Mike Golic fondly recalls Buddy Ryan Era as he prepares to announce Eagles' draft pick


If you know Mike Golic, you know he’ll be thinking about going off script when he’s standing at the podium getting ready to announce one of the Eagles’ draft picks this weekend.

“I’m going to be tempted to draft who I think the Eagles should draft,” Golic said. “That would probably end my run at ever doing anything like that again so I’ll just read the name that’s on the Eagles’ card and hope it’s a name I can pronounce easily.”

Golic, a defensive tackle with the Eagles from 1987 through 1992 and later co-host of the wildly popular Mike & Mike show on ESPN radio with Mike Greenberg for nearly 18 years, will be back in his hometown of Cleveland on Friday to announce one of the Eagles’ 2nd- or 3rd-round picks.

He appeared on the Eagle Eye podcast this week with Dave Zangaro and I and spoke about his years playing alongside some legendary teammates and for some legendary coaches.

Golic may have been a little less heralded than Reggie White, Clyde Simmons, Seth Joyner, Jerome Brown, Eric Allen, Wes Hopkins, Andre Waters, Mike Pitts and Byron Evans, but he was actually a very good rotational defensive lineman on some historic defenses.

“The best years of my career, the best friends I made, because it was before free agency so there wasn’t all that movement until ’93,” Golic said. “The thing I loved about those teams is we not only were teammates but we were friends and we hung out together. 

“Like our d-line. Reggie and Jerome and Clyde, Mike Pitts, Andy Harmon when he came there. It was nice to just kind of be friends. It was kind of like college, when you practice with your teammates then you go back to the dorms with them or you see them in the classroom, you’re around them all the time. Pro is pro. Pro is work. You finish work and you go home to your wife and kids or you do something else, you have your own life. But we legitimately liked each other and hung out with each other. Those are the times I won’t forget.”

Golic, who had originally been a 10th-round pick of the Oilers in 1986, arrived in Philly in the middle of the 1987 season and remained here through 1992. 

He played in 82 games for the Eagles during that stretch, making 33 starts, and played on four playoff teams.

“Playing with those guys, and I knew what my role was on that team, but watching Reggie, still the best I’ve ever seen doing what he did, especially that size,” Golic said. “Jerome had the quickest first step I’ve ever seen, Clyde had some of the best hand play I’ve ever seen from a 6-6 guy and long arms. Seth Joyner may have been the most intense scary person who was also the smartest, because that dude spent his time in the film room, in the weight room, he was a great leader by example. Eric Allen, Wes, Andre, the list goes on and on of great players on that defense, so it was an absolute ball. 

“And with Buddy (Ryan) as the coach, it was like, ‘Man, just go do your thing.’ And then we had Bud Carson as d-coordinator. Bud Carson is in the team picture of greatest d-coordinators of all time, so playing for him as well was just an incredible joy. Those were fantastic years. And man, when that defense was humming, there weren’t a lot of people doing anything (against us). 

“But it’s a shame we could never close the deal. Under Buddy we never won a playoff game, under Rich we won the one playoff game against New Orleans and then got shelled against Dallas the next week when they won the first of their back-to-back Super Bowls. That was the shame of it. The team was that good but we could never close the deal.”

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