Gang Green Ranked 1st, Again

Posted: June 23rd, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 80 Comments »

The 1991 Eagles defense, lovingly known as Gang Green, finished 1st against the run, the pass and in overall defense. To give you an idea how special that is, they are the only team to do that in the last 40 years.

Gang Green finished 1st in something else.

Here is the story I wrote on them for

That was an amazing unit. And I don’t use that word lightly. Jim Johnson coached some really good defenses (2002, 2008), but the 1991 unit, which was built by Buddy Ryan and coached by Bud Carson, was on a special level. They were amazing.

The biggest thing for me is wondering what they could have done with a more consistent offense. Injuries to the QBs really hurt the 1991 Eagles. There were four different starters and five QBs who threw passes. That’s not good.

The Eagles had six games where they scored fewer than 14 points. They went 1-5 in those games, with the only win being the House of Pain Game. When the offense did anything, that team won.

The problem wasn’t just ineffective offense. There were turnovers. Eagles QBs threw 27 INTs. The defense was constantly being put in tough positions.

Gang Green didn’t even get to the playoffs that year, but Reggie, Seth, Jerome, Clyde, BE, Willie T. Eric, Wes and Andrew gave us a lifetime of memories. Those guys were truly special and watching them was so much fun.


80 Comments on “Gang Green Ranked 1st, Again”

  1. 1 OakBrigade said at 10:22 AM on June 23rd, 2017:

    Good times.

  2. 2 P_P_K said at 2:19 PM on June 23rd, 2017:

    Great times.

  3. 3 Tom33 said at 10:31 AM on June 23rd, 2017:

    I remember watching that team and being happy when the offense had to punt, since that meant that they didn’t turn the ball over and the defense would get to go back on the field!

  4. 4 A_T_G said at 1:54 PM on June 24th, 2017:

    Was it ’92 when they had Randall punt on third down?

  5. 5 wee2424 said at 7:58 PM on June 24th, 2017:

    I was only 2 then but that really happened? The O was so bad that we punted in I assume a would be an effort to trick the opposing team into bas field

  6. 6 A_T_G said at 12:46 AM on June 25th, 2017:

    I guess it was ’88, but yeah, no reason to continue going backwards…

  7. 7 wee2424 said at 9:48 AM on June 25th, 2017:

    Within the 9 hours you posted it and I went to watch it Roger sniffed it out and made it so I cant watch it.

  8. 8 A_T_G said at 6:13 PM on June 25th, 2017:

    Ha! First down, sacked. Second down, screen blown up and almost picked by LT. Third down Randall punts over the safety’s head and they flip the field. Still, to not even think third down is worth trying…

  9. 9 Media Mike said at 11:22 AM on June 23rd, 2017:

    If Jim McMahon, let alone Randall Cunningham, had stayed healthy; this was a title team.

  10. 10 Media Mike said at 11:24 AM on June 23rd, 2017:

    This D is also why I hope Dan Dierdorf has the misfortune of dying in some type of slow and painful manner. That piece of human excrement had the never to not only repeated rip Andre Watters on MNF broadcasts, but also had the stones to claim during the Eagles / Washington game at the end of that regular season that Washington’s D was better.

    F U DAN! DIE!!!!

  11. 11 Julescat said at 11:52 AM on June 23rd, 2017:

    Dan was a huge hypocrite. He would tell these colorful stories about his lovable teammate Conrad Dobler plying dirty and biting defensive linemen. In the next breath Dan would rip Eagles players as dirty and bad for the game.

  12. 12 Media Mike said at 11:54 AM on June 23rd, 2017:

    I swear to God if I ever see that guy in public I’m breaking my rule about not bothering famous people / politicians I see in person………….Frank Costanza style. I’d immediately demand answers about his hate of Watters.

  13. 13 Bert's Bells said at 11:56 AM on June 23rd, 2017:

    Man, you better YouTube that encounter.

    I’d even pony up for pay-per-view.

  14. 14 Media Mike said at 11:57 AM on June 23rd, 2017:

    I was 13 soon turning 14 when Dan uttered that crap on TV. It still enrages me to this day.

