Eagles Win Some Honors

Posted: February 1st, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 49 Comments »

The NFL passed out some awards tonight. The biggest news is that former Eagle DE Claude Humphrey was elected to the Hall of Fame. Here are some words from our resident historian AC Viking on Humphrey.

Humphrey, at age 34, “retired” four games into the Falcons 1978 season.

In ’77, Humphrey had an All-Pro season, as the Falcons set an NFL record for allowing only 129 points in 14 games (9.2 per game). But he told the team in early ’78 that he’d lost his desire to prepare and play.

Before the 1979 season, Falcons HC Leeman Bennett moved to a 3-4 defense under D.C. Jerry Glanville. Humphrey, a dominant pass-rushing 4-3 DE, was no longer in the Falcons plans. Nor did he fit the new 3-4 being installed by Glanville.

At some point shortly after the ’78 season, Humphrey let it be known that he would come back to the right situation.

Enter Coach Vermeil. The Eagles packaged a pair of 4th-rounders (’79 & ’80) to acquire Humphrey’s rights.

He, of course, joined the Eagles in 1979 as a predominantly 3rd-down pass-rushing specialist, when the Eagles would shift from their base 3-4 to a 4-3. Humphrey and Hairston were the DEs. Dennis Harrison slid inside from LDE to LDT. And Kenny Clarke replaced NT Charlie Johnson at the other DT spot.

Humphrey was not just a great locker-room presence. His play also moved the Eagles defense into the *elite* category from ’79-’81.

Maybe his best game as an Eagle came on November 23, 1980.

The Eagles ran their record to 11-1 after a bruising 10-7 win over the Oakland Raiders. The D-line put up 8 sacks that day. Humphrey had 3.5 of them.

The following week’s Sports Illustrated ran a lengthy story by Dr. Z called “PREVIEW OF SUPER BOWL XV?”

Here is some of what Dr. Z had to say about Humphrey in that article.

Someone mentioned performances by Humphrey against the Eagles, and Vermeil smiled. Philadelphia had gotten Humphrey last year when it seemed that his best days in Atlanta were long gone, when he’d retired and been coaxed into coming back. Humphrey had cost two fourth-round draft choices. Vermeil’s whole thrust has been toward defense. He has always used his first pick in the draft to go for defense (he had solved his quarterback problem by stealing Jaworski from the Rams for Tight End Charle Young, even up), but in Humphrey he got something special.

“He’s playing better this year than he did last,” Vermeil said. “You saw him out there today, you saw what he’s capable of. It’s exciting to me to see the way he’s been playing. One of the rewards of coaching is having the opportunity of being around the kind of man Claude Humphrey is.”

Stretched out on his back, wrapped up in his Jobst Cryotemp and staring at the collection of ancient leather helmets that trainer Otho Davis has hung from the ceiling of the training room, Humphrey philosophized about his role with the Eagles, his role in pro football.

“You know, when I retired I felt I’d only come back for this team,” he said. “I wouldn’t have gone anywhere else. I’d seen ‘em play early in the year in ’78 and they were a young football team, but they were good. They had talent on that defensive team. Carl Hairston, Charlie Johnson…. I said, to myself, ‘Hey, I can play with those guys.’ They were young and going places. At that point in my career I didn’t want to wait around for Atlanta to build a team. I’d been through that about seven times already.

“People say I’m old now. Well, I never felt old and I never felt young. I just felt like me. I can do what I’m doing now because I don’t have to go in on early downs and play the run. Last year when I had to go the whole way I just wore down. By the end of the season, by the time we drew Tampa Bay in the playoffs, my body was a wreck.

“Sixty plays a game, for 16 weeks…well, I don’t think I could do it now. But this way, playing 60% of the time, with Dennis Harrison playing the run and pounding on those tackles, I feel I have a lot of football left.

“You get so you can spot some things. Like the drop Plunkett took today. It was too deep. Usually when I put on a rush I pick out a certain point and aim for it, and I know when I get there I have to look back over my shoulder to see the quarterback and fight my way back to get to him. But today I could see Plunkett in front of me all the time. Those are the kinds of things you pick up from being around a while.”

