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Fan_Since_64

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#4 - Max Runager
« on: March 23, 2009, 07:48:12 PM »



#4
Max Runager


After a 1978 season in which the kicking game hurt the Eagles consistently, an effort was made to upgrade things in the ’79 draft. Tony Franklin was chosen in the 3rd round for placekicking purposes, and punter Max Runager was picked in the 8th round, out of South Carolina. Both choices panned out, and both members of the tandem stayed with the Eagles for five seasons, from 1979 thru 1983; Runager would come back to end his career with the Birds in 1989.

Max had a solid and consistent rookie season, averaging 39.6 yards on 74 punts (34.8 net), with a long of 57 yards. Only 34 of his punts were returned, for just 200 yards, and he dropped 13 punts inside the 20 while suffering six touchbacks. His numbers were practically identical in 1980, with a 39.3-yard average (33.7 net) on 75 punts, with 16 inside the 20 (vs. 8 touchbacks) and 35 returned. It was more of the same in ’81 – 63 punts for a 40.7 average (34.9 net), a NFC-low 34 returns, and 18 landing inside the 20 against just six touchbacks. 

A knee injury that hurt Max’s consistency led to a slump in 1982 - he ended up punting 44 times during the strike-shortened season for a 40.5-yard average (32.9 net), but while he had only one touchback, 31 were returned. He missed part of the ’83 season after being cut in favor of ex-Detroit Lion Tom Skladany and then brought back. For the year, Runager ranked second in the NFC with a 41.7-yard average (34.2 net) on 59 punts, with 37 of them returned and 12 landing inside the 20, against five touchbacks. He also had his most punts in a game for the Eagles with 11 vs. the Giants on Nov. 20, 1983.

Runager was waived again prior to the 1984 season and continued his career with the San Francisco 49ers (where he earned a Super Bowl ring) and Cleveland Browns before returning to the Birds for four games during the 1989 season, after John Teltschik was injured. Runager’s leg wasn’t what it had once been (to say the least), and so Randall Cunningham handled kicks from deep in Eagles territory, with some memorable results. In his short final stint with the Birds, Max averaged 33.4 yards (30.5 net) on 17 punts, with six returned, five inside the 20, and one touchback.

All told, Max Runager had a total of 332 regular season punts as an Eagle, the fifth most in team history, with an overall average of 39.9 yards (34.0 net). 72 landed inside the 20 and 27 were touchbacks. Two of his punts were blocked, and his longest was a 64-yarder in 1981. In addition, he had a total of three rushing attempts with the Eagles – the first in the final game of his initial stint with the team, against the Cardinals for six yards in icy conditions in 1983, and the other two, for a total of five yards, in 1989.

In the postseason, Max punted a total of 28 times for a 37.9-yard average. His 44.3 average on five punts at Tampa Bay in the Divisional Playoff loss following the 1979 season ranks as third best in Eagles playoff history.

Runager isn’t necessarily remembered for spectacular booming punts, but rather for consistent reliability. Of many Eagles punters over the years, far less can be said.

Max Runager’s career record with the Eagles:

Year
1979
1980
1981
1982
1983
1989
G
16
16
15
9
12
4
Punts
74
75
63
44
59
17
Yds.
2927
2947
2567
1784
2459
568
Avg.
39.6   
39.3   
40.7
40.5
41.7
33.4   
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PhillyPhanInDC

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Re: #4 - Max Runager
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2009, 09:45:56 PM »



That's not Kolb.
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Tomahawk

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Re: #4 - Max Runager
« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2009, 12:18:12 PM »



That's not Kolb.

How many TDs did he throw to the Seahawks? 3? 4? I hate him
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BigEd76

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Re: #4 - Max Runager
« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2009, 03:07:14 PM »

64, do you have this book by any chance?  I'd like to see like 2 or 3 runners-up on each number...

every Eagle that wore each number

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Fan_Since_64

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Re: #4 - Max Runager
« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2009, 05:56:31 PM »

I don't have that book, although I've seen it and have even had e-mail correspondence with the author (he referenced the earlier version of this series as a source).

I had used the all-time roster in the Eagles media guides to track down who wore what, but since then "Looking Back: 75 Years of Eagles History" came out, and it contains all the players who wore each number, nicely arranged by number.

I had considered listing runners-up at the end of each of the profiles. The pickings really are slim at some numbers, as you've already seen.  ;) Not a lot of players wore the single-digit numbers in the early days, I'm finding (Max Runager was only the second Eagle to wear #4, and there have been just four more, including Kevin Kolb, since) - just as not that not many players wore numbers in the 90s prior to the 1970s (for instance, Reggie White was the second - and of course last - Eagle to wear #92). But other numbers most definitely have several players who were, at the very least, memorable. I'll give some thought as to how best to include them.
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Fan_Since_64

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Re: #4 - Max Runager
« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2009, 10:22:32 PM »

Other Eagles who wore #4:

Benjy Dial (QB, 1967)
David Jacobs (PK, 1987 - replacement player)
Dale Dawson (PK, 1988)
Bryan Barker (P, 1994 - decent punter, but only with the Eagles for a year)
Tom Hutton (P, 1995-98)
Mike McMahon (QB, 2005)
Kevin Kolb (QB, 2007-09)
« Last Edit: October 07, 2009, 07:41:18 PM by Fan_Since_64 »
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Geowhizzer

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Re: #4 - Max Runager
« Reply #6 on: March 30, 2009, 11:36:08 PM »

So, Runager is simply holding the place for the eventual Kevin Kolb HOF induction?
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Fan_Since_64

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Re: #4 - Max Runager
« Reply #7 on: March 31, 2009, 10:08:58 AM »

We can only hope!  ;)
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General_Failure

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Re: #4 - Max Runager
« Reply #8 on: March 31, 2009, 11:03:31 AM »

I was hoping for that Favre trade.
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