On whether newly acquired LB
On whether preparation during the week can improve special teams or if what transpires on Sundays depends on each particular play: "I think a lot, everything, can be done to improve it. Monday and Tuesday we prepare for everything we’re going to use, try to deploy, (where) we’re going to align guys, (and) what strategy we’re going to use. A lot can be done on Monday and Tuesday too by me. On Wednesday we try to implement the practice plan and hone it to where we can execute it. Saturday we just kind of have a walkthrough and film session. Not just (small preparations) because you don’t want to get outworked in the last 48 hours in terms of your focus and watching it and playing it in your mind. That’s part of the practice. That’s part of everything. We talked about this last week. You’ve got to have talent to play in this league. But every team does so what you do with that talent is really what you’re doing during the week."
On whether there are changes to how practice is conducted to improve special teams: "We’ve done a couple things different in practice. We’ve changed a few things up to highlight things I thought we were weak at. We’ve done a couple things to highlight some of our weaknesses. So yeah we’ve changed up a little bit. Our structure is pretty much the same. We have the same timeframe. We have the same meeting frame. We are trying to overcome some of our weaknesses and we’re highlighting those in our practice a little more than overall game assignment."
On whether LB
On whether this is a good game for the Eagles to get out of their slump because of the Lions’ struggling special teams unit: "I could see where somebody might think that. All I can say is it doesn’t matter who we’re playing. We’re just trying to do the absolute best we can. You never want to play a game more concerned about the opponent than you are yourself. So whatever they do we’ll try to take advantage of. Hopefully we will. They’re no different than playing whoever we play, whoever we played last week or the week before in terms of we’re just focused on us executing the plan. What we do and what they do, we’ll have a strategy for what they do to try to take advantage of their weaknesses and stay away from their strengths. I watch them on film. I know they’re really well coached. I know of a lot of guys on that staff. I know the special teams coach. I know a lot of the players. In fact, I had a couple of them in Buffalo. They’re good so we better be at 100 percent this game, the next game, and the next game. The opponent really doesn’t matter. We need to try to reach the summit in our play as early and as often as possible regardless of who the opponent is. But I think that returner is very good. The punter is good. The kicker is good. We’ve got our hands full. We absolutely have our hands full."
On whether P
On whether WR
On why the team hasn’t used WR
On whether WR
On whether there is talk internally that Jackson might be the punt returner: "I mean he’s always been a situational guy. He really kind of was a year ago. Even the one you’re talking about against the Giants. He wasn’t returning that game. He went in there. Chad Hall was our returner in that particular game. So he’s always a possibility to use. Maybe that moment hasn’t come up. Maybe we missed the opportunity to utilize that moment but it’s not as obvious a situation as that one was. There was 18 seconds to go in the game. That’s pretty obvious, let’s call him in. Maybe there has been (situations) and we missed it and it went right over our heads. He’s always on deck. He’s always there, prepared there, to go. He doesn’t catch as many punts as he did when he was the punt returner but he’s still trained for it."
On what the process is to determine when Jackson will be put in as a punt returner: "In the times that we’ve done it and put him in, usually it’s Coach Reid (that) will tell me he wants him in. The one against New York, actually he had two call ins against New York. The one that he returned for a touchdown and the one where right before (halftime) they say he stepped out of bounds. I still think he didn’t step out of bounds but I could never really see it on the coaching film. So he had two big ones that way and then right before half. On those two occasions Coach Reid sent him in."
On whether it is off limits to suggest to Reid during the game that Jackson should be put in: "Oh no. Not at all. I’ll say, ‘What do you think about DeSean in this situation.’ And he’ll either agree or disagree. I’ve suggested it. Not often. I think he’s got a pretty good feel of that. Most of the time I’d rather not talk to him during the game unless there is something specific I need to talk about. That is certainly something specific because he’s on the phones with everybody. I’m not on the phones with him. I go to him face to face."
On whether Johnson or Boykin are close to breaking a big return based on their progression so far: "Well close to breaking one, probably not. Again you’ve got a good argument and I don’t have much defense statistically but I do believe in the guys. I think Damaris has matured as a guy back there. I think he’s making sound decisions. He’s catching the ball. On the other end for Brandon, I think he’s doing something similar to what he did in college. Very similar and we had hopes that he’d be our returner and he is. I think the blocking and our timing and our setting the formation properly has been more of a factor than his innate ability. I think we’re improving by increments. There needs to be greater increments of improvement. I do think there is improvement. I think the arrow is pointing in the right direction."
On whether everything is fixable so there may be some return touchdowns on the horizon: "Oh yeah, they can break one at any time. Those plays are like a thunderstorm. The ingredients kind of need to be in the right place and they’ll break. You never know when they’re going to be. Obviously the greater your team is honed in there together you have a greater chance of those ingredients being right. I certainly think they’ll break one. I think though it’s a slow progression it needs to be intensified at a more rapid pace of improvement. I definitely think as we go you’ll continue to see improvement. If you haven’t seen any I think there is some. I’m optimistic about it. I’m really optimistic about it and I like our guys. I like all (of them). I like our blockers. I have to do a better job and we’ll get it going and be a factor because in all of these games field position is critical. It seems like especially for our team. Four games within two points, that’s unbelievable. Everything counts. Every play counts. That’s really how we try to approach it and hopefully we live that out, that we’ve taken advantage of every play, at least in effort and in focus and in everything else. Somebody else can beat you but they can’t stop you from doing the absolute best you can do in that moment. That’s what we’re striving for."