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#29 - Harold Jackson
« on: August 09, 2009, 06:57:15 PM »

Harold Jackson

Wide receiver Harold Jackson, who was with the Eagles from 1969 thru 1972, excelled for the Birds during a period in the team’s history marked by offensive ineptness, and went on to have a long and productive career.

Harold was chosen by the Los Angeles Rams in the 12th round of the 1968 draft out of Jackson State. He was activated for only the last two games of his rookie season, and caught no passes for LA. Traded to the Eagles for RB Israel (Izzy) Lang, Jackson won a job in the starting lineup and had a break-out season, with 65 receptions for a league-leading 1116 yards. He scored on a 56-yard pass from Norm Snead in his second game with the Birds, against Pittsburgh (the same game in which his wide receiver partner, Ben Hawkins, scored four TDs), and went on to catch 9 touchdown passes that year, his best one-season total for the Eagles.

During his four seasons in Philadelphia, Harold caught 215 passes for 3493 yards (a 16.2 average) and 21 TDs. He led the NFL in both receptions (62) and receiving yards (1048) in 1972. He had 13 100-yard receiving games for the Eagles, including three for over 150 yards, with a high of 194 yards on 7 catches with two TDs (including a 79-yard score on a pass from Norm Snead, his longest as an Eagle) against the Giants at New York in 1970. His percentage of hundred yard receiving games (23.2 of 56 games) has been exceeded only by Terrell Owens, who also tied his team-record of five consecutive hundred yard receiving performances from the last three games of the ’71 season thru the first two of 1972. All of this was occurring for a losing team with quarterback and coaching problems.

Small, at 5’10” and 175 pounds, but very fast, Harold had several long TD receptions during his career with the Eagles. In addition to his 79-yard catch against the Giants, he also went 77 yards with a John Reaves pass at New York in a game that was otherwise a disaster for the Eagles (a 62-10 embarrassment) in ‘72. He scored on plays that covered 69 yards on a throw from Pete Liske against the Cardinals in 1971, and 65 yards with a Norm Snead toss at Dallas in 1969.

Granted, things didn’t always go well for Jackson. In the same game in which he accumulated 194 yards and scored two touchdowns against the Giants, he also dropped two sure scoring passes in the 30-23 loss. But more often than not, he was reliable, and considering that he was practically the only significant offensive weapon for a dreadful team in '72, his league-leading numbers are particularly impressive.

Harold twice caught nine passes in a game during 1972, with the first occurrence coming during the season-opener at Dallas, when he also gained 169 yards in a 28-6 defeat. He caught 9 passes for 138 yards two weeks later, during a 27-12 loss to the Giants at Veterans Stadium on Monday Night Football, and never looked back on his way to leading the league. He scored just four touchdowns that season, but that was fully a third of the team’s paltry overall total of 12 (10 through the air).

Jackson was traded back to the Rams following the ’72 season, along with RB Tony Baker, two #1 draft picks, and a #2 draft pick for QB Roman Gabriel. He continued to star as a deep threat for LA, and had his greatest NFL game against Dallas in 1973 when he caught 7 passes for 238 yards and 4 TDs (this came in the midst of a string of four games in which he caught a total of 13 passes for 422 yards for an impressive 32.5-yard average with 8 TDs).

He spent a total of five seasons with the Rams and then another four with the New England Patriots. Retiring following the 1983 season, after brief, inconsequential stops in Minnesota and Seattle, he had gained a total of 10,372 yards, which ranked second all-time among pass receivers up to that time, on 579 receptions, the 7th-ranking total up to that point as well. His two highest pass receiving totals with the Eagles remained the highest of his career, and he never caught more than 48 passes in a season after leaving Philadelphia, but he accumulated the significant lifetime numbers by being consistent and retaining his speed and skills over many years. With better passing games in Los Angeles and New England, he averaged as much as 22.5 yards-per-catch, and scored 55 TDs (76 total, counting his 21 for the Birds), with a league-leading 13 for the Rams in ’73.

Harold was a consensus 2nd team All-NFL and 1st team All-NFC selection with the Eagles in 1972 (he also received recognition with the Rams in ’73, ’76, and ’77). He was selected for the Pro Bowl five times in his career, twice with Philadelphia, following the 1969 and ’72 seasons.

Jackson was also often used effectively on end-around plays; overall, he rushed 17 times for 122 yards (7.2 average) with the Birds, with his highs for both attempts and yards coming in 1972, when he had 9 attempts for 76 yards and an 8.4-yard average. He scored no rushing touchdowns during his career.

Harold Jackson was a shy, quiet person off the field, but a confident and driven player on it. His accomplishments with an offensively-challenged team, particularly in twice leading the NFL in receiving yards as well as once in receptions, remain among the most impressive of any receiver in the team’s history.

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




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Re: #29 - Harold Jackson
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2009, 07:08:07 PM »

Other Eagles who wore #29:

Ray Smith (C, 1933)
Dick Fencl (E, 1933)
Steve Banas (Blocking Back/DB, 1935)
Glenn Campbell (E, 1935)
Stumpy Thomason (Blocking Back/DB, 1935)
Herman "Reds" Bassman (TB/HB/DB, 1936)
Joe Pivarnick (G, 1936)
Charlie Knox (T, 1937)
William Hughes (C, 1938-40)
John Nocera (LB, 1959-62)
Israel "Izzy" Lang (RB, 1964-68)
Mark Burke (DB, 1976)
Al Latimer (DB, 1979)
Jo Jo Heath (DB, 1981)
Elbert Foules (DB, 1983-87)
Mark McMillian (DB, 1992-95)
Adam Walker (FB, 1996)
Corey Walker (RB, 1998)
Darrel Crutchfield (DB, 2001)
Roderick Hood (DB, 2003-06)
Tony Hunt (RB, 2007)
LeSean McCoy (RB, 2009)
« Last Edit: October 07, 2009, 07:50:46 PM by Fan_Since_64 »


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Re: #29 - Harold Jackson
« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2009, 12:45:52 PM »

Great, great player.  I think what I remember most is that every game he seemed to be the fastest guy on the field.  He could get behind anybody.  He just didn't have enough talent around him to be able to get the ball to him consistently.

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Re: #29 - Harold Jackson
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2009, 11:07:58 PM »

Still amazes me that Jackson, Hawkins and Carmichael were the receiving corps in 1971 and 1972.  Pity that the QB situation back than was just frightening.  Liske, Reaves, etc.
"Well where does Jack Lord live, or Don Ho?  That's got to be a nice neighborhood"  Jack Singer(Nicholas Cage) in Honeymoon in Vegas.
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