Quick Thoughts on the Jon Dorenbos Trade

Supposed to be on vacation, but it’s raining in Atlantic City, and I’m not about that gambling before 10 a.m. life right now if it’s not about sports.

So with that said, I wanted to pop on here and share my quick thoughts on the surprising trade last night that shipped the Eagles long-time long snapper to New Orleans.

Twitter isn’t the best communication platform for that. It’s quick on steroids. It’s reactionary. I hope Medium allows us to get a bit more nuanced while still keeping it on the shorter side.

Every Eagles fan has a favorite Jon Dorenbos memory. Mine is a locker room video shot after a 2010 victory over Peyton Manning and the Colts. The Eagles had a Monday night game next week against the Skins, and it’s customary that with an extra day to prepare, coaches will give the team Wednesday off and start practice Thursday if they win.

Dorenbos ran around the room asking “Cya Thursday?” to any player in sight. Sure enough a minute later, Andy Reid entered and told a raucous group to take Wednesday off.

He and his family embraced the team and city off the field, and he was as reliable as they come on it. I can cherry pick a bad snap or two over the years (a missed extra point in the 2009 NFC Championship game that forced David Akers to kick against the laces comes to mind), but they were few and far between.

Dorenbos will clearly be missed, and at the same time, I understand the trade. And while I understand the trade and think it’s a shrewd one in many ways, it concerns me in others.

Let’s start with the good: Dorenbos just turned 37 years old and is coming off a major injury. Acquiring any type of asset (even a conditional 7th round pick) is unheard of under those conditions.

Now the bad: Dorenbos was as reliable as they come, and even with tweets like this, a move made with only 12 days before Landover and even less practice time concerns me:

Ideally this move would have happened earlier in camp with more time to prepare.

Going back to the 2007 season, the Eagles have lost three openers. Two of them involved special teams mistakes, and both were on the road.

In 2007, Jeremy Bloom was set to be the Eagles punt returner before an underwhelming summer, and the Eagles went to Lambeau Field without a clear answer at the position. Greg Lewis fumbled one early that was returned for a touchdown, and J.R. Reed fumbled one late that led to a Packers game-winning field goal.

In 2015, Cody Parkey missed a late field goal that would have capped off a comeback win, instead turning into a crushing loss.

If Caleb Sturgis is lining up for a 45-yard field goal with seconds to go and the Eagles down two, can Lovato get off a clean snap?

How about protecting a two point lead with a few minutes to go and needing to punt? Can he get the ball cleanly to Donnie Jones?

Lovato did the job last December without fail when Dorenbos was hurt. Conventional wisdom says yes to the above questions. Recent history that derailed two seasons suggests some reason for concern.

We’ll find out in Landover in 12 days.