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Offseason Program Countdown: 26 Days

Posted Mar 26, 2014

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 …

In 2013, the Eagles' average time of possession was just over 26 minutes (26:24 to be exact). That number ranked the Eagles dead last in time of possession. Of course, head coach Chip Kelly explained all along that he was unconcerned with his team's time of possession, emphasizing that the more time the Eagles possessed the ball, the more time the defense had to stand around and catch their collective breathe.  According to sportingcharts.com, the Eagles led the league in average points-per-minute of possession at 1.05. They were the only NFL team to average at least 1.0 point-per-minute of possession time. To sum it all up, the Eagles may have had the lowest average time of possession, but they utilized their time with the ball and converted it into points better than anyone else in the NFL.

First Eagle to wear 26: G/T Joseph Kresky (1933-35)
Current Eagle wearing 26: CB Cary Williams (2013-present)
Other Notable 26s: CB Al Nelson (1965-73)

CB Lito Sheppard

There are certain players in Eagles history who are always remembered by one signature play. Herm Edwards had the original Miracle at the Meadowlands. Chuck Bednarik had The Hit, and then years later, Sheldon Brown had another hit. Another one of those players was Lito Sheppard.

A first-round pick out of the University of Florida in 2002 (26th overall, interestingly enough), Sheppard played his first eight seasons in Philadelphia. He lived up to his first-round draft status, making the Pro Bowl in 2004 and 2006, while also taking home All-Pro honors in 2004. He intercepted 19 passes in Eagles green, but none more famous than his 2006 Week 5 interception off of Dallas' Drew Bledsoe. The Eagles led Dallas 31-24 with less than one minute remaining, but the Cowboys were just six yards away from a game-tying score. Bledsoe dropped back and fired a pass towards tight end Jason Witten, but Sheppard had other ideas. He stepped in front of the pass and ran 102 yards to paydirt, ensuring the Eagles victory and electrifying the Lincoln Financial Field crowd.

Sheppard's final season with the Eagles was 2008, when a crowded secondary cause his playing time to decrease. He would play for three teams over the next three seasons (New York Jets, Minnesota Vikings, and Oakland Raiders) before retiring after the 2011 season, but he will always be remembered in Philadelphia as the man who gave new meaning to the "Lito Shuffle."

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