Cornerback Jorrick Calvin knew that he would have to step up on special teams after DeSean Jackson was injured last Sunday against Atlanta.
Well, he made the most of the opportunity on his very next punt return. Michael Koenen punted the ball 47 yards to the Eagles' 22-yard line near the right sideline. The Eagles did a good job of setting up a wall for Calvin. Joique Bell made a key block in the open field and Calvin was off for a 44-yard return, certainly the rookie's career best.
"Once (Jackson) got hurt, I knew everything fell back on me. On the sideline, I'm just telling myself it's your chance. Go on the field and get something done," Calvin said. "It should have been a touchdown, but things happen. It was a good return, a real good return."
Special teams coordinator Bobby April said that Calvin will not just handle punts in light of Jackson's absence for this Sunday's game against Tennessee. Calvin will also handle kickoff returns.
"He did a nice job handling the ball. He's been a good pickup for us," April said.
Calvin was a sixth-round pick of the Arizona Cardinals this year out of Troy. Calvin was academically ineligible for his final year at Troy. He was acquired by the Eagles in a trade for fullback Charles Scott, the player selected just prior to Calvin in the draft, on August 30. Calvin played in just one preseason game with the Eagles, but stuck on the final 53-man roster and has been active for five of the team's first six games. He is averaging 19.4 yards per kickoff return and 15.4 yards per punt return.
"I'm very blessed and very fortunate to have the opportunity. Every other opportunity I get I'm going to take the right thing and do what I can," Calvin said. "In Arizona, I really didn't get that opportunity. I'm here now and they gave me the opportunity and I showed them exactly what I can do with that. They have trust in me now where I can return punts and return kicks."
In 2008, Calvin was the Sun Belt Conference leader in kickoff return average (25.7 yards per return) and scored a touchdown. He was the first player in Troy history to win conference defensive and special teams player of the week honors in the same week. Calvin transferred to Troy after two years at East Central (Miss.) Community College.
-- Posted by Chris McPherson, 1:00 p.m., October 21