Clues from Jeremiah Bullfrog as Eagles mourn alumni legends

Clues from Jeremiah Bullfrog as Eagles mourn alumni legends

Eagles

Clues from Jeremiah Bullfrog as Eagles mourn alumni legends

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Life goes on whether the COVID-19 thing wants to stop it or not… Sadly, one of our favorite all-time Eagles died this week of COVID-related causes, kicker Tom Dempsey at age 73. Another, all-purpose back Timmy Brown, passed away from unrelated causes at age 82.

It makes you appreciate the relatively short time we all have on this planet to make our mark.

The Timmy Brown death hit me harder than the Dempsey tragedy, partly because Dempsey was through no fault of his own a great guy who fell outside of my Topps football card collecting obsession. In other words, Timmy Brown was THE Eagles football card every kid in my neighborhood coveted back in 1963 when I was a jerky little kid spending every nickel on trading cards.

Brown died Saturday at the age of 82. He was living with his son Sean in Southern California. The two made the trip to Philadelphia in 2015 when Timmy was inducted into the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame. Sean helped his ailing father finish his acceptance speech, a touching moment that moved many in the audience to tears.

“Timmy was a Gale Sayers-type back,” said Pete Retzlaff, the Eagles Hall of Fame tight end. “He was very quick with a knack for finding daylight. He had great hands. He would be sensational in today’s game. Spread the offense, throw him the ball and watch him go.”

It didn’t exactly come easy, either.

“It was a slow process, convincing people I belonged in the NFL,” Brown said. “When I finally got to show what I could do, their reaction was, ‘Gee, what a surprise.’ That’s the price you pay for coming out of a small college and going late in the draft. You get labeled as a fringe player.”

Some fringe!

Brown earned a spot on the 1960 Eagles championship team as a kick returner and soon developed into one of the NFL’s most dynamic offensive players. He led the league in all-purpose yardage in 1962 and ’63. He had 2,425 combined yards in 1963 (rushing, receiving, and kick returns), a remarkable feat considering it was a 14-game regular season and the Eagles were a hapless 2-10-2 team.

He is the Eagles’ all-time leader in average yards per touch (6.52) and he still holds the franchise record for most kickoff returns (169), most kickoff return yards (4,483), and most kickoff returns for touchdowns (5). He was the first NFL player to return two kickoffs for touchdowns in the same game. He accomplished the feat in a 24-23 upset win over Dallas at Franklin Field on November 6, 1966.

Born in Knightstown, Indiana, Brown grew up in an orphanage with his brother, John. He earned a partial athletic scholarship to Ball State and was a 27th-round draft pick of the Green Bay Packers. He was cut by coach Vince Lombardi after playing just one game. Fortunately for all of us the Eagles picked him up for their practice squad, and activated him in 1960.

He of course went on to become the most coveted football card in the Eagles Topps set back then, and the main reason I and many kids tuned into the TV games back in the early-to-mid ’60’s — what would this young man do next?

AS FOR THE PRESENT SITUATION, I don’t know what to tell you. We may or may not have an actual NFL season in 2020.

The Draft will go as scheduled but in a virtual presentation from April 23-25. So the MACH 10 Draft Challenge is open for entries. So far we have ballots from Boner, South Philly Ben, and Don Pardo.

This is the time of the year we usually feature Daniel Jeremiah’s mock draft for Round 1 from NFL.com. Maybe it will help you sort out your first round priorities, maybe not. But here it is:

“With the 2020 NFL Draft a little more than two weeks away, here’s my third look at how teams will draft when Round 1 begins on April 23.

PICK:

1

Joe Burrow – QB

School: LSU | Year: Senior (RS)

I’m sure there will be several teams interested in trading up for Burrow, but I can’t see the Bengals passing up the opportunity to land their top QB.

PICK

2

Chase Young – Edge

School: Ohio State | Year: Junior

I understand the Redskins already have depth on the defensive line, but Young is too good to pass up.

PICK

3

Jeff Okudah – CB

School: Ohio State | Year: Junior

Okudah is the premier player at his position in this draft and fills a massive need on the Lions‘ defense.

PICK

4

Tristan Wirfs – OT

School: Iowa | Year: Junior

The Giants have needs all over their defense, but I still believe protecting Daniel Jones is the top priority.

PICK

5

Justin Herbert – QB

School: Oregon | Year: Senior

I have Tua Tagovailoa rated higher than Herbert, but I think there’s a legitimate chance the Oregon QB goes ahead of Tua.

PICK

6

Tua Tagovailoa – QB

School: Alabama | Year: Junior

The Chargers have a talented roster and now they have a point guard to distribute the ball for the next decade-plus.

PICK

7

Derrick Brown – DT

School: Auburn | Year: Senior

The Panthers have a bunch of intriguing options with the seventh pick. I wouldn’t rule out a trade down from this spot, either.

