

From 2001 through 2010, Akers made the Pro Bowl team five times. Only six players in Eagles history have made more Pro Bowls — Hall of Famers Chuck Bednarik, Reggie White and Pete Pihos, plus Dawkins, Jason Peters and Donovan McNabb. 

Akers added a sixth Pro Bowl with the 49ers. His six total Pro Bowls are second most in NFL history by a kicker, one fewer than Morten Anderson made with the Saints and Falcons from 1985 through 1995.

Only 11 undrafted players in NFL history have made more Pro Bowls than Akers, and all but three are in the Pro Football Hall of Fame — Peters, Antonio Gates and Jay Hilgenberg.

Akers will become the 50th member of the Eagles Hall of Fame but the first kicker and also the first player whose primary role was on special teams.

Akers will also become the seventh coach or player from the Andy Reid Eagles that reached five NFC Championship Games and a Super Bowl from 2001 through 2008 to be inducted into the Eagles Hall of Fame, joining Dawkins, McNabb, Jeremiah Trotter, Troy Vincent and Brian Westbrook, plus legendary defensive coordinator Jim Johnson.