Posted: August 11th, 2018 | Author: Tommy Lawlor | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | No Comments »
Great news from Thursday night.
— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) August 10, 2018
Those two guys should have been in years ago, but we’ll focus on the positive here…they’re going in.
Clyde Simmons was “the other guy”. That’s what happens when you’re the RDE and the LDE is some guy named Reggie White. Clyde wasn’t just some good complementary piece. He was a terrific pass-rusher who racked up 121.5 career sacks. To put that in perspective, you could combine the sacks from Hugh Douglas and Brandon Graham and you’d come up short of Clyde. Dude could get to the QB.
Clyde didn’t just ride on Reggie’s coattails. He had 7 or more sacks in a season for four teams (PHI, ARZ, JAX, CHI).
Clyde was 6-6, 280 and had long arms. He was a good athlete. You don’t beat LTs that regularly without having a good burst and good agility. He blocked 7 kicks in his time with the Eagles. He had 3 career INTs and scored 4 career TDs. One of those TDs won a game against the Giants.
I’m glad Clyde is finally getting his chance to be recognized.
Seth Joyner isn’t just one of the all-time great Eagles, he is one of the best 4-3 OLBs I have ever seen play. I’m glad he’s going into the Eagles Hall of Fame, but he really should be getting serious consideration for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He was that good.
Football changed in the 1980’s. The 3-4 defense turned OLBs into pass rushers. You may have heard of Lawrence Taylor, Rickey Jackson, Pat Swilling and guys like that. As they posted gaudy sack stats, it became hard to appreciate 4-3 OLBs who were complete football players.
While Seth never had 20 sacks in a season, he made plays all over the field and in a variety of ways. He had 52 career sacks. He could line up and rush the passer or be a devastating blitzer. He knew how to beat blockers and how to finish. Seth had 24 career INTs, an incredible number for a LB. He had 26 FFs and 12 FRs. Seth was a playmaker and a weapon all over the field.
It is hard to quantify how good Joyner was in coverage. The Eagles would play him against RBs and TEs. There were times he might cover the slot. When Buddy Ryan brought him to the Cardinals, he had Seth play some safety when injuries hit the secondary hard. Seth was athletic, but more importantly he had excellent instincts.
Seth was amazing in 1991. The Eagles Gang Green defense had an all-time great year and he’s one of the reasons why. Seth had 6.5 sacks, 3 INTs, 6 FFs, 4 FR and he scored a pair of TDs. Sports Illustrated chose him as NFL Player of the Year.
Seth might be the most intense player to ever suit up for the Eagles. He had rage inside of him. That showed on the field and helped him to become the great player that he was. His intensity wasn’t always a great thing off the field. Jerome Brown was his best friend and a polar opposite. He was the playful kid with a smile on his face. Brown died in the summer of 1992 and that really affected him.
Seth had lost a close friend, but also the personality that helped to keep the locker room balanced out. Seth hated coach Rich Kotite and wasn’t afraid to let anyone know that. It made things awkward in 1992. Seth left in free agency after the 1993 season. He and Clyde both went to the Cardinals to play for Buddy Ryan, a coach they loved and respected.
It killed me to see Seth leave, but he would have been miserable playing another year for Kotite.
One of my favorite Seth highlights came in the 1992 season. The Eagles had lost a painful game to the Packers the week before. Seth was ripping Kotite to the media and tension was high. The Giants were a mess as well. Players hated Ray Handley and were threatening to forget the calls and play how they wanted during the game. Talk about a weird day, huh?
The Giants came out hot and were up 20-6. Things didn’t look so good. The Giants got the ball back and tried to throw a short pass. Seth stepped in front of that and picked it off. TD Eagles. That started a 41-7 run that helped the Eagles win 47-34. This was more famously the game where Vai Sikahema used the goal post as a punching bag to celebrate a TD.
That was terrific. Nothing tops this, though.
Seth makes an incredible INT and runs it back for a TD to seal a win.
Then he goes over in front of a sign honoring Jerome and salutes him. I got emotional just watching this today. Great moment between Seth, his teammates and Eagles fans.
Jerome was watching that day.
And he’ll be watching when Clyde and Seth go into the Eagles Hall of Fame this year.