PICK

8

Jedrick Wills – OT

School: Alabama | Year: Junior

The Cardinals addressed the WR position with the acquisition of DeAndre Hopkins. Wills would slide right into the RT spot, opposite D.J. Humphries.

PICK

9

Mekhi Becton – OT

School: Louisville | Year: Junior

The Jaguars have a multitude of needs on defense, but this pick helps them upgrade two spots. Becton takes over at LT and Cam Robinson slides inside to guard.

PICK

10

Isaiah Simmons – LB/S

School: Clemson | Year: Junior (RS)

The Browns need another offensive tackle, but Simmons might be too good to bypass. He is the perfect defender to match up with the division’s most dangerous playmaker, Lamar Jackson.

PICK

11

CeeDee Lamb – WR

School: Oklahoma | Year: Junior

The Jets need to continue to upgrade the O-line, but they must weigh taking the fourth-best OT versus the top wideout. Sam Darnold needs some dynamic players around him.

PICK

12

Jerry Jeudy – WR

School: Alabama | Year: Junior

This decision would likely come down to Jeudy versus Javon Kinlaw. I would applaud either choice.

PICK

13

Henry Ruggs III – WR

School: Alabama | Year: Junior

Let’s take a minute and just imagine Ruggs in the hands of a creative play-caller like Kyle Shanahan.

PICK

14

Andrew Thomas – OT

School: Georgia | Year: Junior

The Bucs are all in on Tom Brady. Adding some protection for him is a good idea.

PICK

15

Javon Kinlaw – DT

School: South Carolina | Year: Senior

The Broncos could go receiver here, but they also have a need on the D-line. Kinlaw has unlimited potential.

PICK

16

C.J. Henderson – CB

School: Florida | Year: Junior

The Falcons have plenty of firepower on offense, but the secondary needs help. Henderson has the greatest upside of any cornerback in the draft class.

PICK

17

K’Lavon Chaisson – Edge

School: LSU | Year: Sophomore (RS)

Chaisson would be an ideal fit on the opposite side of Demarcus Lawrence. He is still a little raw, but he’s very explosive.

PICK

18

Yetur Gross-Matos – Edge

School: Penn State | Year: Junior

Gross-Matos would give the Dolphins some much-needed edge rush. The more I studied him, the more I liked him.

PICK

19

A.J. Terrell – CB

School: Clemson | Year: Junior

Terrell would reunite with his college teammate, Trayvon Mullen, to give the Raiders two tall, long and rangy CBs to build their secondary around.

PICK

20

Justin Jefferson – WR

School: LSU | Year: Junior

Jefferson has outstanding hands and route polish. He excels on third down and in the red zone.

PICK

21

Kenneth Murray – LB

School: Oklahoma | Year: Junior

The Eagles need to add receivers, but they can afford to wait a round or two. Murray would give them a dynamic playmaker in the middle of their defense.

PICK

22

Jaylon Johnson – CB

School: Utah | Year: Junior

Johnson is rock solid on tape and he has the tools to fit perfectly in the Vikings‘ scheme.

PICK

23

A.J. Epenesa – Edge

School: Iowa | Year: Junior

The Patriots love size and power on the edges. Epenesa isn’t an elite tester, but he’s a very productive football player.

PICK

24

Patrick Queen – LB

School: LSU | Year: Junior

The Saints don’t have many glaring needs. They can afford to simply take the best player available.

PICK

25

Tee Higgins – WR

School: Clemson | Year: Junior

Higgins would bring some size and red-zone ability to the Vikings‘ offense.

PICK

26

Joshua Jones – OT

School: Houston | Year: Senior (RS)

The Dolphins must address the offensive line in this draft. I could see them doubling up in the next round.

PICK

27

Austin Jackson – OT

School: USC | Year: Junior

Jackson was very up and down last season, but he’s an outstanding athlete. He should continue to improve as a pro.

PICK

28

Zack Baun – LB

School: Wisconsin | Year: Senior (RS)

The Ravens need more edge rush. Baun has the athleticism to drop and cover, as well.

PICK

29

Brandon Aiyuk – WR

School: Arizona State | Year: Senior

I love Aiyuk’s game and his toughness would fit the culture in Tennessee.

PICK

30

Jordan Love – QB

School: Utah State | Year: Junior (RS)

It’s tough to find the right spot for Love. He could go in the top 10 or fall to this neighborhood of the draft. The Packers would be a great fit for him to sit, learn and develop.

PICK

31

Ross Blacklock – DT

School: TCU | Year: Junior (RS)

The 49ers will likely trade down to stockpile selections, as they currently don’t hold a pick in Rounds 2-4.

PICK

32

Cesar Ruiz – C

School: Michigan | Year: Junior

The Chiefs could have their choice of the top running backs, but they also need to get younger/better along the interior of their offensive line.

Follow Daniel Jeremiah on Twitter @MoveTheSticks.

 

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