Fate of First Year Eagle Coaches-1958,1961,1964,1969

Let’s take a look at what first year coaches for the Philadelphia Eagles did going back to 1958

1958-The Philadelphia Eagles moved from Connie Mack Stadium to Franklin Field.  As the Head Coach, Hugh DeVore exited and in came Buck Shaw.   The Eagles fell back one and a half  games from 1957,  going from 4-8  to 2-9-1.  Both of the wins came at home.  The Eagles defeated the New York Giants 27 to 24 in the biggest upset of the season.  Later came some real fireworks in the 49 to 21 victory over the Chicago Cardinals.  The ultimate indignity was in October at Green Bay when the Eagles’ fourth quarter rally  fell short.  The Green Bay Packers defeated the Eagles 38 to 35;  this was the only win of the season for GB.  Two years later, of course, the Packers and the Eagles would meet at Franklin Field for the 1960 NFL Championship.

1961-The NFL expanded the regular season from 12 to 14 games.  Buck Shaw retired and Nick Skorich became the Head Coach.  Put simply,  the team lost the two extra games going from 10-2 to 10-4.  After winning seven of the first eight, the Eagles at Cleveland took a 45 to 24 drubbing from Browns.  Philadelphia never recovered from that loss.  The 10-4 record was one half game behind the first place New York Giants.

1964-After a 2-1o-2 season in 1963, Eagles owner Jerry Woolman fired Skorich and Joe Kuharich became the Head Coach.  On the opening day at Franklin Field, the Eagles destroyed the New York Giants, 38 to 7.  The win was great but, as the season wore on,  it became obvious that the Giants’ dynasty was over. The Giants  fell from first in 1963 to dead last; 11-3 in 1963 to 2-10-2 in 1964.  The Eagles won both games  against the Giants, the Pittsburgh Steelers, and the Dallas Cowboys.  The 6-8 record showed more wins than the two previous seasons combined.   Even so, their victories all came against teams with losing records.  While the improvement was fine, there was still a long way to go.  Jerry Woolman did not use common sense. He gave Joe Kuharich a 15 year contract at annual salary of $75,000.  No wonder this one time wealthy man went bankrupt.

1969-After the 2-12 record in 1968,  Eagle fans were angry, and right so.   The Front Office replaced Joe Kuharich with Jerry Williams.  Kuharich was lucky the fans didn’t feather and tar him.   The Eagles were 4-5-1 for the first ten weeks and things look promising.  However,   Philadelphia lost the last four games and finished 4-9-1.   This was two and a half games better than the previous year. 

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