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Fan-Demonium: All-Short-Term Team

Posted Jun 21, 2012

Fan-Demonium

The Eagles agreed to terms with safety Oshiomogho Atogwe on a one-year deal Wednesday. He is a veteran player with some gas still left in the tank, but exactly how much is the question that kept him on the street until June. Guys like Atogwe are signed every year. Some pan out. Some thrive. Some fail miserably. Let's hope Atogwe is able to come in and push starters Nate Allen and Kurt Coleman. I'm still a big believer in the young duo, but having a talented veteran to compete with them up at Training Camp at Lehigh is a good thing.

The addition of Atogwe got me to thinking about players that have come through Philly over the years and played just a season or two with the Eagles. Here is a list of my favorite short term Eagles of the last 20 years.

Offense
QB Jeff Garcia (2006, 2009)
RB Dorsey Levens (2002, 2004)
FB Jon Ritchie (2003-04)
WR Donte Stallworth (2006)
WR Antonio Freeman (2002)
TE Mark Bavaro (1993-94)
OL Broderick Thompson (1993-94)
OL Guy McIntyre (1995-96)
OL Raleigh McKenzie (1995-96)
OL Eric Floyd (1992-93)
OL Richard Cooper (1996, 1998)

Defense
DE Daniel Stubbs (1995)
DT Derek Landri (2011-present)
DT Kevin Johnson (1995-96)
DE Al Wallace (1997-98)
SAM Bill Romanowski (1994-95)
MLB Kurt Gouviea (1995)
WLB Shawn Barber (2002, 2006)
S Greg Jackson (1994-95)
S Blaine Bishop (2002)
CB William James (2006-07)
CB Charles Dimry (1997)

Special Teams
P Bryan Barker (1994)
PK Gary Anderson (1995-96)
RS Allen Rossum (1998-99)
ST Je'Rod Cherry (2000)

Let me talk about the players. Some I'm sure most fans will know, but there are a few guys on here who are under-the-radar types.

OFFENSE

The receivers were basically no-brainers. Both Stallworth and Freeman came here while the team was at Lehigh and ended up being crucial additions to teams that made playoff runs. Stallworth had serious speed while Freeman worked the slot in his time as an Eagle. I was highly disappointed when Stallworth left in free agency and his career hasn't been great since. I think he'd tell you that he made a mistake.

I don't know how many fans remember Mark Bavaro as an Eagle. He was very good in 1993, catching 43 passes for 481 yards and six touchdowns. Bavaro was a big, rugged guy who made plays on effort and talent. Watching Bubby Brister throw the ball to him wasn't quite as exciting as seeing Mike Vick hit DeSean Jackson, but the combo was crucial to a bad Eagles offense in 1993. Bavaro caught 17 passes in 1994, which turned out to be his final NFL season.

The headliner on the offensive line is Raleigh McKenzie. He was a good center for the Eagles in Ray Rhodes’ first two years. I think Rhodes made a big mistake when he let McKenzie go and tried to replace him with Steve Everitt. The Rhodes teams were made up of veterans and chemistry was huge. I think losing McKenzie hurt on and off the field. Guy McIntyre was another favorite, but watching Leon Lett toss him around like a rag doll in the playoffs was very depressing. Eric Floyd was a good player and had a great nickname, Pink Floyd. I almost added guard Harry Boatswain because that is just an awesome name. He played here in 1995, but wasn't as good as McIntyre or Floyd. Neither of the tackles was a standout player. Thompson was probably the best.

Dorsey Levens was a terrific role player in his time as an Eagle. He and Duce Staley were an excellent combination in 2002. Levens then spent a miserable year with the Giants before returning to help the Eagles get to the Super Bowl in 2004. That was his final year in the NFL. Levens had a good combination of size and speed. I enjoyed watching him run. You could bring up the name of Darnell Autry for his time as the starter in 2000 after Staley got hurt, but Autry just wasn't very good. How many fans remember Lamar Gordon? How many have tried to forget?

There were a couple of fullbacks to consider. Leonard Weaver was terrific in his short time as an Eagle. I really hate that his career ended the way it did. Josh Parry was a marginal player, but he was an overachiever. He was the kind of guy that we should all cheer for. I went with Jon Ritchie because he was a true fullback. He was a very good blocker. He could also catch and run. Like Weaver, a bad knee injury halted a good career.

