Friday, December 4, 2009

Top 5 Wide Receivers

Here is the 11th installment of Ray Didinger's Top 5's. Click here for the first 10. Ray was posting these on CSNPhilly in the weeks leading up to training camp and we at DW covered some but not all. Here is the Hall of Famer's list followed by DW's list during our lifetime. Comments encouraged.

1. Tommy McDonald (1957-63) - A spectacular playmaker, McDonald was the most lethal receiver of his era. In the years from 1958 through ’62, led the league with 4,540 receiving yards and averaged a dazzling 19.2 yards per catch. He scored 56 touchdowns in those five seasons. Only one player, Jim Brown of Cleveland, scored more.

When McDonald retired following the 1968 season, his 84 touchdown receptions ranked second only to Green Bay’s Don Hutson in NFL history. He still holds the Eagles record for most receiving yards in a game (237 against the Giants in 1961). He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1998.

2. Pete Pihos (1947-55) - When people talk about great players in Eagles history, they often overlook Pihos which is unfortunate. “The Golden Greek” as he was known, was overshadowed by teammates Steve Van Buren and Chuck Bednarik, yet he is right there beside them in the Pro Football Hall of Fame (Class of 1970) and he was instrumental in the team winning its back-to-back NFL championships in 1948 and ’49.

3. Harold Carmichael (1971-83) - At 6-8 and 225 pounds, Carmichael was the stretch limo of wide receivers. He could beat double coverage simply by reaching over it. The Eagles stole him in the seventh round of the draft because no one could believe a receiver with such a long, lean frame could survive in the NFL.

Carmichael lasted 13 seasons with the Eagles, appearing in more games (180), catching more passes (589) and scoring more touchdowns (79) than any other player in team history. He set an NFL record by catching at least one pass in 127 consecutive games.

4. Mike Quick (1982-90) - A first round pick in 1982, Quick played nine seasons with the Eagles and was voted into five consecutive Pro Bowls (1984-88). In those five seasons, Quick led all NFL players in touchdown catches (53) and he was third in receiving yards (5,437) behind only future Hall of Famers James Lofton and Steve Largent.

Eagles coach Buddy Ryan said, “I wouldn’t trade Quick for any of those guys. For my money, he is the best receiver in football.”

Quick was on a Hall of Fame pace himself when he suffered a series of injuries that brought a premature end to his career: a broken leg in 1988, a knee injury in ’89 and another knee injury the following year. He retired as the fourth leading receiver in team history with 363 catches. He was the first Eagles player to have more than 1,000 yards receiving in three consecutive seasons.

5. Terrell Owens (2004-05) - know we’re only talking about one season (2004) but what an amazing season it was. Owens set the club record with 14 touchdown catches and he had seven games with more than 100 yards receiving (also a club record). He had 77 catches for 1,200 yards in just 14 regular season games. And the Eagles were 13-1 in those games.

It was an amazing run capped off by a memorable performance in Super Bowl XXXIX where he came back from a high ankle sprain and fibula fracture in his right leg to catch nine passes for 122 yards in the loss to New England.

That is a strong 5 for the birds at WR. Here is how the list would look like for DW:

1. Quick
2. Irving Fryar: Averaged 87 grabs during his first 2 season with the birds even though it was twilight of his career.
3. Owens: Depressing thinking about what the eagles could have been with some more years like '04.
4. Fred Barnett - Arkansas Fred had 5300 yards and 28 TD's as a Bird
5. Dietrich Jells - The Eagles robbed him from Ne and he started 3 games over 2 years catching 12 balls with 2 key Td's


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