It’s a good tight unit, the quality old-timers like Humphrey and Bill Bergey and the budding young stars—the only No. 1 drafts Vermeil has had since he’s been coach—Young this year and Linebacker Jerry Robinson in ’79. So far it’s been working just fine.

Congrats, Clyde.

* * * * *

LeSean McCoy was named FedEx Ground Player of the Year. He came in 2nd for Offensive Player of the Year. PE.com has the story and some highlights. It’s always fun to watch Shady’s highlights.

Nick Foles won the Greatness on the Road Award for his 7-TD game at Oakland. I’ve never heard of this award before, but I’m sure Nick will treasure it more than I would a 10-pound bag of Funyuns.

If you want to see the 7 TDs, PE.com is glad to oblige.

Jason Peters finished 2nd in Comeback Player of the Year voting. QB Philip Rivers won. I don’t have a problem with that. Rivers was less than great in 2012 and looked like a completely different player this year. He bounced back in a major way.

Chip Kelly finished 4th in Coach of the Year voting. Ron Rivera won. Andy Reid finished ahead of Kelly. So you had a former Eagles assistant win. The former HC finish after him and the current HC finish 4th. That’s kinda cool. I would have put Kelly higher than 4th, but I can see Rivera winning. The Panthers had a breakthrough year.

_


  • ICDogg

    Humphrey’s role was similar to what I envisioned Trent Cole would be doing

  • Maggie

    A tangent: Carl Hairston has been the Defensive Line coach o the BC Lions in the CFL for the last few years.

  • Anders

    My problem with rivers winning is that Eli will 99% win it next year. For me it is much tougher getting back from double Achilles surgery at 340 to be an all pro again than been one of the reasons your old hc got fired

    • Media Mike

      Given draft picks like Justine Puke, the continued non-existence of healthy running back, overall poor O-line play, decline at the WR position, and the fact that Eli simply isn’t that good; I’d say you don’t have to worry a whole lot about Eli winning much except the career #2 spot in INTs behind Favre.

      • GEAGLE

        I think the giants are screwed and are making the mistake we made, holding on for too long, instead of firing Andy 3 years ago. They will try to “re-tool” on the fly and it will blow up in there face…they won’t be good again til they blow it up and rebuild…They have too many needs: they need like 3 new starting OLinemen, a running back or two or three..their Dline has gotten old, beason is the only LB they have…and there secondary isn’t exactly a strength….Eli can win with a decent team around him, but he ain’t the Brady type who you can just throw anyone out there and Brady will make them better…

        Think the skins have a chance to be better before the Giants get back on track…Dallas is just a joke. how is their cap situation not one of the biggest national stories? They are soooo FUCKED cap wise. Like I never even seen a cap so screwed up like that before…and what’s jerry do? Gives ridiculous amount of GUARENTEED money to a friggin kicker…

        Dan Snyder and the redskins “brilliantly” announce to the world that after having to sit of out of the he market these past two years, they will be MAJOR PLAYERS in this years market…lol GENIUS!!! As if agents already didn’t smell a sucker WHALE when they see snyder a name on there caller ID lol….

      • Anders

        Eli’s 2011 was pretty good and it wasnt like Rivers was super great, he was just very good this year.

    • GEAGLE

      If you are going to give it to rivers for oncoming crappy play, then King Dunlap deserves it!!

      • TommyLawlor

        He didn’t comeback. He would be eligible for breakout player of the year.

        • GEAGLE

          Touché….I just think “overcoming and coming back” from your own crappy play is a joke

  • Rambler

    In all my years of rooting for this team, if you asked me what is more believable… the existence of 10 pound bag of Funyuns or an Eagles QB throwing 7 TDs in a single game… I clearly would have opted for the uberbag of dehydrated onion-flavored snack. But what do you know, Nick Foles goes and tosses those 7 TDs in a single game, akin to the mythical Yeti in a thong bikini doing back flips on a busy freeway. Boy, was I wrong. Strange times indeed, but very exciting.

    • Jamie Parker

      And Foles was the 2nd Eagles QB to throw 7 TD’s in a game. Adrian Burk did it in 1954.

    • ACViking

      Rambler wrote:

      ” . . . the mythical Yeti in a thong bikini doing back flips on a busy freeway.”

