With Cody Parkey's addition to the Pro Bowl roster on Monday, nine Eagles have been selected to the NFL's all-star game ...
Jon Dorenbos was on the beach in Dana Point, California when he received a call from Chip Kelly. The head coach told his long snapper to clear his calendar next week because Dorenbos was selected to go to the Pro Bowl in Glendale, Arizona.
Dorenbos was selected as a need player by Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett, who also tabbed Dorenbos in the same role following the 2009 season. Even though this is the second Pro Bowl selection for Dorenbos, he got emotional when he heard the news.
"I cried a little bit. I got choked up, teary-eyed. I never thought I'd play college football. I never thought I'd play in the NFL. I'm still bitter I've never made all-league in high school," Dorenbos said Friday night. "I have so many people around me who wanted to see me succeed. I think that's a big part of it. When you can surround yourself with people who want you to succeed, it lifts you up."
Dorenbos has been rock solid since arriving in Philadelphia in the middle of the 2006 season. Only two players have been with the Eagles longer than Dorenbos, linebacker Trent Cole and guard Todd Herremans. Dorenbos' streak of 133 consecutive games played for the Eagles ranks seventh in franchise history.
In 2014, Dorenbos aided rookie kicker Cody Parkey's historic season. Parkey finished with 150 points which not only set an Eagles single-season record, but also the NFL record for most points by a rookie. Punter Donnie Jones set another team record with 34 punts inside the 20-yard line.
Dorenbos thanked special teams coordinator Dave Fipp who challenged him to be even better in his 12th NFL season.
"I had multiple conversations with Coach Fipp and he said you've been in the league a long time, but here are things you can improve upon. It's going to be, 'What's your standard?' Are you going to keep doing what you've been doing which has been good enough through your career so far? Or do you want to take it upon yourself and improve?" said Dorenbos, who was also named to Pro Football Focus' All-Pro Team.
"There's no question Coach Fipp made me better this year. There's no question that when the year was over, I wasn't necessarily thinking about the Pro Bowl, but I was proud of the improvements that I made on my game. I owe 100 percent of that to Coach Fipp in pushing me to be better and to raising my standard. It made me better. I'm so thankful to have him as a coach and to have him as a great influence in my life."
The Eagles' special teams unit was the most prolific in the NFL this season. In addition to Dorenbos, Darren Sproles earned Pro Bowl honors for the first time in his career as a returner. The unit was responsible for seven touchdowns - two punt returns scores by Sproles, two kickoff return scores - one by Chris Polk and one by Josh Huff and three blocked punts were returned for touchdowns - one by Brad Smith, Chris Maragos and Trey Burton.
"I give so much credit to Dave Fipp, his coaching style. How he treats players. What he expects out of players. How he coaches. I think fundamentally this was the best special teams unit I've ever been a part of," Dorenbos said. "We have a lot of people who contributed. We had a cool vibe and a cool camaraderie in the special teams room that I've never been a part of. We had a bunch of guys who wanted to play special teams. We had a bunch of guys who took pride in special teams. We also had guys who had fun doing it. We all understood just because you don't make the tackle doesn't mean you didn't make the tackle. We took a lot of pride in just doing our job."
Before landing in Philadelphia, Dorenbos spent time with Buffalo and Tennessee. When he was first starting out in the league, Dorenbos thought that he would be in the league forever - a common thought among young players. Dorenbos understands now that he is closer to the end of his career than the beginning. And the opportunity to spend nine seasons - with hopefully many more to come - in Philadelphia has made Dorenbos cherish what it means to play for a great organization and a tremendous fan base.
"We have such a great group of people and we've got an organization that cares about each other. We have an organization that everybody looks out for each other. We have an organization that is really special. It's not just in the locker room. It's infectious. It's such an honor to go to work and not only play for this team but to represent this city," said Dorenbos.
"I love my job. I love the fans. I love the Linc. I love the cold weather in the winter. I love how windy our stadium is. It's cool, man. When I'm done playing, I know it's a part of my life that I'll miss."
As Dorenbos heads from the beach to the desert for the all-star festivities, he offered a word of warning in case he has to take on one teammate in particular.
"It's going to be really awkward when I tackle Sproles in the open field on a punt. It's going to be really awkward for Darren Sproles when he sees how elusive and deceptive my true speed is. I'm going to warn Sproles right now, if I'm playing against you, be aware," Dorenbos said.
"Make sure to write that I was joking."