John Harbaugh was bound to have a few funny stories from his time in Philadelphia. The Ravens coach spent 10 seasons with the Eagles, including one special one with Doug Pederson. The story featured a rushed field goal try, players yelling “bonzai” and Andy Reid chasing down Harbaugh.
First, let’s set the scene. The year was 1999 and it was Reid’s first year as an NFL head coach. Pederson was the starting quarterback for the Eagles and Harbaugh was coaching special teams. It was opening day — September 12, 1999, versus the Arizona Cardinals — and the team still called Veterans Stadium home. Harbaugh sent his field-goal unit in for a kick in the final seconds of the first half. That’s when problems — or maybe hilarity, depending on your vantage point — ensued.
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Harbaugh recently told the tale to a group of beat reporters in Baltimore, via NBC Sports Philadelphia:
Doug was the holder and Norm Johnson was the kicker and we worked on Bonzai field goal so many times in terms of running everybody out there when the clock’s running and kicking the field goal,” Harbaugh said. “And right before half it came up, and we’re screaming, ‘Bonzai, Bonzai,’ and I’m looking at the line and I see Doug and he’s back there and the line’s set up perfectly, and I’m like, ‘Yes, we got it, there’s plenty of time left.’ And then I noticed out of my left eye … there’s no kicker. And here comes Norm running off the bench putting his helmet on and he’s running out, and the ball was snapped, because Doug’s smart, and he kicked it right on the run.
Harbaugh was worried Reid was going to chew him out for not having his field-goal unit ready to execute the play at the end of the half. The coach high-tailed it into the locker room at halftime in an effort to avoid Big Red’s wrath. However, Reid eventually found him.
“I outran him,” Harbaugh said, via PennLive. “but he caught me in the locker room and wanted to know what happened.”
Johnson actually made the 25-yard field goal and gave the Eagles a 24-6 lead. But the Cardinals rattled off 19 unanswered points in the second half and won the game, 25-24. That was back in the old NFC East when Arizona and Philadelphia were in the same division.
Eagles Sign Linebacker Chris Worley
The Eagles added some linebacker depth Monday when they signed veteran Chris Worley. The team had an extra roster spot after cutting ties with Paul Worrilow and Worley fills a need. Worley, an undrafted free agent out of Ohio State, spent last season on the Cincinnati Bengals where he played in two games in 2018. The 6-foot-2, 238-pounder also enjoyed a short stint on the Seattle Seahawks practice squad. He has two career tackles in the NFL.
Worley played three different positions at Ohio State, including safety, outside linebacker, and middle linebacker. He racked up 153 total tackles for the Buckeyes and helped them win a National Championship in 2015. In 2016, he finished with 69 total tackles, 4.5 tackles for a loss, and his first collegiate interception.