      It’s that kind of exotic imagery that brings me to this site. Excellent bit of writing.

      • GEAGLE

        Ah bello…come stai? Godati la partita, e manga bene oggi

  • Jamie Parker

    I was a little surprised Aeneas Williams made the HoF. So I started looking at some stats for the best safeties of his time: Dawkins, Rodney Harrison, Polamalu, and Ed Reed. Reed had 64 INT’s to Williams’ 55. Dawkins had 37, Harrison 34, and Hair Boy has 32 so far. The stat that jumps out are the forced fumbles. Harrison had 15, Polamalu 13, Reed 11, Williams 8. Then there’s Dawkins with 36! Holy cow! Of the bunch, only Harrison had more sacks, 30.5 to Dwakins’ 26. Williams only had 3.

    • Media Mike

      Williams was a CB.

    • Jonathan

      I think your comparison is a bit off. Williams was in his prime before those guys even entered the league.

  • ICDogg
  • Media Mike

    OK HOF class yesterday. Walter Jones and Derrick Brooks were flat out Godly players. Williams was a solid player as well. Strahan, although not the best player to get in yesterday, deserved it. Reed over Brown was massively out of line and Will Shields deserves to get in and should be in already. Ray Guy, by virtue of being the automatic answer to the question “Who is the best punter of all time?” should also be in the HOF. I find Claude Humphrey an example of a bad pick by the senior committee system. 6 pro bowls / 2 all pro really isn’t HOF worthy in my book. You really need to stand out better among your peers to be HOF material for my vote.

    Also, glad to see Bettis continues to not get in. We need to keep that guy out of the HOF. His career yards from scrimmage and TD numbers aren’t HOF worthy, his average production per season puts him in a group with Tiki, Dunn, Watters, and Edge. Not bad players, but not HOF guys. Bettis was a low yards per carry player (3.8), was never a 3 down back, and only made 6 pro bowls and 2 all pro teams. Finally, I cannot remember a single game where the key to beating Pittsburgh was to make sure that Bettis didn’t go for 150+ 2 TDs +.

    • GEAGLE

      It’s a joke to put Reed in over Harrison. Marvin was amazing. he was like 6 years ahead of me at Roman Catholic, but every time he came home in December, he would come practice with our basketball team…good dude, I hated that gun stuff tarnishing a lot of the great community work he did…he always came back and helped Romans student athletes, scrimmaging with us, always showed up for our thanksgiving rivalry football game against Roxborough ..guys forget what an incredible basketball player he was….r. 4 time philly player of the year (2 times basketball, two times football)

  • Media Mike

    And if I’m not home when Tommy puts up a game prediction;

    I’ve got Denver 24 Seattle 16. Denver goes for 3 TDs and 1 FG, Seattle goes for 3 FGs and 1 TD.

  • A_T_G

    You never heard of the BridgeCo Expanded Metal Bridge Company Grateness on the Road award? Past winners include the dominant center, Mitchel Median, the controlling linebacker trio with the White brothers on the outside and Dot Yellow in the middle, and the beloved guard, Rail.

    Strangely, BridgeCo has never been associated with safeties.

    • TommyLawlor

      Rail is MVP material.

      • A Roy

        Rail is coming up fast on the outside. My money’s on Rumble Strip for slowing things up on the inside.

  • GEAGLE

    What a joke giving that award to Rivers for overcoming crappy play. wtf,..if that’s the case, King Dunlap should have won

  • GEAGLE

    Took a long look at the free agents, and there just isn’t much out there at all. this time last year I knew who the Keenen Allen’s! and Bradley Fletcher’s were! this FA class is TERRIBLE!!!…there just isn’t much to go out and sign..if we reach a deal with coop and Maclin before they hit the market, I’m finding it hard to even play devils advocate for why we shouldn’t sign a top safety? There isn’t anything else to do with 35mil(by the time deals are restructured)

    Last year we wanted to sign RJF, and we could use a veteran on their Dline, it’s not one oft he position we have to get younger at, but Logan complicates matters? I believe our coaches love him and want him starting..so how can you get a linval Joseph type when one would have to go to the bench? this leads me to believe we will take a flier on another cheap Gaethers type, aka Mr. 2nd round bust, Terrence “mount” Cody. Bring him into camp cheap, and hope a change of scenery gets him back on The right track..

