July 29, 2016
Back in his adopted East Coast home, Jon Dorenbos spoke much softer than he had a few nights before, in front of 10 million viewers. The Eagles had just finished their first full-squad practice of training camp, and Dorenbos was back at his day job (for now).
The long snapper is probably the most anonymous person on a football team, but to a large segment of the country that doesn’t follow the NFL, Dorenbos is the most famous Eagle by a mile due to a magic act that has advanced to the final rounds of “America’s Got Talent.”
In Philly, Dorenbos is grateful for the support that his teammates and organization have given him off the field.
“It’s really cool that the team kind of had my back, and the fans I can’t thank you enough,” Dorenbos said. “I think it’s so, so cool. Nothing gives me more pride than to represent Philly as an Eagle in the stage at the Dolby Theatre.”
Now that the Eagles are in training camp, Dorenbos doesn’t anticipate missing more than one or two practices (and no games) for the final rounds. The 36-year-old said that the Eagles have been “super supportive.”
And to be honest, if there is anyone at camp who can afford to miss a practice or two, it’s definitely the veteran long snapper.
“We’re going to make it work,” Dorenbos said. “It’s not going to affect games, it’s not going to affect much time at all.”
Thursday, Dorenbos even put on a little show for some of the Secret Service in town for the week:
On the football end of things, Dorenbos has some competition at camp in the form of undrafted free agent John DePalma. For the two-time Pro Bowler that has now been in Philadelphia for a decade, fighting for a precious roster spot won’t faze him.
“I’m happy for him,” Dorenbos said. “I’ve been in his shoes and I’ve never been one to think about competition, to worry about it.
“May the best man win. The organization is going to make a decision that they feel is in the best interest of the team. If it’s me, awesome. And if it’s not, I’m going to give everything I got. And if it’s not, I generally want Mr. Lurie and this team to win more than anything.”
Dorenbos mentioned that getting a standing ovation on AGT is similar to winning a football game, with one main difference: The attention is on the individual instead of an entire team.
An entertainment career will likely be waiting for Dorenbos once his career ends, but it doesn’t sound like he wants to move on to that phase of his life just yet.
“Even though I’m not from Philly, I kind of feel like I am,” Dorenbos said. “It’s cool to represent Philly on the field and then off the field.”
Follow Rich on Twitter: @rich_hofmann