CLEVELAND – As he reported to Cleveland Browns Stadium for tonight's preseason clash against the aforementioned Browns, head coach Andy Reid reflected on the legacy of legendary Eagle Steve Van Buren, who passed away yesterday at the age of 91.
"Steve was an unbelievable football player and a great person," Reid told reporters. "I had a chance to meet him in the latter years obviously, but what a tribute to the National Football League he was. He was rewarded for that by being put into the Hall of Fame. I know Chuck Bednarik very well, so I checked with him about Steve Van Buren, and he said 'He was the ultimate teammate.' Chuck's a rough, tough guy and had the ultimate respect for him and I can see why. A top-notch person, great football player, great grandfather, great parent and a great great-grandfather, so he leaves quite a legacy behind."
On the field, Van Buren was ahead of his time, capturing the NFL rushing title four times and was a five-time All-Pro. He finished his career with 5,860 rushing yards and 77 touchdowns and was selected to the NFL's 75th Anniversary Team in 1994. Van Buren was also the first Eagles player elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
"He was time-tested here," Reid said." He could play in the National Football League today. I've had a chance to look at a lot of film of the old NFL and he's one of the guys that could have started today, in today's National Football League."