    I guess Worlids fits the Bill of the type of signings we made last year, but I think Steelers keep him across from Jarvis jones and cut Lammar woodley

    Drew Brees threw Jimmy Graham’s contract situation under the bus, if the saints dare try to tag him as a TE now, things could get ugly. Brees has a Mcnabb moment! talking about graham(TOs contract)…saints cap is a nightmare….
    ….
    I keep looking at this free agent market, and most of what I see just looks like change for the sake of change. If there isn’t much to sign, why in the world wouldn’t we get a top safety?

    • nopain23

      I just can’t think of a FA ( not named Brees or Manning) who was able to greatly impact a franchise. We’ve thrown the brinks’ truck at free agents before and we all know how that ended. I’d rather save the money and re sign our own developing talent.
      A backfield of Wolff and Pryor would look damn good in 2014. Plus a rush tandem of Barwin and KVN….would be infinitely better than shelling out a bunch of dough for Byrd. At worst we would have the best defense in the NFC east and dominate our division for the next 4-5 years at least.Winning your division still remains the BEST way to get to the post season.
      That’s how the top franchises have won SuperBowls..Steelers,, Greenbay, Ravens,Patriots and yes the G men( barf). You gotta develop your own talent, resign that talent when it flourishes and sign low priced but productive free agents. Signing Mario Williams and Revis did nothing to bring Buffalo and Tampa closer to a title .
      I trust Gamble, Howie and Kelly to kill it again in this draft. At least for one year they have proven that the draft well and sign lower priced but solid free agents method can work. Let’s give then one more year to prove us wrong.

      • GEAGLE

        No, starting a rookie next to a sophomore Wolff in a year we are supposed to be contenders does not sound good at all. Sign a veteran, and let Wolff/Buchanon compete for the other spot sounds much better to me. We just gave almost 40million to Barwn! and made Cary the highest paid CB in last years FA market, and they didn’t seem to be a waste of money by any means…Assante wasn’t a bad signing, TO sure as hell made an impact that was technically a trade, but basically a FA since he forced his way here….A dude like WARD is a DOG!! Very durable, and he isn’t taking some big contract and then just mail it in..dude likes to play, likes to hit, has been extremely durable, and would be enjoying our sport science, hulls program. He is literally everything you want in a guy you pay big money too…I get the injury argument for why you wouldn’t sign Byrd, but I can’t even play devils advocate to why Ward would be a bad ideal. Signing Ward will NOT prevent us from keeping our players..I think it’s dumb to spend big money every year, but when their is a chance to significantly improve your team with a big money guy who might actually be worth a bad investment it’s TJ WARD..and I’m a Byrd guy, but acknowledge Ward is a smarter investment….
        ..
        If 2015 is the year we really make a run at it, then the major additions need to be made NOW so they can gel and grow together next year, and take a run at the Lombardi in 2015. We aren’t winning anything in 2015 if we are incorporating 10 new eagles that year…Get this team in place this offseason, and just start drafting young depth all across the board, and hopefully you draft and develop kids that can eventually replace our current starters

        • GEAGLE

          Correction: who is actually worth a BIG investment, it’s Ward..
          ..
          Disque won’t let me edit today

        • nopain23

          while i love ward..i just don’y see Cleveland letting him get away especially to the eagles.
          In 2015..wolff will be in his 3rd year and pryor in his second. i think we can make a run with those two in the backfield..plus my fave OLB in this years draft KVN…..i think with barwin’s tutelage this guy will be a baller..in his SECOND year..which would be 2015.
          And thanks for mentioning Buchanon..i love the guy but Tommy doesn’t seem to keen on himany thoughts on ryan shazier as a safety/LB hybrid player???
          when you turn on the tape you just see that dude making plays all over the place and in the backfield.
          lavonte david isanother guy whose college film showed he was a playmaker.he is another player i wished the eagles drafted. i have the same feeling about shazier

          • GEAGLE

            Really? Joe banner hates the franchise tag and banner already has to worry about signing the best center in the game Mack. Personally, I’m expecting Both Byrd and Ward to leave their teams, figure Oakland throws money at one…I expect banner to sign the center and let Ward walk! and if he is walking! we would have to be nuts not to turn a weakness that has killed us for too long into a strength. I HATE first year defensive backs, and an elite veteran should do wonders for Wolff and the rookie safety we draft..I didn’t want any of the expensive guys last year! but I really view Ward as someone you can pay, and count on him not taking the money and mailing it in

  • Stephen Stempo

    So Rivera ? How ? For getting the same team he did a piss poor job with last year play Better this year ? Really?

