Eagles fly back in time, bring back retro uniforms

Hall of Famers Published on : 10/19/2023
In March 2022, the Philadelphia Eagles announced that their Kelly green uniforms would be worn during the 2023 season. For 62 seasons, from 1935 until the 1996 season, the Eagles — and many Hall of Famers — wore the Kelly green threads. 

With the NFL approving a second set of helmets for each club back in 2021, it allowed the Eagles to plan a full return of the iconic Kelly green jersey and helmet combination this year.

For the 2023 season, the Eagles plan to wear the fan-favorite alternates twice, against two AFC East opponents. The Kelly green uniforms will be featured in their Week 7 matchup with the Miami Dolphins and their Week 12 game with the Buffalo Bills. 

In 1933, a group organized by BERT BELL and Lud Wray purchased the franchise, formerly the Frankford Yellowjackets, and moved them to “The City of Brotherly Love.” From that point, the franchise has been supported by some of the most loyal fans in sports and have claimed four NFL championships and one Super Bowl (LII). 

A total of 25 members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame are associated with the Philadelphia Eagles as players, coaches and/or contributors to professional football. 

Bell became the first individual associated with the Eagles’ franchise to be enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He was part of the inaugural Class of 1963.

It wasn’t long after Bell that a pair of Eagles, both former first-round picks, would be forever immortalized in Canton: STEVE VAN BUREN (Class of 1965) and CHUCK BEDNARIK (Class of 1967). 

A plethora of receiving talent has passed through Philadelphia, dating back to the late 1940s. PETE PIHOS spent his entire nine-year career (1947-1955) with the Eagles, missing only one game. Following Pihos came TOMMY McDONALD, who called Philadelphia home for his first seven seasons and earned five of his six Pro Bowl nods. MIKE DITKA spent two seasons with the club after a trade from the Chicago Bears. 
For the 2023 season, the Eagles plan to wear the fan-favorite alternates twice, against two AFC East opponents.

Another notable name associated with the Kelly green was wide receiver HAROLD CARMICHAEL. From 1971-1983, he torched opposing defenses, totaling 589 receptions for 8,978 yards and 79 touchdowns, all that still stand in Philadelphia as franchise career records. 

CRIS CARTER began his career with the Eagles, before being traded after three seasons. JAMES LOFTON and ART MONK closed out their fabled NFL livelihoods with the Eagles in 1993 and 1995, respectively. TERRELL OWENS spent the 2004 and ’05 seasons in Philadelphia, leading the team with 77 receptions for 1,200 yards and 14 touchdowns en route to an appearance in Super Bowl XXXIX.

The Eagles selected receiver BUD GRANT in the first round of the 1950 NFL Draft, and although his playing career lasted only two seasons, his Hall of Fame coaching career lasted 18.

One of the most notable Eagles to display the Kelly green was REGGIE WHITE, also known as “The Minister of Defense,” who played the first eight years of his career in Philadelphia (1985-1992). With the Eagles, White earned one of his two career Defensive Player of the Year awards (1987) after recording 21 sacks in 12 games. 

White’s No. 92 was retired by Philadelphia in 2005, 20 years after he was drafted by the team. Fellow Hall of Famers whose numbers are retired by the Eagles are Bednarik (60), Van Buren (15) and BRIAN DAWKINS (20). 

Two coaches left their legacies in Philadelphia. EARLE “GREASY” NEALE coached the club from 1941-1950, claiming back-to-back NFL Championships in 1948 and ’49. DICK VERMEIL began his storied coaching career with the Eagles, from 1976-1982. In Year 3 (1978), he led the club to its first postseason appearance since 1960, and two seasons later claimed the NFC title and coached the team to an appearance in Super Bowl XV.

Hall of Famers BOB BROWN (1964-68) and SONNY JURGENSEN (1957-1962) both began their careers with the Eagles before joining other clubs. Seven Hall of Famers spent their final season (or seasons) donning the Kelly green Eagles uniform: RICHARD DENT, BILL HEWITT, CLAUDE HUMPHREY, OLLIE MATSON, JIM RINGO, NORM VAN BROCKLIN and ALEX WOJCIECHOWICZ.