Greg Lewis vs. Steve Van Buren in Roob's 10 observations

Reuben Frank
NBC Sports Philadelphia

The one thing Howie Roseman has never done, Greg Lewis vs. Steve Van Buren and newspaper coverage of the first game the Eagles ever played.

Where else? Right here. In this weekend's Roob's 10 random Eagles observations!

1. Every time the Eagles are rumored to be interested in trading a first-round pick (or more) for a player - and those rumors pop up all the time - keep this in mind: Howie Roseman has NEVER traded a first- or second-round pick for a player. He's traded picks for other picks a thousand times. But giving up a premium pick for a player already in the league is just not in his DNA. The last time the Eagles shipped a first- or second-round pick for a player was 2009, when they acquired Jason Peters from the Bills. That was a year before Howie became GM. Before that? Hugh Douglas was for a second-round pick in 1998. Ron Solt was for a one back in 1989. Those trades are fun to think about. Who wouldn't want a young All-Pro talent like Jamal Adams? But when you take into account what you would have to give up, what you would have to pay and the simple fact that most players who demand trades never actually do get traded, you see why it's so rare and why Howie just never makes that type of deal. It doesn't mean it will never happen. But it hasn't yet.

2. Greg Lewis played more games in an Eagles uniform than Steve Van Buren.

3. How great was Tommy McDonald? Each year from 1958 through 1963, McDonald had between eight and 13 TD catches. He was the first NFL player with six straight seasons with at least eight TD catches, and he did it in 12- and 14-game seasons. In the 57 years since, only six other players have caught eight or more TD passes in six straight seasons, and all but one played 16 games - Lance Alworth, Cris Carter and Antonio Brown (6 straight seasons), Antonio Gates (7 straight) Marvin Harrison (8) and Jerry Rice (11).

4. How insanely improbable was Rodney Peete's record-setting playoff performance against the Lions in 1995? Rodney was 17-for-25 for 270 yards with three TDs and 0 INTs and a 143.3 passer rating in the Eagles' historic 58-37 win at the Vet. But in Peete's last five regular-season starts leading up to that game? He completed 56 percent of his passes, threw for 188 yards per game and had two TDs and eight INTs and a 57.1 passer rating. He was literally the worst QB in the NFL the last five weeks of the season! Then he had one of the greatest postseason games in Eagles history!

5. Only 17 teams in NFL history have reached the playoffs after being 6-7. The 2018 and 2019 Eagles are the only team to do it two years in a row.

6. The Eagles seem to be counting pretty heavily on Josh Sweat to be a major piece in the edge rush rotation. Sweat only had four sacks in 372 snaps last year, which isn't great. But one encouraging number is 29 QB hits, which was only five off the team lead. Sweat also had eight tackles for loss, fourth-most on the team. I'm not sure what the Eagles have in Sweat but considering the other options behind Graham and Barnett - Genard Avery, Shareef Miller, Joe Ostman, Casey Toohill - the Eagles need significant production out of the former fourth-round pick out of Florida State.

7. Zach Ertz has had 11 games with 10 or more catches. The only NFL tight end with more career double-digit games is Hall of Famer Tony Gonzalez, who had 15 in his 17 seasons.  

8. Nelson Agholor, Alshon Jeffery, JJ Arcega-Whiteside and Mack Hollins played a combined 2,103 snaps last year and had one reception of at least 40 yards. Deontay Burnett played 15 snaps last year and had one reception of at least 40 yards.

9. How about Keith Byars' season in 1990? Keith threw four passes and all four were touchdowns. The most efficient passing season in NFL history! Byars threw six total TDs in his career (one as a Dolphin). The only modern RBs with more are Hall of Famers LaDainian Tomlinson (7) and Marcus Allen (6). Byars threw as many 50-yard TDs as an Eagle in 11 pass attempts as another former Ohio State Buckeyes - Bobby Hoying - did in 449 attempts (one). 

10. I found a story that appeared in the New York Daily News on Oct. 15, 1933. That was the day after the Giants beat the Eagles 56-0 in the first game in Eagles history. Here are some of the amazing excerpts:

• "The Eagles constantly were offsides, especially a youth known as Fidgety Felber, an end, but after a while officials didn't seem to care much, nor did anyone else."

• "Customers discovered that the Giants are thoroughly trained and skillful in completing involved plays, passing and kicking. The discovery was also made that the hapless Eagles as yet know very little about anything."

• "Ripper Roberts of the Philadelphia eleven attempted to throw to one of his companions and the pass was intercepted by Mel Hein of the Giants. The next Giant maneuver was a pass, Newman to Hap Moran. Hap fixed the ball against his manly bosom and sprinted 70 yards for the first New York touchdown."

I swear I did not make those up!

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Greg Lewis vs. Steve Van Buren in Roob's 10 observations originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

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