Aug 24, 2012, 11:11 AM EDT
Late last night, the Eagles announced the passing of Hall of Fame running back Steve Van Buren, arguably the greatest player in franchise history. He was 91.
Obviously we aren’t old enough to have seen Van Buren play, but the accolades speak for themselves. His NFL career lasted from 1944 to 1951, a period over which he led the league in rushing and rushing touchdowns four times, retiring as the all-time leader in yards. The Eagles also won back-to-back championships with Van Buren in ’48 and ’49.
I was always impressed by Van Buren’s achievements, and unlike many players from that time period, you get the sense he would have fit right in today’s game. However, I was struck most about how amazing a career it was last season, specifically the day LeSean McCoy broke the Eagles’ single-season touchdown record. Van Buren’s count of 17 touchdowns stood a remarkable 66 years, and he did it in just 10 games. In fact, Van Buren still holds several franchise records, and remains the only back in team history to win a rushing title.
When the NFL Network came out with their Top 100 players of all time, Van Buren landed at a respectable 58. Ray Didinger remembered the career of an Eagles legend.
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