Believe it or not, the beginning of the 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 ...
Donnie Jones has been featured on this Countdown before, but here's another interesting stat about the man who recently signed a new three-year deal. In 2013, only 28 of Jones' punts were returned by the opposition, while 27 were downed without a return. Also, 33 of his punts pinned the opposition inside their own 20, which was a single-season franchise record. I guess you can say that the new contract was well-deserved.
First Eagle To Wear No. 28: B Dick Thornton (1933)
Current Eagle Wearing No. 28: Earl Wolff (2013-present)
Brian Dawkins and Eric Allen are two of the first names that come to mind when Eagles fans think about the top defensive backs in team history, but before B-Dawk was dancing out of the tunnel and E.A. was racing downfield with one of his five interception return touchdowns, there was another great patrolling the Eagles defensive backfield.
That man was Bill Bradley.
Drafted in the third round of the 1969 NFL Draft, Bradley didn't play much on defense as a rookie, and his second season was derailed by injury. But in 1971, Bradley became a full-time starter, and the move paid off immensely. The University of Texas alumnus intercepted 11 passes, which to this day remains an Eagles' single-season record. His 34 career picks are tied with the aforementioned Dawkins and Allen for first place in Eagles history as well. In 1972, he became the first player in NFL history to lead the league in interceptions in consecutive seasons.
Bradley was selected to the Pro Bowl three times (1971-73) and he was twice named an All-Pro (1971 and '72). Unfortunately for Bradley, the Eagles only managed a .500 record once in his eight seasons (1974). He played one season with the St. Louis Cardinals before retiring after the 1977 season.
Other Notable 28s: RB Correll Buckhalter (2001-08)