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Raiders Tab April To Coach Special Teams

Posted Jan 19, 2013

The Oakland Raiders announced on Saturday evening that they have named Bobby April as their new special teams coordinator. April had spent the past three seasons in the same role with the Eagles. It's another position that will have to be filled by new head coach Chip Kelly, who provided an update on the coaching search earlier in the day.

This past season, punter Mat McBriar averaged 46.5 yards per punt and punt returner Damaris Johnson returned a punt 98 yards for a touchdown at Dallas, marking a franchise record and tying for the third-longest punt return in NFL history. Kicker Alex Henery set a franchise record with 22 consecutive successful field goal attempts.

In 2011, April successfully integrated a rookie kicker and a rookie punter into the league. Henery set a team record connecting on 88.9 percent of his field goal tries, connecting on his last 16 attempts. April’s punt-coverage unit allowed just 176 return yards, the fourth fewest in the NFL, and the team ranked third in the league in yards per return.

In his first season with the Eagles in 2010, April’s group ranked seventh in the NFL in net-punting average, ninth in kickoff coverage and 12th in punt return average. Kicker David Akers led the league in scoring and was selected for the Pro Bowl, while punter Sav Rocca set a franchise record with a 39.0 net-punting average.

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