Vinny Curry Has 'Role' at No. 75 but Stan Walters is Eagles' Best
One of the best trades in Eagles history is the story when you talk about No. 75
Long-time left tackle Stan Walters teamed with Jerry Sisemore to give Philadelphia what has been a trend ever since, a great pair of bookend tackles. Before the Tra Thomas/Jon Runyan tandem and Jason Peters with Lane Johnson, it was Walters and Sisemore for Dick Vermeil.
Much was expected of Sisemore as the No. 3 overall pick coming out of the University of Texas in the 1973 NFL Draft and his two Pro Bowl appearances and franchise Hall of Fame nod was matched by Walters, originally a ninth-round pick of Cincinnati in 1972.
By the 1975 season, Walters was on his way to Philadelphia, along with quarterback Wayne Clark, for QB John Reaves and a second-round pick.
Clark was just a footnote but after Vermeil arrived and lit a fire under Walters, the North Jersey native and Syracuse product developed into a Pro Bowl player during a run that lasted nine seasons in 122 consecutive starts.
It’s apropos that Walters and Sisemore were both inducted into the Eagles Ring of Honor at the same time in 1991.
From now until the Eagles begin the season at Washington on Sept. 13, SI.com EagleMaven will do a jersey countdown, listing the current Eagles player to wear the corresponding number to the days left before the season opener. As a bonus, we will list the top three players in team history to have that number.
Here’s what we came up with for No. 75:
Current number 75:
Not Assigned. Vinny Curry remains a free agent and until he actually signs elsewhere there is always a chance that Philadelphia will bring him back.
For now, however, the plan is for Josh Sweat, who also wore No. 75 until giving it back to Curry last season, to step up to the No. 3 DE role. Defensive tackle Malik Jackson is also expected to kick outside at times.
The Eagles also have 2019 trade-pickup Genard Avery, 2019 fourth-round pick Shareef Miller, Joe Ostman, and a seventh-round pick from back in April, Stanford product Casey Toohill, so the numbers game is against Curry being back.
Top 3 to wear number 75:
3. Juqua Parker. After starting his career as an undrafted free agent with the Tennessee Titans out of Oklahoma State, Parker arrived in Philadelphia in 2005 as a backup situational pass rusher but he developed into more than that after another ex-Titan turned Eagle, Javon Kearse, was injured.
Parker ended up playing seven seasons and 105 games with Philadelphia, settling in as the starter at left defensive end for the majority of the time from 2008 through 2010 before being replaced by Brandon Graham.
Parker ended up playing 12 seasons in the NFL with 31.5 of his 42.5 career sacks coming with the Eagles with a high-water mark of 8.0 in the 2009 campaign.
2. Vinny Curry. A second-round pick in the 2012 draft, Curry ultimately developed into a starter at the weakside end position on the Super Bowl LII-winning team, his only campaign at a full-time starter during seven seasons with the Eagles.
He left in free agency to Tampa Bay coming off that Super Bowl success but had an injury-plagued season with the Buccaneers and was released, prompting a return to Philadelphia last season where Curry might have had his most productive campaign as a rotational player finishing with 5.0 sacks and 12 quarterback hits.
Overall, Curry has produced 27.0 sacks in 100 games with the Eagles but his versatility to move inside and outside, along with his ability to generate pretty consistent pressure, have made him a valuable role player over the years.
1. Stan Walters. Walters started every game for the Eagles at left tackle from 1975 through 1982 and was a Pro Bowl selection after the 1978 and 1979 seasons.
The highlight of that run, of course, was 1980 and the march toward the first Super Bowl in franchise history when Wilbert Montgomery rushed for 1,512 yards and Walters himself was not credited with allowing a sack that entire season.
John Meyers. “Big John” was a 6-foot-6 six-year pro who spent the final four years of his career (1964-1967) with the Eagles and was a starter for 51 of the 56 games he played for the organization.
Bill Halverson, George Savitsky, Frank Wydo, Tom Saidock, Jim McCusker, Tuufuli Upersa, Houston Antwine, Dennis Wirgowski, Willie Cullars, Jim Gilmore, Scott Leggett, Louis Cheek, Daryle Smith, Rob Selby, Troy Drake, John Michels, Michael Sinclair, Frank Ferrara, Dominic Furio, and Josh Sweat.
John McMullen contributes Eagles coverage for SI.com's EagleMaven and is the NFL Insider for JAKIB Media. You can listen to John every Monday and Friday on SIRIUSXM’s Tony Bruno Show with Harry Mayes, and every Tuesday and Thursday with Eytan Shander on SBNation Radio. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen