April 21, 1993 |
The natural grass. The warm weather. The low taxes in Miami. The Eagles dismantling the heart and soul of their team. Ooops! How did that slip in there? Ron Heller, the Eagles' starting left tackle, announced yesterday that he had signed a free-agent contract with the Miami Dolphins and tried to put the best possible face on his decision to leave Philadelphia after five successful seasons. But the truth slipped out. "They're going through a transformation, and I don't know whether in the 10th year of my career whether I want to go through a transformation," Heller said.
September 15, 1992 |
After a while, he feels like a stone. A big, movable, grunting, dripping, winded and bruised block of granite, a glorified target. Which is why, when coach Rich Kotite signals in The Play, it's all big Ron Heller can do to keep from skipping as he leaves the huddle. "To me, this is football," he says. It's the third quarter of the Eagles' convincing 31-14 victory over the Phoenix Cardinals. For Heller and his buddies, it's been more than two hours in Sunday night's 100-degree sweatfest.
August 18, 1990 |
The Eagles agreed to a three-year deal yesterday afternoon with veteran right tackle Ron Heller, according to team president Harry Gamble. No terms were available. Heller, who is believed to have been seeking a contract worth more than $500,000 a season and who has started all but one game at right tackle since he was acquired during the 1988 preseason, should be in town today to sign the deal. He comes into camp with Reggie Singletary assuming more and more control of the starting right tackle spot, and it is unclear whether Heller can win the job back in the few weeks remaining before the start of the season.
May 4, 1992 |
News of the Eagles' since-faded interest in trading for Luis Sharpe, the Phoenix Cardinals' starting left tackle, never reached Ron Heller's offseason home in Tampa. Neither did the predraft and postdraft reports indicating that a veteran starting left offensive tackle remains a priority on the Eagles' offseason shopping list. It is the kind of news that can be unsettling when you already are the veteran starting left offensive tackle for the Eagles. "I haven't heard any of that stuff and it's probably good I didn't," Heller said.
August 30, 1990 |
Their head coach hadn't told them about it, of course, but you got a sense that they were not too surprised when they heard the news. Matt Darwin and Ron Heller, at least temporarily, now are sharing the left offensive tackle spot for the Eagles, with Darwin playing the first and third quarters and Heller playing the second and fourth. The move was made because Darwin's surgically repaired left knee still is sore, and in fact was dinged some more Monday against the Colts. Heller started all 16 games at right tackle last year, but lost his job this year in training camp when he held out and Reggie Singletary began playing well.
November 30, 1989 |
Going into a pivotal game with your two starting offensive tackles battling health problems isn't exactly the ticket to success. Yesterday, Ron Heller, the Eagles' starting right tackle, had a cast put on his left hand at Methodist Hospital after breaking a bone last week against Dallas. And starting left tackle Matt Darwin is listed as questionable for Sunday's showdown against the Giants with a gimpy knee. That is not good news for the Eagles, although coach Buddy Ryan said he expects both to play Sunday at Giants Stadium.
October 6, 1988 |
Ron Heller has had time to cool down, to let both his anger and his left eye heal from the gouging he suffered at the hands of Vikings defensive end Al "Bubba" Baker. His eye now is well enough that he is contemplating playing in Monday night's game against the Giants. But his fury at Baker, and what Heller considers a ridiculously light one- game suspension for the poking, has not abated. "I don't have to be an attorney to know that there are legal possibilities," Heller said yesterday, his first day back with the team since suffering the injury two weeks ago. "I talked to (his attorney)
December 24, 1990 |
Mothers, don't raise your sons to be cowboys or NFL offensive linemen. Ron Heller, the Penn State graduate who plays left tackle for the Eagles, seems to draw more villains than any heavyweight this side of Hulk Hogan. And if the World Wrestling Federation folks were watching the mayhem that unfolded in Mr. Heller's neighborhood yesterday, they might want to put Ron in a steel cage with Dallas Cowboys defensive end Jim Jeffcoat and cornerback Issiac Holt. Jeffcoat and Holt were flashpoints in what Heller says was "the dirtiest game I ever played in. " Heller says he was kicked in the groin and stomach by Jeffcoat and others.
October 1, 1988 |
Ron Heller, after five excruciating nights of pain, still cannot see out of his left eye, still is confined to a bed until he can see again. And the Eagles offensive tackle cannot fathom why the league would suspend the Minnesota Vikings' Al Baker, the man who gouged Heller in the eye during last week's game in Minneapolis, for just a single game after such a serious incident. "It's a farce," Heller said from his home after being released from Wills Eye Hospital Friday. "It's hard for me to look objectively at both sides because I'm the one that had to spend five nights in the hospital, I'm the one who still can't see, I'm the one who is in so much pain I had to get drugged up, I'm the one who still doesn't know if I'm going to be able to go out and earn a living the way I have been.
August 26, 1991 |
All good things must come to an end, and for Eagles offensive tackle Ron Heller, that time is now. A team leader and a man with an understanding of the NFL developed during seven seasons as a starter, Heller watched the first 30 minutes of Friday night's preseason finale against the Indianapolis Colts from the sidelines, with his helmet in his left hand. The Eagles are committed to youth at both tackle spots, with gargantuan rookie Antone Davis on the right side and second-year pro Cecil Gray - who played both guard and defensive tackle last season - on the left.