Jon Dorenbos Needs Open-Heart Surgery

Jon Dorenbos. (Jeff Fusco)

New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton announced today that team doctors have discovered that Jon Dorenbos, the recently acquired longtime Eagles long snapper, requires open-heart surgery to repair an aortic aneurysm.

“This is a pretty serious condition and not only will it require open-heart surgery, but it will require it pretty quickly,” Payton said in a news conference with local reports in Louisiana. “Dr. John Amoss is the one that discovered it and basically saved his life with his findings. They did further tests and evaluations and we met twice yesterday and certainly news like this is a big alert for him.”

You’ll remember that the Eagles traded Dorenbos, the fan favorite who played 11 years in Philadelphia and dazzled national audiences with his skills as a magician on shows like America’s Got Talent and Ellen, to the Saints last week for a future seventh-round draft pick. According to Payton, New Orleans will attempt to rescind this trade because they believe the Birds knew about Dorenbos’s pre-existing condition.

When asked whether Dorenbos had issues with any prior physicals during his time in the NFL, Payton had this to say:

“I can’t speak for Philadelphia or the other teams he’s been with, but I do know that that’s something that came up on our physical and there is a blessing to it in some ways regarding him. I mean finding an aneurysm this size is something that will require immediate surgery and credit Dr. Amoss, who was the first one that caught the red flag.”

Why didn’t the Birds medical staff know the issue with Dorenbos was this serious, if Bowen is correct? Somebody has some ‘splaining to do, but let’s all say a prayer that Jon makes it through this and comes back home to Philly where he belongs.

Follow @jtrinacria on Twitter.

Master List: Eagles Coaching Tracker

Howie Roseman. (Jeff Fusco)

Howie Roseman. (Jeff Fusco)

Since the Eagles fired Chip Kelly, rumors have swirled and reports have circulated about his replacement. To keep all of the information we’ve gathered organized in one place, we created the master list below.

We only included candidates who the Eagles reportedly have interest in, not people like Hue Jackson or Sean McDermott who some say it’d make sense for them to be looking at. There are also a few names who the Eagles reportedly plan to interview, but we won’t check off that last column until the interview has a specific timeframe or has occurred. Read more »

Open Thread: Black Monday; Coaching Search

Photo by: Jeff Fusco

Photo by: Jeff Fusco

The regular season has drawn to a close, and Black Monday has arrived. Jeffrey Lurie, Howie Roseman and Don Smolenski are on the lookout for the Eagles’ next head coach. So are at least four other teams. With more firings come more openings; one of the busiest times of the year is just beginning.

We’ll update this thread with new information as it streams in, so check back here — and join the conversation below — to make sure you’re up-to-date as the winds of change start to swirl.

Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: The Search Begins

Jeffrey Lurie. (Jeff Fusco)

Jeffrey Lurie. (Jeff Fusco)

When Jeffrey Lurie was asked why he fired Chip Kelly on a Tuesday night during Week 17, the first answer he gave had to do with getting a head start.

“I wanted to get a jump start on our head coaching search and I knew already what we were going to do,” the Eagles owner said. “I thought having six extra days was pretty important, because as you know, it’s a chaotic, rushed schedule when you’re looking for a head coach.”

Lurie wasn’t kidding. Read more »

Report: Eagles Could Pursue Saints’ Sean Payton

Photo courtesy: USA Today Sports Images

Photo courtesy: USA Today Sports Images

According to a report from Paul Domowitch of the Philadelphia Daily News, the Eagles will pursue New Orleans head coach Sean Payton if he and the Saints part ways in the coming days.

Payton has racked up an 87-57 record in nine seasons with the Saints, including a win in Super Bowl XLIV in 2009.

He was quarterbacks coach for the Eagles from 1997-1998.

The Saints finished the season 7-9 for the second straight season this year.

Adam Gase, the Bears’ offensive coordinator, is reportedly set to interview with the Eagles in the next few days.

Numbers And Reasoning Behind Chip Kelly’s Exit

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Jeffrey Lurie’s hiring of Chip Kelly had long been viewed as a risky one with high upside, but also with plenty of room for failure.

Before his time in Philadelphia, Kelly had experienced nothing but success. He was instrumental in turning Oregon into an elite college football mainstay, and was regarded as one of the bright offensive minds in the world.

At the end of the Kelly era, winds had changed. His offense was sliding, his team’s record was sinking, and his defense was breaking.

The Eagles were out of the playoff picture for the second straight season, which didn’t sit well with a fanbase and organization spoiled by Andy Reid’s four consecutive trips to the NFC Championship game in the early 2000s.

Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Bradford, Brees And A Shot Taken

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

This past offseason, Chip Kelly took a number of shots and left nary a safety net to catch him if he happened to fall.

