Eagles Chairman/CEO Jeffrey Lurie
Opening Remarks: "First I'd like to thank all of you tonight for taking the time to help celebrate the careers of two tremendous men and two tremendous Eagles. The Philadelphia Eagles Hall of Fame recognizes some of the greatest individuals who have made an impact, not only on our franchise, but on the city of Philadelphia and on our fans. Leo Carlin, Troy Vincent, they are the models for a Hall of Fame when you think about each of them individually.
"First I'll talk a little about Leo. Leo Carlin. Those who know him, this man is the epitome of loyalty. 53 years and counting with one organization. I don't care if that's sports or any business, that's incredible. But you might think that I'm referring to the loyalty to the team and the organization, the players, the employees, (and) the coaches. That almost goes without saying. What makes Leo truly special is something very different from that and much deeper which is an incredible loyalty to every fan that ever passed through the gates of Lincoln Financial Field, Veterans Stadium, or Franklin Field. I have to tell you, as an owner to have somebody like Leo to be able to reach out to every single fan is something very special because it represents the organization in a way that I don't think any other franchise could possibly have. It takes an effort and a dedication that's just well over and above the job description and that's what Leo has been all about. A lot of you know Leo as well as we do, and he's got a witty and great personality, amazing energy (that) never ends, always thinking of others, and a thirst to find a way to make you laugh at all times. I think, at least on my behalf and on the organization's behalf, what I want you to take home tonight is a recognition of the reason Leo is (being inducted into) the Eagles Hall of Fame is the pride and dedication he takes towards every single ticket holder of the Philadelphia Eagles. He's so selfless and dedicated in this regard. It serves generation after generation after generation of fans and their game day experience. And that's what this is all about. We can talk about television and all that but to have somebody who's dedicated to each and every ticket holder is spectacular. So Leo, congratulations on your amazing and wonderful career, and it's still going. You bleed Eagles green, you are a legend in the Philadelphia sports community and we all thank you for everything you've done for the Eagles and especially for your big heart.
"Now let me introduce Troy Vincent. When I think of Troy, I mean we talk a lot about trying to build a team of high character and the like, Troy Vincent epitomizes the concept of high character. Whether it's on the field, in the locker room, his post-football career that's been incredibly successful, he always carries himself with class. When we acquired Troy from the Miami Dolphins in 1996, I felt pretty certain we were getting a top-notch cornerback. I think we were absolutely true on that but what I had no idea of, or no real appreciation of, was we were getting an incredible leader. Somebody that was dedicated to his teammates, a man of remarkable integrity and a pillar in his hometown community of Trenton, and later in the City of Philadelphia. Whether we remember Troy as a lockdown cornerback or (for his) five Pro Bowl appearances in his eight years in Philadelphia, he earned the trust of all players, coaches, employees, staff, and especially our fans. That respect was reciprocated. I think that what really makes Troy stand out was, I can't tell you the times for me that I would walk into either the locker room or be at practice after a long, hard practice session, who is standing on the sideline but Troy mentoring the younger players. Doesn't show up in the stat sheets. Doesn't show up in a biography of Troy Vincent. But it is unique, it's rare, and I think his lasting impression on our organization and our team is going to be just that. We know how great a player he was but that model of sharing what you have. The ups and downs of football are so tough for young players and Troy understood that and he was just a model at helping.
"So for both of these men, their passion, their spirit, their dedication, their pride that they conveyed as members of the Philadelphia Eagles, it's why we're here today celebrating them and honoring them. So congratulations to both of you on your admission into the Philadelphia Eagles Hall of Fame."
Eagles Hall of Fame Inductee Leo Carlin
Opening Remarks: "Well good evening everyone. Ladies and gentlemen, I want to tell you that I come to this building every day as you well know but it's all different today and it has really put me in sort of a surreal situation. I love the Philadelphia Eagles. I love people and I love the people that I work with and the fans. I see the same names on the (ticket) database almost year after year after year, but I don't know that it's three different generations on there with the same name because I've been around so long. Franklin Field, Veterans Stadium, and the beautiful Lincoln Financial Field as I say in all of the commercials. 'The beautiful Lincoln Financial Field.'
"You are very nice to come here for me. There are some people who've come quite a distance outside my family. One of the nice things about this place is that I get to know some of the players. And I call them players but that's wrong, that's an error. They're friends of mine. Who else would come from Utah, like Chad Lewis and his wife Michelle? Come because he heard I was going to have this evening. I can't thank him and so many of you enough. I'm so happy to see them.
"I know you'll have some more questions for me later. I'm happy to see all of you and I am very thankful. I want to congratulate Troy and thank Jeffrey. It's wonderful being here."
