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Fan_Since_64

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#35 - Pete Pihos
« on: September 17, 2009, 08:44:46 PM »



#35
Pete Pihos


End Pete Pihos, who played his entire career with the Eagles from 1947 thru 1955, was one of the great pass receivers of his era, and yet also excelled on defense.

Pete was selected by the Eagles in the 3rd round of the 1945 draft out of Indiana, where he had played fullback. After completing military service and arriving with the Eagles in ’47, he was switched to end and made an immediate impact, catching 5 passes for 89 yards and 2 TDs in his first game, a 45-42 victory over Washington at Municipal Stadium. A few weeks later he showed off his defensive prowess, again against the taterskins at Washington, by blocking a Sammy Baugh punt and returning it 26 yards for a touchdown. Altogether, he caught 23 passes for 382 yards (a 16.6-yard average) and 7 TDs in his rookie season, and another 4 passes for 45 yards in the postseason. He was chosen as a second-team all-NFL selection by Pro Football Illustrated.

Pihos doubled his pass receiving output in 1948, grabbing 46 passes for 766 yards and a career-high 11 TDs. He was recognized as a consensus all-league selection for the first time, and became the primary pass receiving threat on a championship team that was built around Steve Van Buren’s running.

Altogether, Pete caught a total of 373 passes for 5619 yards (a 15.1 average) and 61 TDs. The most statistically-productive period of his career came during his final three seasons, after Van Buren retired and the team opened up its passing game – and after he spent the 1952 season almost exclusively at defensive end, and achieved All-Pro status there as well (and caught 12 passes on offense while he was at it). He led the NFL in pass receiving in each of those final three seasons (1953-55), with 185 of his career receptions coming during that period. His highest totals for both receptions and yardage came in 1953, when he grabbed 63 passes for 1049 yards and 10 TDs (all league-leading figures). His numbers were only slightly lower in ’54 and ’55, though, as he caught 60 and 62 passes, respectively, for another 1736 yards, including a league-leading 864 in 1955, and 17 more touchdowns.

Along the way, Pihos had 14 hundred-yard receiving games, with four each in 1953 and ’55, and a high of 156 yards on 8 catches against the Cardinals at Chicago in ‘53. He scored three TDs in a game at Washington in 1954 (on a day in which he caught a total of 9 passes for 132 yards, and QB Adrian Burk threw 7 TD passes) from distances of 18, 19, and 3 yards. Altogether, he had a total of 7 games in which he scored two or more touchdowns.

Pete appeared in four postseason games for the Eagles. He caught a total of 6 passes for 76 yards and scored a touchdown on a 31-yard pass from Tommy Thompson in the 1949 NFL Championship victory over the Los Angeles Rams. Pihos likely would have caught more passes had the weather not been a significant factor in two of those games.

At 6’1” and 210 pounds, Pihos was not particularly fast, but he was a rugged blocker as well as dependable receiver, and once he caught the ball, he ran like the fullback that he had been in college. Playing both offense and defense, he was durable, missing just one game in nine seasons – a total of 107 games played. He scored a touchdown on a fumble recovery during his stint on defense in 1952 that has been described as a “crawl, roll, and dive” of 12 yards against the Cardinals, which perhaps sums up the determination and drive that were regularly part of his game.

Pete retired following the 1955 season, having won his third consecutive pass receiving title, and with the third-highest number of receptions in league history up to that time (his 373 receptions still rank 4th in Eagles history and his 61 receiving TDs are tied for 3rd). And he finished up in style, catching a total of 27 passes for 344 yards and 2 TDs in his final three games, including a career-high 11 receptions for 114 yards in his last NFL game against the Bears at Chicago. The Philadelphia fans needn’t have felt slighted – in the two preceding weeks, both home games, he caught 6 passes for 103 yards and a TD against the Rams, and had another 10 catches for 127 yards and a touchdown against the Cardinals.

Pete was a consensus All-NFL selection as an offensive end in 1948, ’49, ’53, ’54, and ’55. He was a consensus pick at defensive end in 1952, a second team offensive end in ’50, and was selected to the first six Pro Bowls (following the 1950 thru ’55 seasons) as either an offensive or defensive end. Pete was named as an offensive end on the Eagles All-Time team selected in 1965, tight end on the 75th Anniversary All-Time team, and is a member of the Eagles Honor Roll. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1970.

In a later time, as the selection to the franchise’s 75th Anniversary All-Time team suggests, Pihos would have been labeled a tight end, but he played in an era that preceded designations like tight end and wide receiver. Football historians consider him to be an excellent early example of a tight end, displaying the skills that have come to be associated with the position over the years. Regardless of what he is labeled, he was a great all-around football player.

Pete Pihos’ career pass receiving record:

Year
1947
1948
1949
1950
1951
1952
1953
1954
1955
G
12
12
11
12
12
12
12
12
12
Rec.
23
46
34
38
35
12
63
60
62
Yds.
382
766
484
447
536
219
1049
872
864
Avg.
16.6    
16.7    
14.2  
11.8  
15.3
18.3
16.7
14.5
13.9
TD
7
11
4
6
5
1
10
10
7
« Last Edit: September 17, 2009, 08:51:13 PM by Fan_Since_64 »
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Fan_Since_64

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Re: #35 - Pete Pihos
« Reply #1 on: September 17, 2009, 09:00:22 PM »

Other Eagles who wore #35:

Tex Leyendecker (T, 1933)
Dick Smith (C, 1933)
Forrest McPherson (T, 1937)
Drew Ellis (T, 1938-40)
Dick Bassi (G, 1940)
Ted Dean (RB, 1960-63)
Ray Poage (WR, 1964-65)
Adrian Young (LB, 1968-72)
Mike Hogan (FB, 1976-78)
Perry Harrington (RB, 1980-83)
Mike Kullman (DB, 1987 - replacement player)
Mark Konecny (RB, 1988)
Kevin Bouie (RB, 1995)
Deauntee Brown (DB, 1997)
Anthony Marshall (DB, 1998)
Edwin Watson (RB, 1999)
Chris Warren (RB, 2000)
Bruce Perry (RB, 2005-06)
Nick Graham (DB, 2007)
Macho Harris (DB, 2009)
« Last Edit: September 17, 2009, 09:06:43 PM by Fan_Since_64 »
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PhillyPhreak54

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Re: #35 - Pete Pihos
« Reply #2 on: September 17, 2009, 11:12:24 PM »

I'll be damned...I finally see a guy from "my era" that I don't recognize.

Anthony Marshall
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Re: #35 - Pete Pihos
« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2009, 09:56:14 AM »

bruce perry somerton represent
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Re: #35 - Pete Pihos
« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2009, 08:19:44 PM »

Perry Harrington, the chump that muffed the second half kickoff in SB XV and forced the birds to start deep in their own territory.  One of the few boners where Jaws wasn't throwing the ball to Rod Martin.
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PhillyGirl

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Re: #35 - Pete Pihos
« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2011, 08:49:34 AM »

Hall of Famer Pete Pihos, one of the greatest Eagles of all-time, has passed away at the age of 87.

RIP
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