Back in March, an interactive voting system was installed so that fans could rank the best of the best Eagle players in franchise history, from the Quarterback position, to the Center spot, to the Head Coach. Amazingly, we received approximately 1,000 votes, and a great deal of positive feedback in this poll process. This activity, named “Eternal Eagles”, has created our fans’ view of the greatest Eagles of all-time, and this post was created to recap the entire process, which lasted nearly 5 months, and included over 70 player candidates. So, read ahead and see how our fans (perhaps you are one of them) worked together to decide the best Philadelphia Eagles of franchise history in the “Eternal Eagles All-Time Roster Voting”: (ONLY A FEW POSITIONS ARE INCLUDED IN THIS POST DUE TO THE DETAILED CONTENT OF THE ARTICLE. THE REMAINING POSITIONS WILL BE REVIEWED IN FUTURE POSTS, AND THE FIRST FEW 5 POSITIONS WERE REVIEWED IN “PART ONE” OF THE ARTICLE.)
Winner: Jon Runyan (22 votes, 55%)
With many viable candidates in the vote for offensive tackle, Runyan deserved to receive the most votes. Selected by the Houston Oilers out of college, Runyan made his biggest splash in the league as a member of the Eagles. Back in 2000 when he joined the Eagles’ organization, the Michigan alum started all 16 games in his first season. In fact, he started every game as a Philadelphia Eagle all the way up to last season. Despite only being selected for just one Pro Bowl appearance, Runyan was one of the most dominating big men in the game.
Other Candidates: Tra Thomas (9 votes, 22%), Frank “Bucko” Kilroy (7 votes, 17%), Stan Walters (1 vote, 2%), Al Wistert (1 vote, 2%)
With both Thomas and Kilroy being longtime greats of the Eagles, you would have expected more votes their way. Thomas received more recognition than Runyan, with three Pro Bowl appearances, and Kilroy appeared in 3 Pro Bowls as well. Wistert, who tied for the least amount of votes, made 1 Pro Bowl game, but was selected to four First Team All-Pro honors. Also, Stan Walters appeared in two Pro Bowl games.
Player Who Might Have Deserved to be on the Poll: Bob Brown (1964-1968)
Winner: Shawn Andrews (31 votes, 65%)
Despite all of Andrews’ recent plague of injuries, we can not look past his talent. He is a two time member of the NFC Pro Bowl roster, and has also been voted to the first team All-Pro roster, all with only 5 years under his belt as an Eagle, since being drafted 16th overall in the 1st round back in 2004. In 2008, Andrews missed an excessive amount of time, only starting in two games. But the upcoming season will hopefully be a great one for Andrews, who now will have his brother Stacy playing alongside of him, and newly acquired Jason Peters anchoring the line.
Other Candidates: Wade Key (6 votes, 12%), Brian Baldinger (5 votes, 10%), Jermaine Mayberry (4 votes, 8%), Woody Peoples (1 vote, 2%)
Wade Key never received any recognition as an Eagle, but was a lifelong member of the Philadelphia franchise for 10 years. Brian Baldinger, currently a broadcaster for the NFL, only spent two years with the Eagles, but was a favorite amongst the fans. Clearly, Shawn Andrews was the most deserving player in the poll.
Player Who Might Have Deserved to be on the Poll: Ed Blaine (1963-1966)
Center Winner: Chuck Bendarik (112 votes, 76%)
When you think of Philadelphia , you think of hard nosed football. Chuck Bednarik was the poster boy for Philly football. His toughness was unquestionable, his athleticism was unbelievable, and no one can argue that he wasn’t the best Center in Eagles’ history. An eight time Pro Bowler and 5 time First Team All-Pro selection, he will go down as the toughest player to ever wear midnight green. Don’t forget that Bednarik nearly ended the career of Frank Gifford too.
Other Candidates: Jim Ringo (17 votes, 11%), Guy Morriss (9 votes, 6%), Dave Rimington (5 votes, 3%), Howard Keys (4 votes, 2%)
Out of all the possible selections, Ringo appeared in the most Pro Bowls with 10, but spent most of his days as a member of the Green Bay Packers. The other nominees never appeared in any Pro Bowls, or made any All-Pro teams, but they will always be remembered for their passionate style of playing football.
Player Who Might Have Deserved to be on the Poll: Vic Lindskog (1944-1951)
Winner: Reggie White (70 votes, 86%)
The “Minister of Defense” has gone down as one of the top defensive ends to ever play in the NFL. In his career, White finished with 198 career sacks as a member of the Eagles and Packers. White always was honored for his strong play, as he was named to 13 Pro Bowls and an 8 time member of the All-First Team . Simply put, you will never find anyone else who plays like Reggie, and Philly can proudly say that they witnessed the legacy of Reggie White.
Other Candidates: Clyde Simmons (4 votes, 4%), William Fuller (3 votes, 3%), Hugh Douglas (2 votes, 2%), Claude Humphrey (2 votes, 2%), Edgar Manske (0 votes, 0%)
Simmons finished his great career with 121.5 sacks and 914 tackles. Along with Simmons, William Fuller was another great player. He compiled 100.5 sacks and appeared in four Pro Bowls. We all know how Hugh Douglas was one of the best personalities on the team, and played great in his NFL career, as he was named to three Pro Bowls and a one time member of the First Team All-Pro squad.
Player Who Might Have Deserved to be on the Poll: Norm Willey (1950-1957)
Winner: Jerome Brown (40 votes, 80%)
Brown was undoubtedly one of the greatest defensive players to ever wear an Eagles uniform. A two-time Pro Bowler and two time member of the First Team All-Pro selection, Brown died on June 25th, 1992 after crashing into a power pole along with his nephew. Brown’s legacy will live on, but it is amazing to think of what Brown would have become if he had not passed so young. He could have easily evolved into one of the best players ever, and could have achieved so much in his career.
The Defensive Tackle position competition was not one of the more competitive ones, as Jerome Brown was the clear heavyweight here. Corey Simon never became the dominant player he could have become, but still played well here. In his first season, Simon racked up 9.5 sacks, but never continued that dominance the rest of the way. Andy Harmon probably should have received a few more votes, since he did rack up a good amount of sacks (39.5) and tackles (266).
Player Who Might Have Deserved to be on the Poll: Vic Sears (1941-1953)