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Author Topic: #17 - Harold Carmichael  (Read 2912 times)

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Fan_Since_64

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#17 - Harold Carmichael
« on: June 09, 2009, 09:10:27 PM »



#17
Harold Carmichael


Durable and productive, wide receiver Harold Carmichael played for the Eagles from 1971 thru 1983. With his great height and sure hands, he was the receiver quarterbacks (not to mention fans) looked to in clutch situations, particularly near the goal line. Never particularly speedy, his size made him hard to bring down in the open field and created mismatches with defensive backs that led to a highly productive career.

No one was quite sure what to make of Harold when he was drafted in the 7th round out of Southern University by the Eagles in 1971. His size, at 6’8” and 225 pounds, certainly drew attention. But he was treated as something of a project in his first two seasons, even dabbling at tight end. However, he had his first 100-yard receiving game in the ’72 season finale at St. Louis (5 catches for an even 100 yards and a TD), which was a precursor of better things to come.

With the arrival of a new offensive-minded head coach, Mike McCormack, and QB Roman Gabriel in ’73, Carmichael enjoyed a breakout season, leading the NFL in pass receptions (67, which was also the Eagles single-season record at the time) and yardage (1116). As part of the “Fire High Gang”, along with 6’4” rookie TE Charle Young and 6’3” WR Don Zimmerman, Harold had five 100-yard receiving performances, including a career high 187 yards (on 12 catches, also a career best) in a game against the Cardinals at St. Louis. His 9 TD receptions ranked second in the NFC and provided an opportunity for flamboyant end zone celebrations. He also had the rare distinction of being penalized for hurdling, when his flying leap over Vikings DB Nate Wright resulted in a flag at a game at Minnesota. Carmichael was a 1st team All-NFL selection of the Professional Football Writers of America and Pro Football Weekly, 1st team All-NFC selection of the Associated Press, and was selected to the Pro Bowl.

Carmichael’s numbers dropped in 1974 and ‘75, mainly a reflection of the overall drop in the offense’s performance. While he had no 100-yard games (his high was 89 yards, which he achieved twice, against the Baltimore Colts in ’74 and in the season-opening loss to the Giants in ’75), he caught a respectable 15 TD passes (8 in 1974, to lead the NFC, and 7 in ’75) and was a 2nd team All-NFC selection by UPI in ’74. Still, the yardage totals were down significantly and Harold was occasionally booed by frustrated Eagles fans.

The arrival of Dick Vermeil as head coach in 1976 marked a turnaround for the franchise as a whole and, for Carmichael, a boost in confidence and a change in his approach to the game. The elaborate end zone celebrations and “hot dog” behavior ended, and after another so-so season in ’76, the numbers steadily improved. In 1977, he had his first 100-yard receiving game since 1973 with 116 yards on four receptions at Washington and, at the conclusion of the season, his 14.5 yards per reception ranked as best since his breakout year as well. It didn’t go unnoticed; Harold was a 2nd team All-NFC selection by UPI after the season.

The Eagles reached the playoffs in 1978 for the first time since the ’60 championship season, and Carmichael played a significant role. His 1072 receiving yards led the NFC and his 19.5 yards-per-catch ranked third (and also was his career high). He had three 100-yard receiving games, with a high of 126 yards on 7 receptions in a loss to the Cardinals. Harold was a 1st team All-NFC selection of The Sporting News, Pro Football Weekly, and UPI and he went to the Pro Bowl.

The biggest highlight of the 1979 season came in a loss to Cleveland at Veterans Stadium when Harold caught the first of his five receptions for the day and thus eclipsed the record for consecutive games with a pass reception held by Dan Abramowicz (105); the streak would last until the last game of the 1980 season and top out at 127 games. For the year, Carmichael led the NFC with 11 TD receptions. His most significant statistical performance was 9 catches for 127 yards in a 14-10 loss to Atlanta early in the season. For his efforts he received 2nd team All-NFL recognition from the Associated Press, was a 1st team All-NFC selection once again of The Sporting News, Pro Football Weekly, and UPI, and earned another trip to the Pro Bowl.

Harold was a major part of the team’s drive to the Super Bowl in 1980, ranking second in the NFC with 9 TD receptions, including a career-high three in one game at New Orleans. He scored the first TD of the season-opening game for the Birds, on a 56-yard pass play from Ron Jaworski against Denver, on his way to 135 yards on three receptions. He was a 2nd team All-NFL selection by the NEA and 2nd team All-NFC honoree by UPI, going to the Pro Bowl for the third consecutive season.

Carmichael had over a thousand yards receiving for the third time in 1981 (1028) while catching 61 passes, the second highest total of his career. He also caught 5 passes for 151 yards, including a career-high 85 yard TD pass, in a 17-14 loss to Dallas, the most productive of three hundred-yard receiving games Harold had during the season.

The numbers dropped off in 1982 and ‘83, although Carmichael was still a quality performer right to the end of his career with the Birds: he caught 9 passes for 108 yards against Washington in a game during his last season, 1983; and in his very last game in an Eagles uniform, he had 102 yards receiving on 5 receptions against the Cardinals at St. Louis. He even completed the only pass of his NFL career – a 45-yard TD to WR Mike Quick against the Colts. Harold completed a club-record string of 162 consecutive games, a tribute both to his durability and talent. Released following the ’83 season, his career came to an end after a brief stint with the Dallas Cowboys in 1984.