  15. 15 ChoTime said at 2:04 PM on June 23rd, 2017:

  16. 16 Media Mike said at 3:21 PM on June 23rd, 2017:

    But nobody has ever held Dan accountable for crimes against Philadelphia, so I think I’d just be delivering some much needed justice.

  17. 17 Ark87 said at 11:29 AM on June 23rd, 2017:

    Uhg, that team is tainted by its playoff record. Can’t even get nostalgic about it, what a waste.

  18. 18 Media Mike said at 11:59 AM on June 23rd, 2017:

    Technically that bad playoff record was Buddy’s. Kotite coached 91 through 94 and was 1-1 in the playoffs.

  19. 19 Ark87 said at 12:01 PM on June 23rd, 2017:

    God I hope our best days are ahead of us as opposed to behind.

    I got to chipper up, it’s Friday

  20. 20 Media Mike said at 12:02 PM on June 23rd, 2017:

    I like where this team is going. I think they’ll be close, but no cigar, on playoffs this year and then run the division for the next 5 or 6 after that.

  21. 21 P_P_K said at 2:21 PM on June 23rd, 2017:

    That’s a reasonable prediction. I think Eagles have a shot at a playoff spot as wildcard or, if Dallas stumbles, the East champ.

  22. 22 Media Mike said at 3:21 PM on June 23rd, 2017:

    Given some other team’s in this conference, I don’t know if the NFC East can produce a wild card this year. The Giants had to cheat / luck their way into one last year.

  23. 23 wee2424 said at 7:49 PM on June 24th, 2017:

    Anything to do with Chip does not put me in a better mood.

  24. 24 levdog said at 11:38 AM on June 23rd, 2017:

    Thanks for the memories!

  25. 25 EagleOne1983 said at 12:44 PM on June 23rd, 2017:

    This is the first season I remember watching as a kid. I was 8 and loved it. Great memories. I remember Jim McMahon getting knocked into the gatorade table like it was yesterday.

  26. 26 Benny6968 said at 1:23 PM on June 23rd, 2017:

    Oh yeah !!! I can vividly remember watching Reggie manhandling one or two O linemen on any given play. He would literally toss around 300+ pound grown men, because he was so gifted with immense power.
    His bull rush was really something to behold. He made playing DE look like it was easy. His ability to create speed to power was almost incomprehensible.
    I had thought this was the defense we could always expect to see, but as all good things, it came to an end when they broke up the band and sent Reggie to GB, and we all felt the loss of Jerome when his life was cut short.
    I never truly appreciated how good we had it, until it was gone.

    Now looking back at those days, I can really appreciate how good they were and I am at a loss that we didn’t win more games than we did, but as Tommy pointed out poor QB play hindered all the good that defense provided.
    I think we should all raise our PBR’s high in the air and give a toast to the greatness that defense once was, and hope that someday we can have a defense that is even close to the talent level we once enjoyed.

  27. 27 P_P_K said at 2:37 PM on June 23rd, 2017:

    It was a long time ago, but it might have been during the 30-7 MNF win against the Giants (11/4, I looked it up), when one of the announcers declared the Eagles D was in a “feeding frenzy.” I love that. Anyone else remember that line?

  28. 28 Media Mike said at 4:25 PM on June 23rd, 2017:

    No, but it involved members of the NYG being killed and eaten; I’m all for it.

  29. 29 ColorSgt said at 6:52 PM on June 23rd, 2017:

    I was pretty young at the time but I remember the defense being great and Randal getting hurt. It was an exciting era, but a shame they were never able to put it all together. Someone below mentioned about how a punt was actually exciting because it meant the offense didn’t turn the ball over and the defense got back on the field. That reminded me of the 2006 bears vs. Cards MNF game. The bears were down 20 points, but had a better chance of scoring with the defense in the game. It was so strange because both teams seemed to be at a disadvantage if their offense was on the field. Bears came back and won too. Crazy.

  30. 30 Sokhar20 said at 12:24 AM on June 24th, 2017:

    Ah, the “They are who we thought they were!” game. Thanks Dennis Green, for the memories.

  31. 31 ColorSgt said at 1:08 AM on June 24th, 2017:

    Yep that’s it!

  32. 32 Media Mike said at 7:01 PM on June 23rd, 2017:

    Not sure how many 4 for 4 true believers there are here, but looking forward to the Flyers pick in a few minutes. Whoever it is, that guy needs to be playing on the opening day Flyers roster.