Eagles Hall of Fame Inductee Troy Vincent
Opening Remarks: "Once again, I would like to congratulate Leo. I'm still a little bitter with (Leo) (joking). There were two games he didn't get me my ticket request. Leo and I see (Senior Coordinator, Ticket Operations) Sue (Gorman) back there in the back there. There was a Giants game and a Cowboys game that he still fell short.
"But once again, I want to give my honor to God for this opportunity. On behalf of my family, my wife, and my children, my mother is here, Linda, my God mom is here, and this is one of the few opportunities where I have an opportunity to just say thank you. Thank you to the people who just made it fun to come to work every day at NovaCare. When we were over at (Veterans Stadium), just the coworkers, the people that I saw every single day. (They) just made it a pleasant place to come work and I just want to say thank you. You made my eight years of experience here, not just on the field but inside the workplace, a wonderful place to play. For you all as the media when I came in here it just brought back memories of getting in front of this podium and talking at times when I didn't want to talk (and) when no one else wanted to talk. But I learned. You held me accountable. You held my teammates accountable and once again I get a chance to say thank you. Thank you for allowing me to become a professional, both on and off the field to answer the tough questions. The questions that others don't like to answer but you have to because it's part of our responsibility as athletes.
"So on behalf of my family, Jeffrey, I can't thank you enough for allowing me to come and spend eight wonderful years here. Just a wonderful experience. The coworkers, for each and every last one of you, you made it just pleasant and just a wonderful place to work. So with that being said, I know there will be some questions for Leo and I, but again I can't thank you enough. Thank you."
On Carlin's emotions upon hearing Lurie's words about his loyalty:
Leo Carlin: "It's something brand new. What I do, is I attribute so much of it to a young lady back there, Kay Carlin, my wife, who has given me my seven children. I enjoy this place every day and I enjoy going home every day. So my emotions being here today is just something that's a little bit surreal. There were people here because of me and I'm still trying to digest that a little bit. So my emotions, I'm ecstatic about that."
On what Vincent saw in the locker room when he first came to Philadelphia that allowed him to be the leader he was:
Troy Vincent: "I think it just begins with, one, production. You have quiet leaders, you have vocal leaders, but if you don't produce, it's hard to lead in any locker room. Just looking from afar, again, I'm a Sunday morning couch coach or whatever you want to call me now, so I see it from afar. I just see a lack of leadership. Sideline, when you see things happening on the sidelines. It's a want, it's a will, it's a desire. You have to hold each other accountable in the locker room. I'm not sure –I'm not in there – what's being said when you don't make a play. But I think plays on Sunday are a result of what you do on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and everyone being personally accountable. It's a shared responsibility amongst everyone in the locker room, coaches included. Leaders evolve. When I first came here, there was an individual named Willie T. (former Eagles LB William Thomas), (former Eagles DT) Rhett Hall. These were veteran leaders that took me up underneath their wing and allowed me to lead. I had to play first and make plays, but I think those are some characteristics of production first and then you just lead by an example."
On whether Vincent was ever worried that returning home to Philadelphia would create added pressure:
TV: "That was one of the things that we thought about prior to me coming back here to Philly, the pressures of just playing and people asking and pulling on you. But I was brought here for a reason; to play ball and be the best player that I can be both on and off the field. But we considered that, strongly considered that, but I was once one of those individuals that's out there that was booing. If I didn't like what I saw, I let people know it. But I knew this was a city that is about production. It's not about potential and when you get to this place, and I would say that to any free agent acquisition that's coming here, you have to take that in mind. If you don't produce, and you're the highest paid player coming in, you will be held accountable. So that's something that I think each free agent acquisition should really take a look at long and hard, because if you can't balance the two, it'd be difficult to play here."
On Carlin having to strike deals with local television companies in the 90s in order to prevent games from being blacked out and how far the team has come since then:
LC: "Well, there are certain facts I can tell you. Look at these two magnificent edifices (Lincoln Financial Field and the NovaCare Complex) in which we matriculate every day. Pretty nice buildings compared to the past. The marketing department has increased tremendously. There are various people in various sections of the marketing department that I'm not familiar with. I have to go down and introduce myself a little bit. Compared to the days of the blackouts, yes, I used to have to negotiate the local telecasts. I found that to be very interesting and, most times, we were successful. By the same token, that doesn't even exist anymore. There is no such thing and we have a fairly lengthy waiting list which is another reason why I love the fans so very much. They're loyal too, so I appreciate every one of them. As my wife and I kid around, she says, 'You say hello to everybody.' Yeah, I do. I kind of like people, so I like all the fans."
