One of the things I wrote about was Greasy Neale’s “Eagle Defense”. Since we hired Bill Davis and put in the 4-3 Under, I’ve been doing a lot of research on the evolution of defenses over the years. If you look at the Eagle Defense (from the 1940’s), you can see bits of both the 46 Defense and the 4-3 Under in it. The 46 is an under shift with a LB stack to it and the 4-3 Under are cousins.
I also covered Bucko Kilroy. Legend. He would be a great subject for a book if you had the time and resources to do all the interviews.
A smart reader/commenter over at PE.com called The Flying Dutchman added this:
“Great article Tommy. A couple observations if I may.
When Bucko came into the league he was 240lbs but actually played between 250 and 260. That made him one of the biggest guys in the NFL. He was an All-Star at G but also once at MG on D. He was a mean dude, but at MG (playing between Sears and Wistert at DT and Pihos an Ferranti at DE) he would sometimes drop back, thus creating the NFL’s FIRST 4-3-4 D. On the scouting angle he was an innovator BUT he actually learned all that from Greasy Neale. You see besides inventing the Eagle D, using Pihos as the first TE and the first uses of the 4-3, Greasy was well known for being the one to invent modern scouting. He was famous already back in the early forties for showing up on draft day with 60-70 books detailing the pros and cons of all the college eligible draftees. Heck, he was famous for using that to steal Van Buren in the ’44 draft.”
I need to do more reading on Greasy Neale. Hadn’t heard about him and the scouting before. Smart Eagles fans are such a huge help. We’re lucky to have guys like AC Viking and The Flying Dutchman.
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You know I love and obsess on the draft. I came up with a weird idea this year for the first time. I decided to put together 2 groups. The picks right before the Eagles and the picks right after the Eagles. Those groups would be random because they would be different teams with different needs and different systems, but it was fun to compare the three.
1 – OT Lane Johnson
2 – TE Zach Ertz
3 – DL Bennie Logan
4 – QB Matt Barkley
5 – SS Earl Wolff
7 – DE Joe Kruger
7 – CB Jordan Poyer
7 – DL David King
Picks ahead of the Eagles
1 – LB Dion Jordan (Miami)
2 – WR Justin Hunter (Tennessee)
3 – LB Sio Moore (Oakland)
4 – LB Zaviar Gooden (Tennessee…final pick of 3rd Rd)
5 – RB Denard Robinson (Jacksonville)
7 – TE Michael Williams (Detroit)
7 – LB Armonty Bryant (Cleveland)
7 – WR Aaron Mallette (Baltimore)
Picks behind the Eagles
1 – DE Ziggy Ansah (Detroit)
2 – CB Darius Slay (Detroit)
3 – CB Leon McFadden (Cleveland)
4 – ILB Nico Johnson (Kansas City)
5 – DT Jesse Williams (Seattle)
7 – LB Mike Mauti (Minnesota)
7 – TE D.C. Jefferson (Arizona)
7 – OT Reid Fragel (Cincinnati)
Is there one group that jumps out at you?
It will be fun to look back in a couple of years and see how these groups have panned out. My point isn’t to say the Eagles had interest in the guys taken right before or after them and either missed out or chose poorly. Some of the players in the two lists are guys the Eagles had no interest in.
This is just an exercise for enjoyment. Which group do you like best? Which group turns out best?
Maybe through an oddball way of looking at things we’ll see some new pattern or get an idea for the future.