Today, the Pro Football Hall of Fame announced all of the finalists for this year's Pro Football Hall of Fame ballot. Since the league is celebrating its 100th season, this year's class of Hall of Famers has been expanded to help legends from the older eras of football finally get recognized for their accomplishments.
Four former Eagles (Harold Carmichael, Dick Vermeil, Al Wistert, and Bucko Kilroy) were among those named as finalists for the special Hall of Fame Class of 2020.
Harold Carmichael has a very solid chance of FINALLY being recognized for his dominance at the wide receiver position in the 1970s and 1980s. From 1973 through 1981, Carmichael never missed a game. At the time of his retirement, he finished with 590 catches — only four players in NFL history had more: Charlie Joiner, Raymond Berry, Charley Taylor, and Don Maynard (all are in the Hall of Fame). Carmichael had 8,985 career receiving yards when he ended his playing career, which was seventh most in NFL history at the time, behind only Maynard, Joiner, Berry, Taylor, Harold Jackson and Lance Alworth. Five of those players are in Canton (Jackson, Carmichael’s Eagles teammate, is the only other one not enshrined). From 1973 through 1983, Carmichael had 43 more catches, 46 more receiving yards and 10 more touchdowns than anybody in the NFL. Basically, Carmichael was the best receiver in the NFL for over a decade. He wasn't just a regular season performer either: Carmichael once had a receiving TD in four straight playoff games (to this day, only nine players in NFL history have had longer streaks). He is in the Eagles Hall of Fame and was named to the Eagles' 75th anniversary team. Carmichael should be a lock to be one of the 20 players selected to become enshrined in Canton this summer.
Dick Vermeil helped turn the Eagles around when he took over as head coach in the mid 1970s. In 1978, just two years after becoming coach, he helped lead the Eagles to the playoffs for the first time in 18 years. He also led the Eagles to their first Super Bowl appearances when they played in Super Bowl XV. He eventually retired from coaching in 1983, but returned in 1997 to coach the St. Louis Rams and eventually won them a Super Bowl. He should have a fair shot of being one of the two coaches chosen from the 10 finalists to make the Hall of Fame.
Al Wistert had a very decorated career in Philadelphia. First he was on the 1943 Steagles team that combined with Steelers and Eagles teams during World War II. After that season he then went on to have six consecutive First-team All-Pro seasons (1944–1949) and finished his career with two Second-team All-Pro selections (1950, 1951). He helped the Eagles win their first two championship in franchise history in 1948 and 1949, and was apart of the first ever NFL Pro Bowl team in 1950. For his efforts in an Eagles uniform, he was named to the 1940s NFL All-Decade Team, has had his #70 retired by Philadelphia and is enshrined in the Eagles Hall of Fame. He should also have a few solid shot of being one of the 10 players chosen from the 20 finalists to make the Hall of Fame.
Frank "Bucko" Kilroy was a Philadelphia man through and through. He was born in the Port Richmond section of the city, attend Northeast Catholic High School, and attended Temple University. He went undrafted in 1943, but he signed with the Philadelphia "Steagles" team that combined the Pittsburgh Steelers and Philadelphia Eagles teams during World War II. After that season he remained with Philadelphia for his entire playing career (1944-1955). He won two NFL championships with the 1948 and 1949 Eagles, and was a Pro-Bowl selection three times. Kilroy missed only one game of his 203 game career because of an injury. He also played in 147 consecutive games at one point, which was a league record at the time. He was named to the 1940s All-Decade Team.
Eve though he had a solid playing career, Kilroy has been nominated as an "NFL contributor." He spent time as an executive for the Eagles, Dallas Cowboys, Washington Redskins, and New England Patriots. he is credited as a founder of the modern day NFL Draft, and was general manager of the Patriots when they reached the Super Bowl in 1985. As head scout of the Patriots in the 2000s, he helped the team draft many players who helped them win multiple championships.