On how Vincent endured through rough patches as a player and his message to the current team:
TV: "Well, I was once there. I think Ray Rhodes' last year, we were 3-13. You knew there was going to be change and, as a player, you have to embrace that change. It's out of your control who's going to coach you next. You just take it upon (yourselves) as your responsibility to discuss those things with your teammates and embrace whoever that new individual is. It's not a good time when you walk out there and before the kickoff, people are booing, the bags are out. They knocked down my mailbox down in lower Bucks County when we were living in Yardley. They must have vandalized my house every single day until we had to put up a brick mailbox. But that's part of it. Once change was made, we won some football games. The city embraced us."
On what it is like to look around the locker room knowing your teammates may not be there next year:
TV: "Well, in some cases, I wanted some of the guys out of the locker room. You know. As a player, you know who's there. You know who you can line up and fight with and the coaches know. It's not a secret and, the fans, you identify them every week that you play. You want those guys removed; it's just not your responsibility, your role to do so. But you want those removed so you can get people in. I'll take a less talented individual and play with and someone that's just not going to make the mistakes. That's just going to line up, that doesn't have to talk about hustling to the football and do the little things right during the week that give us the chance to win on either Sunday, Monday or Thursdays."
On what distinguished the good teams from the bad teams Vincent played on:
TV: "I'm going to go back to locker room leadership and let's please keep in mind, teams in the National Football League don't win because they're the most talented teams. Team's win on Sunday and Monday because they make the least amount of mistakes. So you don't have to have a team full of superstars, high-priced free agents. You just have to get 46 guys that are willing to do what it takes during the offseason, coming together, don't have a bunch of prima donnas. It's not about who catches the most balls, who has the most interceptions. You hold each other accountable and you line up on Sunday, the play is called and you play."
On whether it is possible to have leaders emerge during the season:
TV: "I think so. I think we did it here. It's just that you need new personalities. Again, you remove a few players, you plug in a few others and you get the chemistry. But I believe so. As a player, you know that locker rooms are going to continue to evolve. That's part of our business. You line up who is on that roster that particular year and you prepare and then you let it go."
On how Vincent lead and how he believes players should lead:
TV: "I think everyone leads differently. It started with, I would just say, I had to produce on the field first. Before I'm going to get in anybody's face, I'm not going to go to Dawk's (former Eagles S Brian Dawkins) locker or (former Eagles CB) Bobby (Taylor) or (former Eagles CB) Al (Harris) or whoever that may be and say, 'You need to be doing this,' and I'm not doing it. I remember having those conversations with (former Eagles RB) Duce (Staley) and (former Eagles QB) Donovan (McNabb): "We've got to go. We need you to produce. We're going to get off the field on third down. We're going to cut the field in half." Every individual leads differently, but it takes someone (having) to stand up and it's a shared responsibility."
On whether there was any team of Vincent's that he considers the best Eagles team he ever played on: "I thought the team that lost to Carolina here (in the 2003 NFC Championship game), that particular team, and maybe the team that lost to St. Louis that first championship game (in 2001). There was something special about both of those units where we just had enough. We just didn't make the plays on that particular day."
On whether Carlin has a favorite Eagles team:
LC: "Sure, the one that got me hired in 1960. I talked to (former Eagles RB/WR/TE) Pete Retzlaff today, as a matter of fact. That had to be my favorite. A lot of those guys are not here with us anymore, but a lot of those guys remain friends of mine. But with all due respect to my buddy (Vincent) here, I really had to think back on that, especially when they honored the 50-year anniversary (team) a few years ago. I had a ball with that."
On how football has evolved through the eras:
LC: "I sort of mentally analyze that myself, which doesn't exactly make me a scout. By the same token, I look at the talent that's there now and I can dramatically see the difference. It is amazing what these kids can do on the field these days, whether it's throwing the ball, running, blocking, whatever. Can I analyze that stuff? No. But can I actually see a dramatic difference from years ago? By all means, especially in size. I once had a player say, 'Well, you know in those days, the pool of players weren't so bad so that's why we were better.' And I looked at him and the current position player towers over him, but I didn't say anything because I liked the guy. Anyway, 1960 is a fond memory."
On Carlin's favorite ticket promotion during his tenure: *
*LC: "Well, the most interesting season tickets I liked were the father and son deal. Franklin Field was the shape of the horseshoe and the two corner (sections) had discount tickets, so the father and the son would come and one would be half price. Quite often, the father would be 32 and the son would be 28. I said, 'Are you kidding me, buddy?' So we didn't show IDs in those days. That's a true story."