Jeffrey Lurie

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.

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Why Brian Dawkins is Jeffrey Lurie's favorite Eagle

Why Brian Dawkins is Jeffrey Lurie's favorite Eagle

CANTON, Ohio — Precisely 593 men have played football for the Eagles since Jeffrey Lurie bought the team in 1994.

One stands out above all the others.

“There’s nobody better,” Lurie said. “I’ve always said he’s my favorite.”

Lurie led the Eagles contingent that arrived in Northeast Ohio on Friday to support Brian Dawkins during his enshrinement into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

As he arrived at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium, Lurie spoke with John Clark of NBC Sports Philadelphia about what Dawkins meant to him and meant to the franchise he’s operated for nearly a quarter of a century.

“There are some others who are unbelievable, too,” Lurie said. “But Brian every single day, it didn’t matter how good a team we were or not, he gave everything to our fans and to the organization.

“Every game was like the Super Bowl to him and he set a tone for the rest of the team and the rest of the organization, and that’s how we treat things.

“I really credit Brian. It means so much to him and the fans meant so much [to him], and he means so much to the fans. It’s a love affair.”

Lurie watched Dawkins evolve from a backup to Eric Zomalt as his rookie year began to one of the greatest safeties in NFL history.  

And he watched his growth off the field as well.

“I can’t be more proud,” he said. “It hasn’t been smooth and easy for Brian, emotionally and in many ways. This year our team had incredible resilience, as you all know, with all the injuries and everything.

“Brian’s the epitome of that in his life. He had early struggles. He had great mentors in Emmitt [Thomas] and Jim Johnson. But he, with his own strength, and with mentors and help around him, it just shows how, if you have a lot of love around you, you can come back and do things that are better than you ever dreamed yourself.

“I think that’s one of the things Brian brought to Philadelphia, something very special.”

Lurie marveled at the massive turnout of Eagles fans that took over Canton this weekend.

“It’s unbelievable,” he said. “There are some great players being inducted. Ray Lewis, (Brian) Urlacher, the list goes on and on. But there are more Eagles fans here than all the others put together, and it’s great to see.

“Dawk deserves everything. It’s an emotional time. I tear up every time (I think about him going) down the aisle and getting the gold jacket, and tonight I’m sure I will. It’s special.”

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Eagles say 'the bigger and blingier, the better' for Super Bowl rings

Eagles say 'the bigger and blingier, the better' for Super Bowl rings

The Eagles finally have their rings.

Four months and 10 days after they took down the Patriots, 41-33, in Super Bowl LII in Minnesota, the Eagles were given their Super Bowl rings in a private ceremony at 2300 Arena in South Philly. During the ceremony, as specialized videos played, each coach and player received a box with their ring in it from owner Jeff Lurie, who asked them to hold off on opening until everyone had theirs. The wait was worth it. 

They’re beautiful.

Lurie told a story to reporters Thursday. After they won the game and before the parade, they had a team meeting and it was suggested that the Eagles go in an “elegant route” for their rings. The players didn’t go for that.

According to Lurie, the players said, “the bigger and blingier, the better.”

“Mr. Lurie asked us if we wanted it to be modest,” Malcolm Jenkins said to reporters on the red carpet earlier tonight. “And the answer was a resounding, ‘No!’ Don’t want to be modest. It’s the first time, so let’s act like we’ve never been there before. We’re excited, just like everybody else, to see what it looks like.”

Well, here it is:

Here are some facts about the ring, courtesy of the Eagles:

• The rings are pure 10-karat white gold

• There’s a total of 219 diamonds

• It includes 17 green sapphires

• There’s an underdog mask engraved inside

• The Eagles’ logo has 52 diamonds (for Super Bowl LII)

• The Lombardi Trophy has 16 diamonds (one for each win the whole year)

• The 13 diamonds on the base represent 13 regular-season wins

• Three diamonds at the top of the Lombardi Trophy for three postseason wins

• Bezel of ring has 127 diamonds (the total of jersey numbers from the Philly Special; 88+30+9=127) 

• Base of ring has four sapphires (four franchise championships) 

• Each has the individual player’s signature

• There’s a silhouette of the Linc with “Fly, Eagles Fly” on the band

• “We All We Got, We All We Need” and “Family” are also on the ring 

219 diamonds. 17 green sapphires. And 1 dog mask. #FlyEaglesFly

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Plenty of Eagles were awaiting the ring ceremony and plenty of former Eagles who were on the team joined the festivities. Guys like Torrey Smith, Trey Burton, Kenjon Barner, Vinny Curry, LeGarrette Blount and Mychal Kendricks all showed up to get their bling.

The team was pumped all day to get to this ceremony. Even practice had a different buzz about it (see story).

The Eagles have plenty of other souvenirs from Super Bowl LII (see story), but there’s just something about the rings.

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