Philadelphia Eagles: 30 greatest players in franchise history

Brian Dawkins, Philadelphia Eagles (Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Brian Dawkins, Philadelphia Eagles (Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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Philadelphia Eagles
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Bill Bergey. 14. player. 54. . MLB. (1974-80)

The Eagles’ rich football tradition has a lot to do with many of the excellent players that have played for The Birds in the front-seven. One of the very best two wear the metaphorical green dot in his case is middle linebacker Bill Bergey. Though his NFL career didn’t begin in Philadelphia, that was certainly where Bergey played his best ball.

Originally drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals in 1969, Bergey would play his first five professional seasons out of Arkansas State in the Queen City. He made an AFL All-Star Game as a rookie with the 1969 Bengals. However, he didn’t see himself for long with the Bengals past the 1972 NFL season. Bergey would sign a contract that would go into effect in 1976 to play for the Florida Blazers of the World Football League. This led to Bengals head coach Paul Brown trading Bergey for a few picks.

Bergey would go on to play his last seven professional seasons with the Eagles from 1974 to 1980. He made four trips to the Pro Bowl with Philadelphia. Right out of the gate, Bergey made his second football All-Star Game in the 1974 Pro Bowl, as well as making his first All-Pro first team. Bergey was first team All-Pro again in 1975 and made three additional Pro Bowl squads before his 1980 retirement.

His last professional season coincided with the Eagles’ first trip to the Super Bowl in 1980. Though well into his 30s, Bergey was instrumental in giving the “Gang Green” defense flight in the late 1970s. He helped re-establish a strong defensive-minded culture in  the Eagles organization. Bergey has made the Eagles Hall of Fame and the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame after his retirement. Though a great player, he will likely stay in the Hall of Very Good and never achieve Canton enshrinement.