Believe it or not, the beginning of the Eagles 2014 season is rapidly approaching. Players will report back to the NovaCare Complex on April 21 for the start of the Eagles offseason program. Join us as we count down until the Eagles are back in town …
After a surprising rookie season in which he flashed potential with the ball in his hands, Damaris Johnson was impressed during last summer's Training Camp, finding ways to shake free downfield as a receiver. But those flashes didn't translate to the regular season, when Johnson was used sparingly. As a returner, Johnson averaged 8.3 yards per punt return but struggled as a kick returner. In 17 attempts, Johnson averaged 25.9 yards per return, with a long of only 33 and no touchdowns. The elusive, darting Johnson was a popular breakout pick for 2013 who did not get a chance to deliver on offense, but with DeSean Jackson no longer on the roster and spots to be won at wide receiver, perhaps 2014 can be the season for him to make a significant impact instead.
First Eagle To Wear 17: WR Joe Carter (1933-40)
Current Eagle To Wear 17: WR Arrelious Benn (2013-present)
The franchise's all-time leading receiver with 590 catches for 8,985 yards and 79 touchdowns, Harold Carmichael was truly a unique, pioneering player. With unprecedented size for the position at 6-foot-8, he presented significant matchup problems for opposing cornerbacks who simply were neither big nor strong enough to handle him. A seventh-round pick out of Southern University in 1971, Carmichael played 13 seasons for the Eagles (1971-83) and was one of the stars of the late 1970s teams that rose to prominence under head coach Dick Vermeil and won the NFC Championship in 1980. He only eclipsed 1,000 yards receiving twice in his career but was always a big-play threat (15.2 yards per reception) and an uncoverable red-zone weapon.
Carmichael was selected to four Pro Bowls, one first-team All-Pro Team (1973), two second-team All-Pro Teams and the NFL 1970s All-Decade Team. He earned induction into the Eagles Hall of Fame in 1987 and is one of the franchise's all-time beloved players. When compared to the other receivers from his era, it's clear that Carmichael deserves inclusion in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. After spending nearly 20 years as the Eagles Director of Player Development and Alumni, Carmichael is now the team's Fan Engagement Liaison.