Harold holds the Eagles career records for pass receptions (589), pass receiving yardage (8978), and touchdowns (79). He averaged 15.2 yards per catch. In all, he had 20 hundred-yard pass receiving performances and two of over 150 yards; his most yards (187) and receptions (12) came in the same game against the Cardinals in 1973. The streak of 127 consecutive games with a pass reception remained the NFL record until 1986, when it was surpassed by Steve Largent (the current record holder is Jerry Rice, with 274 straight) – it still remains notable as the best streak primarily compiled prior to the rule changes in 1978 that significantly opened up the passing game.

Carmichael also caught 29 passes in postseason play for 465 yards (the team record) and 6 touchdowns. His highest single game yardage total was 111 (on 6 receptions) vs. Chicago in the 1979 NFC Wild Card playoff, in which he also scored two TDs. Harold’s longest postseason reception was for 39 yards in the NFC Divisional playoff after the ’79 season at Tampa Bay.

Beyond the 162 consecutive games played, Harold’s 180 total games as an Eagle rank second only to Brian Dawkins and his 13 seasons with the Birds rank second to Chuck Bednarik, tied with Vic Sears, Bucko Kilroy, and Dawkins.

In addition to the six seasons in which Carmichael received All-NFL or All-NFC recognition, he was selected to four Pro Bowls, including three consecutive following the 1978-80 seasons. He is a member of the Eagles Honor Roll and was named to the 75th anniversary All-Time team. He was also selected to the 1970s All-Decade NFL team by the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Carmichael returned to the Eagles organization as Director of Player Relations and remains a popular figure with the team’s fans over 25 years after his departure as a player.

Harold Carmichael’s career pass receiving record with the Eagles:

Year
1971
1972
1973
1974
1975
1976
1977
1978
1979
1980
1981
1982
1983
G
9
13
14
14
14
14
14
16
16
16
16
9
15
Rec.
20
20
67
56
49
42
46
55
52
48
61
35
38
Yds.
288
276
1116
649
639
503
665
1072
872
815
1028
540
515
Avg.
14.4     
13.8   
16.7 
11.6 
13.0
12.0
14.5
19.5
16.8
17.0
16.9
15.4
13.6
TD
0
2
9
8
7
5
7
8
11
9
6
4
3
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Fan_Since_64

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Re: #17 - Harold Carmichael
« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2009, 09:16:38 PM »

Other Eagles who wore #17:

Joe Carter (E, 1935-36, 38-40 - the runner-up)
James Russell (T, 1937)
Ebert Van Buren (FB/LB, 1951)
Fred Enke (QB, 1952)
Jerry Reichow (OE/QB, 1960)
Ralph Guglielmi (QB, 1963)
Taft Reed (DB, 1967)
Mitch Berger (P, 1994)
Freddie Solomon (WR, 1995)
Lonny Callicchio (PK, 1997)
« Last Edit: June 09, 2009, 09:22:54 PM by Fan_Since_64 »
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Father Demon

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Re: #17 - Harold Carmichael
« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2009, 10:42:27 PM »

This one was as much of a no-brainer as 5. 

Still, nice job 64...
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Re: #17 - Harold Carmichael
« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2009, 10:43:43 PM »

This one was as much of a no-brainer as 5.

Yeah but I read it anyway.
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ice grillin you

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Re: #17 - Harold Carmichael
« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2009, 10:58:02 PM »

ill never forget when i was a kid my dad took me to the hall of fame and it was during the time harold held the consecutive games with a catch record and they had a trophy there for him that went from the ground floor up thru the ceilings to the third floor as an ode to his height
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Re: #17 - Harold Carmichael
« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2009, 03:59:38 AM »

All hail FS 64.  Carmichael will always be one of my all time favorite birds. Imagine if Harold Jackson had remained on the Eagles during the 70's? They would have been one hell of a duo.  I remember that hurdling call when he leaped over the Vikings Nate Wright.  That was a great game which the birds lost 28-21 but they hung in there with Minnesota the eventual NFC Champions.

Looking forward to #18. You know my man love for Ben Hawkins 64.
« Last Edit: June 11, 2009, 04:03:20 AM by Don Ho »
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Fan_Since_64

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Re: #17 - Harold Carmichael
« Reply #6 on: June 11, 2009, 08:41:43 AM »

I'm with you, Don Ho. I also have wondered what it would have been like if Jackson had been across from Carmichael, instead of Zimmerman and Charlie "Homeboy" Smith. One hell of a duo indeed!

I remember that Vikings game, too - the Eagles played well against a very good team, Carmichael got called for hurdling, and remember Charle Young scoring on an end-around? Great play!!  8)
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dis12

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Re: #17 - Harold Carmichael
« Reply #7 on: June 11, 2009, 04:09:51 PM »

nice work 64.

wasn't Freddie Solomon #84?
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Re: #17 - Harold Carmichael
« Reply #8 on: June 11, 2009, 06:23:21 PM »


wasn't Freddie Solomon #84?

Yes, from 1996-98. But he wore #17 in 1995. Believe me, I'd forgotten, too!  ;)
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