    Seems like the old boys club are still unwilling to recognize that Kelly is a success far and away.

    • GEAGLE

      Riveras success came by cam being in his 3rd year and having like 40 games under his belt, and that offense was still nothing special. If you invest 37 first round picks in your defense, it BETTER be good

      • Anders

        He talked about coach of the year. RIVERA (with an A, wasnt it you who just ripped a guy for not been able to read?)

        • GEAGLE

          Huh? I don’t understand what you are trying to say. Am I not also talking in context of Rivera winning COTY? Is everyone hung over this morning?

          • Anders

            ignore me, im tired. :P

      • Stephen Stempo

        I just don’t get how you get COTY for saving your own job by doing what you were supposed to do the year before. Maybe come back coach of the year. It’s not like he came into a brand new team and lead that team to a playoff berth after having no nfl experience whatsoever AND completely installing an entire new program (including coaches, a defense change, workouts and nutrition) that couldn’t be any different from the previous program, while overseeing a QB change from an injury prone veteran to an unproven 3rd round afterthought.

        Tell me again how amazing a job Rivera did?

    • Anders

      I have no problems with that one

      Regarding Kelly, he still came 4th in a year with a lot of very good candidates for great coaching jobs.

  • NinjaP

    I personally think Rivers winning comeback player is complete BS. Anyone that voted for him is half a retard. He came back from playing ok last year?

    • GEAGLE

      It’s just insane..they basically invented a brand new criteria to find an award to give to rivers for having a big year. this award typical is given from guys overcoming injury, i can’t ever recall someone winning it by overcoming their own crappy play..like WTF it can’t be JP vs. Rivers in the discussion for who gets it..that’s APPLES and Oranges

  • GEAGLE

    Yo…anyone hear the comments of Lurie ripping NNamdi? I was just listening to the Fanatic driving in my car, and they said they would play the clip after the break, but I had to get out of my car so I missed it! and I can’t find it on the internet. Anyone hear the comments or know when Lurie said this?

    • anon

      Sometimes you’re too much. Making a backup corner (Cary on Ravens) the highest paid FA corner last year given corners on the market shouldn’t be something we celebrate. Especially when better corners were had for less money (see Brent Grimes / Keenan Lewis).

      Yes Barwin was a stud, but think about all the fliers that we took, especially at safety that move really hurt us. Phillips never made the team, Chung was consistently hurt and played poorly.

      • GEAGLE

        It’s NOT celebrating you fucking dope!! It’s pointing out that this idea that we aren’t willing to spend money is BULLSHIT! A little friggin reading comprehension please..like wtf are you talking about? Honest question, are you American born? Because some of your posts these last few days are flat out incoherent to me..so you are either Binge drinking, or English isn’t your first language…NO WHERE in my above post is it about the quality of the free agents we signed last year, and if they planed out or not, so starting off your response by your too much and making NO fucking sense answering what I wrote is a little “out there”

        • anon

          Well what choice did he have, he fired both cbs and we switched to a 34 so we needed a lb.

    • ickymudd

      Not sure if this is what you’re referring to but Lurie was interviewed on the Dan Le Batard show on ESPN radio in Miami on Friday and commented that Nnamdi was a “…great guy but not a productive player that year…”. The interview with Lurie is about 8 minutes and the Nnamdi discussion starts around 2:20.

      http://www.theticketmiami.com/the-dan-lebatard-show/2014/01/31/january-31-2014–the-dan-le-batard-show

      • GEAGLE

        Thanks..this is probably it because the Radio said it had a “clip”..but someone also pointed out that Lurie tweeted NNamdi was the worst investment he ever made