  33. 33 CrackSammich said at 1:36 AM on June 24th, 2017:

    Problem: we have too many centers
    Hextall: let’s draft 2 centers and trade for another one.

    Seriously, we have 10 centers on the roster and 2 LWs. That’s not exactly how you build a roster…(Schenn is a “center”, but played wing almost his whole time on the team)

  34. 34 Media Mike said at 8:09 AM on June 24th, 2017:

    Looks like the guy who came back in the Schenn trade and somebody else are moving to wing sadly. G, Coots, Flip. Patrick, Blue’s guy, and Laugton are a Cs. Same with Vecc maybe.

    I swear if they demote any of the guys I want to see in favor of keeping guys like Read and Weise in the starting 12; there will be a very sorry ticket sales agent when they call me next.

  35. 35 A_T_G said at 1:50 PM on June 24th, 2017:

    Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
    Mere anarchy is loosed upon Philly

  36. 36 P_P_K said at 9:55 AM on June 24th, 2017:

    Speaking of believers, are the Sixers really done with The Process now?

  37. 37 RobNE said at 4:00 PM on June 24th, 2017:


  38. 38 D3FB said at 7:06 PM on June 23rd, 2017:

    You’re all old.

    I was born a week after the 91 draft

  39. 39 Media Mike said at 7:44 PM on June 23rd, 2017:

    You missed some epic stuff with the 91 team. Screaming and yelling at Houston in the House of Pain game might be my absolute favorite.

  40. 40 sonofdman said at 3:03 PM on June 24th, 2017:

    I loved that game!

  41. 41 wee2424 said at 9:36 AM on June 25th, 2017:

    To young to remember, but I do remember the game against Pit in Philadelphia that made Big Ben think about retirinA few people told me that it was a much lesser version of the house of pain game.

    That was an awesome game though. Ben absolutely has to hate making the trip to Eastern PA.

  42. 42 P_P_K said at 9:00 PM on June 23rd, 2017:

    Poor youngin’, doesn’t know what it was like in the good ol’ days when the air was clean and fresh, the women were all good lookin’, and you had to get up from the couch to change channels on the tv.
    Regardless of age, we all share one thing– No Super Bowl victory.

  43. 43 Insomniac said at 10:08 PM on June 23rd, 2017:

    hold up, lemme get my millennial pants on.

    darn old people and their good ol days. darn kids and their fidget spinners these days. get off the lawn that I wish I can afford someday ya damn geezers and brats!!

  44. 44 wee2424 said at 9:59 AM on June 25th, 2017:

    Im 28. Born in February. Am I a millennial? Seriously, I don’t know.

    I hope I’m not because the CONSTANT talk about them everywhere sort of makes them sound douchy.

    Has South Park made an eposode making fun of millennials yet? It just seems like such a South Park thing to do.

  45. 45 wee2424 said at 9:45 AM on June 25th, 2017:

    And when there were only 2 genders.

  46. 46 Tom33 said at 8:08 AM on June 24th, 2017:

    yes I am. And I don’t need you to remind me, my body does it for me every single day! just wait.

  47. 47 ChoTime said at 10:58 AM on June 24th, 2017:

    Man… I was a junior in high school. I started playing guitar that year. I still kind of liked Metallica.

    Things were different back then.

  48. 48 Will Ft. Daft Punk said at 1:15 PM on June 24th, 2017:

    Keep living… You’ll get there

  49. 49 wee2424 said at 9:31 AM on June 25th, 2017:

    I literally remember waking up one morning at the age of 16. Absolutely loving life. I said to myself that morning while watching my stepdad miserably get ready for work that I would kill myself once I turned 30 so I wouldn’t have to deal with the adult BS. Little did I know at the time but the “adult BS” starts well before 30. Im 28 now btw.

  50. 50 A_T_G said at 1:43 PM on June 24th, 2017:

    You know you are a hardcore draftnik when you measure your own birth by its timing relative to that year’s draft.

  51. 51 D3FB said at 1:55 PM on June 24th, 2017:

    I mark the measure of time by NFL drafts and my own aging. Which have occured the same time over the last few years.

