By Tom Ignudo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia has a special place in Dick Vermeil’s heart. The former head coach of the Eagles wasn’t able to hoist a Lombardi trophy in Philly, but he got close in 1980 when his squad lost to the Raiders, 27-10.

Despite that loss, he still decided to enter the Hall of Fame as an Eagle on Saturday, and he made sure to thank the Birds fans that supported him during his time from 1976-1982.

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“Thank you Philadelphia Eagles fans,” Vermeil said in Canton, Ohio, during the Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony. “I feel so close to you guys, I feel that I know each one of you personally. So thank you for being here as fans. Thank you to the fans at home that accept me as part of your community. Unbelievable.”

Vermeil started his NFL head coaching career in Philadelphia following his success at UCLA. He retired after the 1982 season because he was burned out.

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Vermeil nearly came back to coach the Eagles in 1995, but he couldn’t agree to a contract with owner Jeffrey Lurie. Vermeil then went on to coach the St. Louis Rams and helped assemble “The Best Show on Turf” teams and won the Super Bowl over the Tennessee Titans in 1999.

After the Rams job, Vermeil was the head coach of the Kansas City Chief from 2001-05.

Overall, Vermeil compiled a 120-109 record during his NFL head coaching career.

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During practice at Eagles training camp, head coach Nick Sirianni, who’s known to wear clothes displaying players in a show of support, wore a hat with Vermeil’s name on it on Saturday.