Pete Pihos

Posted: August 12, 2007

7 Pete Pihos. His opposition was a kid, some poor rookie who wasn't used to Pete Pihos' pirouettes and pivots. During a training camp practice in 1954, Pihos embarrassed the rookie after he somehow broke free, corralled the football, and dashed downfield for a touchdown.

"Don't let that bother you, son," Eagles coach Jim Trimble said. "Pete can do that to any back in this league."

Certainly in his day, Pihos was the most feared wide receiver - or end - in the NFL. A fullback at Indiana, Pihos was the Eagles' third-round pick in 1945, and went on to play for the Birds from 1947 until 1955, when he retired at the age of 32 to focus on his day job as a salesman.

Three times Pihos, who substituted physicality for speed, led the league in receptions. He was a five-time Eagles MVP, a six-time all-pro, and helped the team win three divisional titles and two world championships. He even was voted all-pro after playing defensive end in 1952.

In nine seasons, "The Golden Greek" missed just one game. He had great hands, a fullback's punishing mentality, and uncanny timing.

"I try to get position on my opponent without him knowing it," Pihos told The Inquirer in 1955. "I always watch my opponent's feet. When he crosses them or makes a definite commitment, that's when I make my move. I'll do whatever maneuvering necessary to reach the spot where the pass is to come."

When he retired, Pihos owned virtually every Eagles receiving record, and his name remains etched in the Eagles' record book. Only Harold Carmichael and Pete Retzlaff caught more passes than Pihos, who finished with 373 receptions for 5,619 yards and 61 TDs in 107 games. Only Chuck Bednarik (eight) and Reggie White (seven) played in more consecutive Pro Bowls than Pihos (six).

Perhaps Pihos's biggest moment was catching the game-winning pass in the 1949 title game, but he ended his career in stellar fashion, too. In his home finale, Pihos broke his single-game record with 10 catches against the Chicago Cardinals. The next game, his last ever, Pihos caught 11 passes.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame inducted Pihos in 1970.

- Ashley Fox

 


 

Pete Pihos

Eagles Honor Roll: 1987

Position: Two-way end

College: Indiana

With Eagles: 1947-55

NFL Championships: He made the game-winning catch in the 1949 championship victory over the Rams.

Records: Pihos led the NFL three consecutive seasons in receptions; was a six-time Pro Bowler and six-time all-pro; and had 373 receptions (third in team history) for 5,619 yards and 61 touchdowns during his career.

Hall of Fame: 1970

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