    I’m sure I’ll be throwing my cane at the TV after I need a grandchild to blow out the candles during the 2070 draft

  52. 52 A_T_G said at 2:01 PM on June 24th, 2017:

    By 2070, teams will be drafting the rights to competing software upgrades for the droids that take the field in place of humans.

  53. 53 RobNE said at 3:59 PM on June 24th, 2017:

    We can all say we were there when the Sixers were still bad.

  54. 54 wee2424 said at 9:44 AM on June 25th, 2017:

    Lmao. On a positive note we can all say we were here when the Phillies won a world series.

  55. 55 wee2424 said at 9:42 AM on June 25th, 2017:

    No. They are just going to make holograms because someone will push for droid to be a gender, and it will be stated that we are being unfair to them.

  56. 56 wee2424 said at 9:41 AM on June 25th, 2017:

    Lol, by then they are going to have candles for seniors. You push a button on your cane and the candles automatically go out.

  57. 57 wee2424 said at 9:28 AM on June 25th, 2017:

    Really? I always just assumed you were in your 30’s due to your demeanor and how you express yourself in writing.

  58. 58 ACViking said at 7:22 PM on June 23rd, 2017:

    Re: The Shadow of Reggie White

    Seems sometimes that the history of Eagles DEs starts with Reggie White. Understandably.

    In his first game, at home against the NYG, White finished with 3 sacks, 5 solo tackles, and a deflected pass returned for a TD by Herm Edwards.

    Was there anyone before White?

    Or just a bunch of forgettables named Mel Tom . . . Don Hultz . . . Ernie Calloway . . . Richard Harris . . . and Will Wynn?

    Turns out, for a stretch of 35 years — from ’77 with Dick Vermeil until ’11 with Andy Reid’s experiment in the ways of Jim Washburn — the Eagles fielded at least one double-digit (or near-double digit) sack guy at DE almost every year.

    In fact, in 1984, playing in a 3-4 defense, the Eagles 3 starters on the D-line — DEs Dennis Harrison and Greg Brown and NT Kenny Clarke — each netted at least 10.5 or more sacks. (Wouldn’t it be great if 1 Eagles D-linemen did that now.)

    Anyway . . . Who are those guys?

    – Lem Burnham: 10 sacks in ’77 . . . one of the NFL’s first designated pass-rushers, a 30-year old former Marine who survived a 1-yr tour in Vietnam

    – Carl Hairston: 15, 13, 10 – ’79, ’80, ’81 . . . a trademark Vermeil overachiever

    – Claude Humphrey: 10, 14 – ’79, ’80 . . HOFer in his career’s twilight

    – Dennis Harrison: 10.5, 11.5, 12 – ’82, ’83, ’84 . . . tall, powerful DE – think Calais Campbell

    – Greg Brown: 8.5, 16, 13.5, 9.0 – ’83, ’84, ’85, ’86 . . . quick, athletic — and unfortunately a largely forgotten — DE who put up great numbers in a 3-4 base defense – think Cameron Wake

    ** Reggie White and Clyde Simmons: ’85 – ’92 . . . DOMINANT **

    – William Fuller (a T-Law favorite): 9.5, 13, 13 – ’94, ’95, ’96

    – Hugh Douglas: 12.5, 15, 9.5, 12.5 – ’98, ’00, ’01, ’02 [injured in ’99]

    – Trent Cole: 12.5, 9, 12.5, 10, 11 – ’07, ’08, ’09, ’10, ’11

    Hard to believe it’s been 5 seasons — a football eternity — since an Eagles DE posted at least 10 sacks.

    NOTE: Cox and Curry had 9.5 and 9.0 in 2014, but most came from the DT position on passing downs.

    And while Brandon Graham created pressure in 2016, his 5.5 sacks seems disappointing given that he lined up next to a dominant DT who commands a double team on nearly every down.

    So what’s the historical data mean?

    For someone who’s seen 6 decades of Eagles football, it suggests the Birds — quite apart from Reggie White and Clyde Simmons — actually have had a pretty good, if quiet, tradition of very good pass-rushing DEs.

    It’s time to re-start that tradition . . . Derek Barnett, all eyes are on you.

