First honors: Eagles remember Jim Johnson

Jim Johnson was inducted into the team’s Honor Roll just two years after his death.

Two hours before last night’s kickoff, the Eagles treated everyone to a trip down memory lane.

The talk focused on scruff, as names like Buddy Ryan, Eric Allen and the late, great Jim Johnson were bandied about. It was a time when defense ruled the Eagles’ infamous Nest of Death.

“I think the fans really appreciated the attitude we brought, particularly to the defensive side of the ball,” said Allen. “It’s unfortunate that we didn’t get that championship, but I wouldn’t want to spend my time any place else.”

 Allen and Johnson were honored at halftime of last night’s game, when the Eagles inducted them as the 34th and 35th members of their Honor Roll. Allen spent seven seasons (1988-94) with the Birds, while Johnson served as defensive coordinator from 1999 until his death in 2009.

 “I’m lucky to be inducted with him [Johnson],” Allen said.

 Johnson’s widow, Vicki, sat at the podium and reflected on her husband’s legacy.

“He really was just a regular person.” said Vicki. “He really kept football separate from his home life.
I think he sort of lived and breathed it so much that when he walked in the door he didn’t want to talk about it.”

Eagles notebook

1. No Graham — Brandon Graham didn’t suit up versus Dallas. Despite practicing all week, the second-year pro is still trying to get his football legs back. For now, Graham remains on the PUP list. The Eagles have two more weeks to decide whether to place him on the 53-man roster.

2. Heated rivalry — Eagles defensive end Trent Cole made his first start since injuring his calf back on Oct. 2 against the 49ers. Earlier this week, he made one thing perfectly clear. “I don’t like the Cowboys,” Cole said. That’s one of the reasons I’m so excited to get back.”

3. No delay — Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie said there was “no reason to delay” inducting former defensive guru Jim Johnson into the team’s Honor Roll. “It was really a question of should we do it right away last season, or just wait one year? That’s how important Jim was.”


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