Interesting … It’s not uncommon to hear names thrown about in Philly, with seemingly far-stretching comparisons linking a hometown sports hero to nationally recognized star that have the reality-check meter pushing the neon-red “BS” part. However, it’s always nice when that isn’t the case, especially when it first seems it is. Case in point, when WIP’s Ike Reese started pitching former Eagles linebacker Seth Joyner to be in Hall of Famer Derrick Brooks’ league, the meter was ready to jump. Joyner, as good and impactful as he was, never seemed to rack up the numbers Brooks did during their playing days. A quick look at the pro football reference site online, though, halted that meter’s movement in its tracks. Yeah, Brooks consistently posted a few more tackles per season, but not much more. Plus, Joyner, frankly, was way more of a difference-maker, topping Brooks in sacks (52 to 13.5), fumbles forced (26 to 24), and fumbles recovered (12 to 4). He also had just one less interception (24 to Brooks’ 25) despite having a shorter career, 13 years to 14.
Not as much … I’m a Wilbert Montgomery guy. That 42-yard, tone-setting TD run by him against the Dallas Cowboys in the 1980 NFC Championship will be forever burned in my memory. So, for me, he’ll always be the best running back in my Eagles history. But I certainly appreciated Brian Westbrook, finding him an electric and clutch performer. I never really liked LeSean McCoy. Obviously, he was a very good player for the Birds, but better than B-West? No way – or so I thought. Statistically, hey, the numbers don’t lie. In racking up yards as a runner, he tops all Eagles backs – Montgomery, Westbrook, and even the legendary Steve Van Buren. He rushed for 897 more yards than Westbrook, No. 2 on the team’s all-time chart, in two less seasons (17 fewer games). He had more rushing TDs, too, 44 to 41, than Westbrook. Receiving wise, B-West was better. Much better. But, still, Shady was good, and overall, he was just as good and, truth be told, more durable.
Not at all … Nick Foles threw an interception on his first pass during 11-on-11 drills at St. Louis Rams camp. This, officially, marks the Foles-for-Sam Bradford trade a rousing success – not. Forget that the Rams’ defense, the one Foles was facing in drills, is better than the Eagles’ stop troops. Just go by numbers. Foles doesn’t jump top Bradford in every statistical category, he demolishes him. Spare me the “it’s the offense” rationale, paying ultimate homage to Chip Kelly and his strategic genius. Foles even blows away Bradford as a runner, averaging 3.9 yards per carry to Bradford’s 2.5. Here is the reality: Foles has been more accurate (61.6 completion percentage to 58.6), more efficient (7.6 yards per passing attempt to 6.3), more effective (46-to-17 TD-to-INT ratio to 59-38) and more successful (15-9 record as a starting QB to 18-30-1). The comparison, unless each takes a completely new course, is ridiculous. The only number Bradford tops Foles in is draft position; he was taken No. 1 overall in 2010 and Foles 88th overall in 2012. Oh, well, he is older by a year, too, 27 to 26 – in a business of diminishing returns.
Jack Kerwin | firstname.lastname@example.org