The Eagles are saddened to learn of the passing of former defensive tackle Mike Pitts. He was 61 years old.
Born in Pell City, Alabama, Pitts played for the Eagles from 1987-92 and was a starter on one of the greatest defensive units in NFL history – known as Gang Green – in the 1991 season.
Head Coach Buddy Ryan was fired after the 1990 season. Rich Kotite took over as head coach and Bud Carson led the talented defense. In a documentary on the 1991 defense, Pitts reflected on how the defense stuck together despite the unpopular move.
"We just came together and basically wanted to go out and do this for Buddy," Pitts said. "We knew with a new coaching staff that there would be a lot of changes and we didn't know how long we could keep it together."
The Gang Green unit ranked first against the run, the pass, and in total defense.
"When we were off the field, we were constantly together, so it was like we were never apart," Pitts said. "It was like a brotherhood there."
Before joining the Eagles, Pitts was recognized by several media outlets as an All-American at the University of Alabama in 1982. He was a first-round pick of the Atlanta Falcons in 1983. Pitts joined the Eagles after being acquired in a trade with the Falcons.
Following his six seasons with the Eagles, Pitts rounded out his 12-year NFL career with the New England Patriots.