Philadelphia Eagles drafted John Madden and his legendary NFL career began

Madden was drafted by the Eagles in 1958.

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Wednesday, December 29, 2021
John Madden dies at 85
John Madden, the Hall of Fame coach turned broadcaster whose exuberant calls combined with simple explanations provided a weekly soundtrack to NFL games for three decades, died Tuesday morning, the league said.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- The NFL is mourning the loss of legendary coach and broadcaster John Madden.

Madden died unexpectedly on Tuesday at the age of 85.

The Hall of Famer's NFL career began in Philadelphia.

Madden was drafted by the Eagles in 1958. The tackle was selected in the 21st round.

In the Associated Press' photo archives, an image shows Madden as an Eagle. It's dated July 1959.

FILE - John Madden, tackle for the Philadelphia Eagles, poses in July 1959, location not known.
AP Photo, File

Madden never actually played for the Eagles due to a knee injury he suffered during training camp.

The Eagles issued this statement following Madden's passing:

"John Madden is a sports icon whose contributions to the game of football are countless. His words brought Philadelphia Eagles football vividly into the homes and hearts of our fans everywhere. We extend our condolences to his family and many friends."

Madden was inducted to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2006, alongside the late legendary Eagles defensive end Reggie White.

The class of 2006 NFL Hall of Fame inductees included former Oakland Raiders coach John Madden and Sara White, widow of former defensive tackle Reggie White.
AP Photo/Jeff Roberson

RELATED: John Madden, legendary football coach, broadcaster and video-game icon, dies at 85

Eagles players and alumni shared their messages on social media after hearing of Madden's death.

Brian Westbrook said, "The best to ever do it!!"

Ron Jaworski said, "Sad day for Pro Football with the passing of John Madden. John was an amazing ambassador for the game. RIP my friend."

Darius Slay tweeted, "R.I.P."

Zech McPhearson called Madden, "Legend."

Andy Reid, former Eagles head coach and current coach for the Kansas City Chiefs, issued this statement:

"A part of all of us passed away today with the passing of John Madden. He was loyal and dedicated to the game of football. He loved every aspect of the game. Myself and so many other coaches in the profession lost a teacher, friend and confidant. John was a family man, a proud husband and father. My thoughts and prayers go out to his wife and his sons, Mike and Joe. He will be greatly missed."

Madden's injury may have stopped him from playing with the Eagles, but it led to his coaching career.

Madden coached the Oakland Raiders to a victory in Super Bowl XI.

After retiring from coaching, Madden's voice became a weekly soundtrack to NFL games for decades to come. He covered 11 Super Bowls for four networks from 1979-2009.

During that time, he loaned his voice and name to the Madden NFL video game series.

"People always ask, are you a coach or a broadcaster or a video game guy?" he said when was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. "I'm a coach, always been a coach."

"Nobody loved football more than Coach. He was football," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement. "He was an incredible sounding board to me and so many others. There will never be another John Madden, and we will forever be indebted to him for all he did to make football and the NFL what it is today."


The Associated Press contributed to this report.