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Offseason Program Countdown: 39 Days

Posted Mar 13, 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 …

Even though the Eagles offense ranked near the top of the NFL in 2013, one category in which Chip Kelly would probably like to see the unit improve upon is its 39.0 percent third-down conversion rate, which ranked 12th in the league.

First Eagle To Wear 39: G Harry Benson (1935)
Current Eagle To Wear 39: RB Matthew Tucker (2013-present)

Bill Mackrides (1947-1951)
(Pictured above, left, in 2013 with director of ticket client service Leo Carlin)

A Philadelphia native and waterboy for the Eagles as a kid, Mackrides was drafted by his hometown team in the third round of the 1947 NFL Draft out of the University of Nevada-Reno, where he led the nation in passing as a senior. He backed up starter Tommy Thompson at quarterback on the Eagles 1948 (when he started his only game) and 1949 NFL Championship teams and was with the franchise through the 1951 season. Following his football career, Mackrides earned a Master's of Science from West Chester State College and a PhD in Education and Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania. He and his wife, Louise, stayed in the Philadelphia area and raised their four children in the suburbs. From 1957 to 1983, Mackrides served as a guidance counselor and football coach at Springfield High School. He also started Indian Springs Day Camp in Chester Heights in 1959, which is still family owned and operated to this day.

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