  59. 59 Media Mike said at 7:41 PM on June 23rd, 2017:

    “the Eagles fielded at least one double-digit (or near-double digit) sack guy at DE almost every year.”

    This is why I’m be “particular” with what level of sack production I’m expecting from Barnett to feel good about picking a DE at a premium spot.

  60. 60 P_P_K said at 8:46 PM on June 23rd, 2017:

    Great post. Thanks.

  61. 61 Julescat said at 2:43 PM on June 24th, 2017:

    Mel Tom was one of the first NFL players from Hawaii

  62. 62 wee2424 said at 7:43 PM on June 24th, 2017:

    Along with DE we have also been very spoiled at RB up untill recently. Thanks Chip.

  63. 63 FairOaks said at 9:42 PM on June 24th, 2017:

    Great post. I have no memory whatsoever of Greg Brown and I probably should.

    Babin also had 18 sacks in 2011, but… couldn’t keep that up. That 2012 defense destroyed lots of things, though opposing offenses were not among them.

  64. 64 wee2424 said at 9:15 AM on June 25th, 2017:

    Yes he did have 18 sacks. However it was the least exciting and most disappointing 18 sacks I have ever seen due to his atrocious run defense and penalty yards.

    I can live with the penalties because they were mostly a result of him playing like his hair was on fire and simply wanting to hurt the opposing QB.

  65. 65 wee2424 said at 9:06 AM on June 25th, 2017:

    You ever think about writing a book covering the history of the Eagles? Or a book along the lines of interesting facts that not many others know.

    Im being dead serious. You have the knowledge, patience and writing ability to do so. I really enjoy your comments like this because I was born in 89 therefore I really don’t know much about the Birds before the Reid era.

    Seems as though I was mostly lucky to have my memory of the Birds start at the beginning of Big Red’s tenure.

  66. 66 daveH said at 8:21 PM on June 23rd, 2017:

    I like igglesbltz almost as much as youtube

  67. 67 P_P_K said at 8:45 PM on June 23rd, 2017:

    I spend way more time on Iggles Blitz than on You Tube.

  68. 68 daveH said at 11:15 PM on June 23rd, 2017:

    Listen to Youtube dot Com

  69. 69 Bert's Bells said at 6:19 PM on June 24th, 2017:

    What about you porn?

  70. 70 P_P_K said at 3:00 PM on June 25th, 2017:

    What? There’s porn on the internet? News to me…

  71. 71 daveH said at 11:14 PM on June 23rd, 2017:

    Wonder Woman is Awesome.

  72. 72 A_T_G said at 1:38 PM on June 24th, 2017:

    And she wouldn’t even have started on that ’91 defense.

  73. 73 sonofdman said at 2:59 PM on June 24th, 2017:

    She probably could have come in to play nickel CB over Izel “Toast” Jenkins.

  74. 74 daveH said at 7:15 PM on June 24th, 2017:

    She had a high motor

  75. 75 wee2424 said at 7:38 PM on June 24th, 2017:


  76. 76 daveH said at 10:46 PM on June 24th, 2017:

    Wonder woman. . Gal Gadot is smo kin hot

  77. 77 wee2424 said at 8:51 AM on June 25th, 2017:

    Lol I know. I was making a joke because Reid would always speak about a players “motor”, especially if the fans and media were being hard on a player due to poor performance or lack of talent.

  78. 78 ChoTime said at 7:50 PM on June 24th, 2017:

    She could have started on the ’91 cheerleading team, though.

  79. 79 A_T_G said at 1:58 PM on June 24th, 2017:

    The QB injuries and the Fog Bowl were when I learned that real sports aren’t like sports movies – no promise of the good guys winning in the end.

  80. 80 wee2424 said at 7:28 PM on June 24th, 2017:

    Wow, Sal Pal is clueless. Interview with him on BGN stating how he believes that Schwartz is going to start to use complicated pass rush schemes frequently by utilizing blitzers.

    That is the complete opposite of a Schwartz run D. I just don’t get how this guy says this stuff.

    If you asked any knowledgeable NFL fan to quickly describe Schwartz’s ideologies on D they could sum it up quickly. Wide 9, generate pressure by exclusively utilizing front 4 so you can keep more men in coverage and allow LBs to fill gaps.