The biggest shot he took was trading  Nick Foles and picks to the St. Louis Rams for Sam Bradford, a quarterback with a higher perceived ceiling than Foles but plenty of uncertainty surrounding his health and ability to perform in the NFL.

Time and again, Kelly has referred to the New Orleans Saints’ decision to take a similar shot in the dark in the 2006 offseason when they decided to pursue free agent Drew Brees, who was just two months removed from arthroscopic shoulder surgery.
Read more »

Wake-Up Call: It’s Good to Be Home

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The Saints are 1-5 in their last six road games, as you may have heard. They certainly have. Drew Brees and company have been bombarded with questions about the slump all week.

The Eagles can relate. They dropped their first four games at the Linc this season, extending the overall home drought to 10 games, and were reminded regularly of their shortcomings. The streak hit double-digits on October 27 with a 15-7 loss to the Giants that dropped the Eagles to 3-5 on the year. Just as Sean Payton joked this week about changing up the Gatorade flavor to flip the mojo, Chip Kelly quipped that maybe he would put the team on a bus and drive them around for a half  hour for home games to simulate the road experience.

Those days seem far away now. The streak was snapped with a 24-16 win over Washington in mid-November, and the Eagles went on to win four straight at the Linc to close out the regular season. Just like that they had regained homefield advantage, and in memorable fashion. Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Payton Deal First Chip To Fall

Jay Glazer of FoxSports.com reported Friday evening that the New Orleans Saints and Sean Payton have agreed in principle to a contract extension.

And just like that, the NFL’s hiring season had begun.

Payton leaving always seemed like a longshot, but it’s no coincidence that the news was announced just three days before teams around the league started firing their coaches. The Saints would have been making a huge mistake if they let Payton test the open market. The one team he had most often been linked to was the Cowboys. But Glazer also reports that Jason Garrett will be back in Dallas in 2013.

Meanwhile, there figures to be some serious competition and posturing next week as nearly one-third of the league’s jobs could potentially be up for grabs.

The rumors about who could potentially replace Andy Reid continue to swirl. Albert Breer of NFL Network hears that University of Washington head coach Steve Sarkisian could be an option for the Eagles. Sarkisian has spent the last four seasons as head coach of the Huskies. Prior to that, he was an assistant with USC for seven seasons and also spent one year (2004) as the quarterbacks coach of the Oakland Raiders.

One other name we’ve written about previously in this space is Penn State’s Bill O’Brien. While it seems unlikely that O’Brien will leave Happy Valley, the door is not shut completely. Adam Caplan reports that teams have begun research on O’Brien’s contract and buyout:

This situation may go nowhere, especially based on the buyout and how much money he’ll earn over the length of the contract. However, with the dearth of quality head-coaching candidates available, it wouldn’t be surprising if some teams showed interest in O’Brien over the next week or so.

Several names to keep an eye on, and likely several openings to be announced as soon as Monday.

WHAT YOU MISSED

Reid said he’s had no discussions with Jeffrey Lurie this week.

I felt like rambling yesterday, so the Week 17 cheat sheet offers 10 thoughts on the state of the Eagles.

The Birds’ assistant coaches also face an uncertain future, Tim writes.

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

ESPN’s Adam Schefter offers his take on Reid:

Reid’s selection of assistant coaches contributed to his downfall. Philadelphia struggled to replace legendary defensive coordinator Jim Johnson, and when the Eagles attempted to do it with offensive line coach Juan Castillo, they created issues in other areas.

Yet with a record of 130-92-1, Reid goes down as a Philadelphia sports legend, as unappreciated as he was underrated. Reid, 54, wants to coach next season, and he undoubtedly will draw interest. But some around the league are hoping that Reid takes a year off to spend time with his family, recharge his battery, study the game and return with a passion in 2014.

One of the better national columns you’ll see on Reid, from SI.com’s Michael Rosenberg:

Reid has had 14 years to end this drought. He came achingly close. In 2005, the Eagles lost the Super Bowl to the Patriots by a field goal. Reid has taken the Eagles to five conference championship games. To understand how impressive that is, consider: Bill Belichick has made six conference championship games. Tony Dungy made three. If this were college basketball, we would say that Reid took the Eagles to five Final Fours.

And yet, Reid was never really enough for Philly. I don’t just mean his record, though lately that has not been enough. I mean him. Fans and reporters want Reid to reveal himself. They want visible passion on the sideline on Sundays and audible emotion in press conferences on Mondays. They want Rex Ryan. Or at least Buddy Ryan. Or Dick Vermeil.

COMING UP

No media availability as the Eagles make final preparations for Sunday’s game against the Giants.

Follow Sheil Kapadia on Twitter and e-mail him at skapadia@phillymag.com.
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