What would a roster of All-time Eagles greats look like on paper?

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While we wait for the Eagles offseason to really start in earnest, I began to think of the positions they’re going to be looking to fill in the weeks and months to come.

Who will Howie Roseman and company will be targeting – for those positions whether through the draft or through free agency – and what will the upcoming team potentially look like?

Well, like many things in life, when we peer into the future, we are reminded of the past. So, I began thinking of the Eagles rosters of the fairly recent past, and decided now would be a good time to have a little harmless fun that may start a debate or two.

So what follows, is a completely subjective list of the top FIVE Eagles at each position (and Head Coach) that goes from present day back to the completely arbitrary choice of the beginning of Dick Vermeil’s time as head coach.

So, all due apologies to those folks who remember the greats like the Tommy McDonald’s, Chuck Bednarik’s, Norm Van Brocklin’s, Steve Van Buren’s and Bill Bradley’s of Eagles’ lore, but respectfully, you won’t find them in this list. It’s not that they are undeserving in any way, but simply that I had to draw a time-line in the sand somewhere.

Also, as much as I wanted to, I just couldn’t bring myself to name more than three field-goal kickers or punters (Sorry, even I have my limits). Additionally, in my criteria, to qualify, they had to have at LEAST three seasons of their top football while a member of the Eagles. This is why you will NOT see T.O. or Irving Fryar on this list. Similarly, you will not see players who were Hall of Fame-type players who did their best work elsewhere, but ended their careers here (i.e. the Art Monk, Mark Bavaro-types).

And there were a few positions I felt it necessary to include Honorable Mentions after the top five, so you’ll see that at certain times.

Make what you will of it, it’s just one life-long Eagles fan’s take for amusement purposes only.  Feel free to agree or disagree. That’s what makes the conversation fun…

 

OFFENSE

 

QB:

  1. Donovan McNabb (this isn’t a personality contest)
  2. Randall Cunningham (the first “Human Highlight Reel”)
  3. Ron Jaworski (one tough man)
  4. Michael Vick
  5. Rodney Pete (the guy just won games. Ugly sometimes, but he won for Ray Rhodes)

 

RB:

  1. Lesean McCoy (Eagles record-holder, and should still be on the Eagles today)
  2. Brian Westbrook (he did it all)
  3. Wilbert Montgomery
  4. Duce Stacey (Duuuuuuuce!)
  5.  Ricky Watters (if you can ignore the “For who? For what?” comment, his production was amazing)

(Honorable mentions: Herschel Walker, Charlie Garner)

 

FB:

  1. Keith Byars (remember the block on Pepper Johnson in that Giants’ game? If you’re too young – check it out on YouTube)
  2. Kevin Turner
  3. Jon Ritchie (remember his forehead was always bleeding when he took his helmet off?)
  4. Leroy Harris (hell, he blocked for Wilbert Montgomery – that means a lot)
  5. Cecil Martin (important part in blocking in Andy Reid’s West Coast Offense from 1999-2002)

 

WR: 

  1. Mike Quick (despite having a career cut short by injuries, still did it long enough)
  2. Harold Carmichael
  3. Fred Barnett (Arkansas Fred!)
  4. DeSean Jackson (again, not a personality contest)
  5. Jeremy Maclin

(Honorable Mentions: Chris Carter, Calvin Williams)

 

TE:

  1. Keith Jackson (JUST meets the time criteria, and was really the first with his type of skill-set to play TE)
  2. Brent Celek 
  3. Chad Lewis (people tend to forget, he was Donovan’s favorite target)
  4. John Spagnola

(Honorable Mention: Zach Ertz – if he puts a full season together this coming year, he jumps to no. 3 on this list immediately)

 

OL:

  1. Jason Peters (still doing it. Future HOF)
  2. Tre Thomas (see Runyan below)
  3. Jerry Sisemore (may be to small for today’s game, but was a total stud for Eagles into the ’80’s)
  4. Jon Runyan (he was the Peanut butter at RT, while Thomas was the Jelly at LT)
  5. Stan Walters

(Honorable Mention: Todd Heremans)

 

DEFENSE 

 

DL:

  1. Reggie White (nothing needs to be said)
  2. Jerome Brown (had he lived, would have been best-ever INTERIOR defensive lineman)
  3. Clyde Simmons
  4. Trent Cole (stats speaks volumes)
  5. Hugh Douglas

(Honorable Mentions: Andy Harmon, Corey Simon, William Fuller, Greg Brown, Ken Clarke, Fletcher Cox)

 

LB: 

  1. Seth Joyner (the things he did as a 4-3 OL under Buddy were flat-out scary)
  2. Bill Bergey (heart and soul of Defense under Vermeil, tough, and was an interception machine for a LB)
  3. Jeremiah Trotter (the Axa Man!)
  4. William Thomas

(Honorable Mentions: Byron Evans, Jerry Robinson, Carlos Emmons)

 

CB:

  1. Eric Allen (one of the best EVER, teams constantly game-planned to throw away from him)
  2. Troy Vincent
  3. Lito Sheppard (had his career lasted a bit longer, would have been closer to Eric Allen)
  4. Sheldon Brown
  5. Herman Edwards (much more than just a beneficiary of the “Miracle at the Meadowlands”)

(Honorable Mentions: Bobby Taylor, Roynell Young, Asante Samuel)

 

Safety:

  1. Brian Dawkins (again, nothing really needs to be said. One of greatest Eagles ever)
  2. Wes Hopkins
  3. Andre Waters (extremely sad how his life ended, but his play was “Philly” through and through)
  4. Malcom Jenkins (could be no. 2 on this list in a few years)
  5. Ray Ellis

PK:

  1. David Akers (the only kicker that I will comment on, because he was somehow MORE than just a kicker)
  2. Tony Franklin
  3. Gary Anderson

 

P:

  1. Sean Landetta
  2. Donnie Jones
  3. Jeff Feagles (ugh. I’m reaching)

 

Head Coaches:

  1. Andy Reid (if you’re still bitter, time to move on. The man wasn’t perfect, and it WAS time for him to go when he did, but his time here firmly puts him in this spot)
  2. Dick Vermeil
  3. Buddy Ryan (damn, was he FUN)
  4. Ray Rhodes
  5. Rich Kotite (OK, OK, I know what some of you are thinking – and yes, proved to be a buffoon with the Jets – but even with that last season he had here, the guy had a hell of a winning percentage as an Eagles coach – and won a playoff game in 1992).

 

Okay, let the debate begin…

Mandatory Credit: Phil Sears-USA TODAY Sports

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