Philadelphia Eagles fans are in mourning after the passing of a former rival.
Though, at times, it doesn’t seem like it possesses the same level of angst that we see between the Philadephia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys or the Eagles and New York Giants, Philly’s disdain for the Washington Redskins hasn’t gone anywhere. Some things are bigger than football though, and on June 28th, the entire NFL world is in mourning following the news that a longtime rival of the “Birds” has passed on.
For Joe Bugel, coaching came almost as naturally as breathing. For just under five decades, he paced a number of sidelines, but Eagles fans are most familiar with him from his days in the NFC East. Bugel spent 15 years staring back at the Eagles from the other sideline as a two-time member of Joe Gibbs’ coaching staff from 1981 to 1989 and from 2004 to 2007 before being retained by the Jim Zorn regime for two seasons (2008 to 2009).
Philadelphia Eagles fans everywhere call a one-day truce.
From 1981 to 1982, Bugel was Washington’s offensive coordinator and offensive line coach before he was promoted to the assistant head and the offensive line coach’s chair in 1983. He’d stay in that role until 1989. Yeah, in other words, he was the leader of his brainchild, “The Hogs”. Bugel never wore the kelly green or midnight green, but he’s a guy that any Eagles offensive line coach can learn a lot from.
With the help of Bugel’s offensive lines, the ‘Skins scored 541 points in 1983. At that time, that was an NFL record. “The Hogs” also paved the way for four 1,000-yard rushers and allowed Washington to make three Super Bowl appearances. They won two of them with two different signal-callers, partially because of phenomenal protection. All of that’s just a part of Bugel’s Redskins story as he’d enjoy a second stint with the team that made him a household name with football families all over the country.
As mentioned earlier, Bugel rejoined Joe Gibbs in 2004. Washington wouldn’t recapture any of the old championship magic, but that wasn’t the offensive line coach’s fault. His unit led the way as Clinton Portis posted several solid rushing campaigns, including 1,000-yard seasons in 2004, 2005,2007, and 2008 and another 1,000-yard rushing season from Ladell Betts.
Bugel’s legacy is more about the thousands of men that he touched than the amount of time he spent on the sideline. NFL fans everywhere lost a legend on June 28th of 2020. The Eagles and Redskins remain rivals, but neither side would have any objections to a one-day truce to honor Bugel’s memory. Everyone’s thoughts, right now, are with his family.