Quarterback was an obvious choice for me. Jeff Garcia only played here for one full season, but feels like a lifetime Eagle. I think most fans love him. 2006 was a very fun season, as he led the team to five straight wins and the playoffs. Garcia almost got the Eagles to the NFC title game that year (Why, Scott Young, why?). It would be interesting to hear someone argue for Ty Detmer. I doubt Mike McMahon and Jeff Blake were of serious interest. For those who think I skipped Jim McMahon, he played for the Eagles for three years. I'd actually forgotten he was here in 1990, as well as 1991-92.

DEFENSE

Rhodes picked Dan Stubbs up off the scrap heap. He didn't play in the NFL in 1994 and became a valuable backup to Mike Mamula in 1995. Stubbs got a big deal from the Dolphins and left. He had 5.5 sacks in his lone year as an Eagle, but was even better than those numbers indicate. Al Wallace was my other end. Interesting player. Started off as a wide receiver in college and just kept growing. He had six sacks as a situational rusher in 1998. I'd love to know why Andy Reid and Tom Modrak let him go. Looked like a perfect fastball type for Jim Johnson.

You know I had to go with Derek Landri. He's the captain of this team. His presence alone would get this team to the playoffs. Why didn't that happen in 2011 you ask? Landri wasn't an Eagle for the whole year. The team was 7-5 with him, 1-3 without. Kevin Johnson is another guy that Rhodes pulled off the scrap heap. He was working in his parent's liquor store when he got signed by the Eagles. Johnson responded with a terrific year. He wasn't even active for the first four games, but then had six sacks in the 11 games he did play. He was a very disruptive player up the middle. His personal highlight was picking up a fumble against the Rams and rumbling 37 yards for a score. Unfortunately, I don't think Johnson handled success well. He only had one sack in 1996 and only played one more season in the league, as a backup in Oakland. Fringe players have a really hard time dealing with success.

Lawlor

Tommy Lawlor, goeagles99 on the Discussion Boards, is an amateur football scout and devoted Eagles fan. He was a finalist for Philadelphia's Most Influential Blogger Award and is the Editor of IgglesBlitz.com

The linebacking corps is the strength of this team. Kurt Gouviea drove me nuts all the years he played for the ‘Skins. He came here for a season and was terrific. He led the team in tackles and had an interception in his lone season in Philly. Bill Romanowski is the man who had the unenviable task of replacing Seth Joyner. Romo, as he was affectionately called, was excellent in his two years. I didn't think it was possible for the Eagles to find a player who was even more intense than Joyner, but they did it. Romo played the run well, was good against the pass and didn't have any off-field issues here. I really enjoyed watching him play. He left for big bucks (five years, $9 million dollars) after the 1995 season. Ugh. The other linebacker is Shawn Barber, who started here in 2002. He was another ex-Skin that came here as a temp. Barber was great in 2002 and the Eagles have been looking for his replacement ever since. The one player I hated to leave out of this group is Takeo Spikes. He was a good player in 2007, but I couldn't take him over Barber.

I would love to ask Ray Rhodes why he got rid of Greg Jackson. That move never made sense. It did lead to the drafting of Brian Dawkins, so I guess I should be thankful, but I just didn't see the need to get rid of Jackson. He and Mike Zordich were a good safety duo for a pair of seasons.

The other choice will make a few of you mad. Hear me out. Blaine Bishop started 12 games in 2002 for a defense that was very good. He got hurt and the guy who struggled in the playoffs simply wasn't healthy. He should not have been on the field. That's on Jim Johnson, not Bishop. Players are taught to not come off the field, even if hurt. Coaches beat it into them to be tough and play through pain. Bishop tried to do that and it cost us in a big way. The coaches should have seen him struggling and put in Michael Lewis.

As I looked back over lists, one thing stood out to me. The Eagles haven't had many short-term corners. This is one position that has generally been well-stocked in the last two decades. William James drove me crazy as a player, but I did love calling him BillyJim. Charles Dimry was a solid player. I still remember watching tape of him after the Eagles signed him. He played for Tampa in those old orange uniforms. Can't say I miss those things.

SPECIAL TEAMS

There isn't anything special about my punter, Bryan Barker. I did like him, though. I loved Gary Anderson as the kicker. He had no leg, but was very accurate. He was a good old-school kicker. Rossum was a good return man for a couple of years, but got dealt. He was then replaced by Brian Mitchell. That was an upgrade, even though Rossum was good. Je'Rod Cherry was a guy the team signed off the street in the middle of a season and he was an impact special teams player right away. For some odd reason, the Eagles let him walk after that. He went to the Patriots and picked up some jewelry.

OK, Eagles fans, let me know who I was wrong on and who I left off that should have made it. Who ya got?

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