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Daisher Ready To Be Special For Eagles

The credentials should speak for themselves. Ted Daisher's Cleveland Browns ranked in the top five in the NFL in special teams in each of the last two seasons, and he has a way about him that inspires players in that phase of the game: Direct, with a high level of expectation and an attention to detail. But on this day, Daisher is doing his own talking and his enthusiasm is contagious.

See, Daisher knows what he is getting himself into. He knows Philadelphia. He knows the Eagles organization. He understands the standard of excellence demanded here, and as Daisher prepares to dig in as the special teams coordinator he is ready to do what it takes to make the Eagles the best special teams group in the league.

"Oh, I'm so excited to get this going, because I know how first-class the organization is, how much quality there is in terms of the people here, from Jeffrey Lurie and Andy Reid all the way down, all the great coaches we have and the leadership that exists in the locker room," said Daisher, a special teams assistant coach from 2004-2005 and then the head man in Oakland and in Cleveland the last three seasons. "When you are around people like that and you understand how it works, it makes you want to come back and work and be the best. That is our goal.

"I'm looking forward to working with the players here. We played them last year and we had a chance to prepare to play the Eagles, and this is a very fine group of players. It's going to be exciting for me, a lot of fun."

Daisher's Browns' special teams ranked third in the NFL last year, based on a series of points accumulated in 22 kicking game categories and compiled by Rick Gosselin of the *Dallas Morning News *in his annual report. Buffalo was first, Tennessee was second and the Browns ranked third. The Eagles were a very respectable 12th under second-year coach Rory Segrest, who moves to the defensive line to replace the retired Pete Jenkins. Daisher was part of the staff purge in Cleveland when head coach Romeo Crennel was fired.

Daisher broke into the NFL with the Eagles, working with John Harbaugh for the 04-05 seasons. He went to Oakland for a season and then enjoyed great success in Cleveland developing Pro Bowl players like return man Joshua Cribbs, kicker Phil Dawson and long snapper Ryan Pontbriand. The '07 Browns ranked fifth in Gosselin's analysis, which is considered the bible around the league.

Just to prove it was no fluke, Daisher's Browns improved on that ranking last season. The Browns ranked first in the league in opponents' gross punting average (40.7 yards) and opponents' net punting average (34.1 yards).

"It was a good experience in Cleveland and I think I've grown so much and learned so much. These last two years were very beneficial for me," he said. "We had some good players, we played well and the organization treated me well. The team struggled, and that was difficult, but it gave me an opportunity to get back to where I wanted to be, and that was Philadelphia and the Eagles."

If you want a coach who is going to bounce up and down the sidelines, well, Daisher may not be that kind of demonstrative coach. He is an intense, hard-working coach who demands the most from his players from the moment the whistle blows -- in practice.

"I think how you practice is how you prepare your players for the game," he said. "We're going to practice with great effort and we're going to do a lot of things exactly as we did when I worked with John Harbaugh. We're going to practice with a fast tempo, we're going to fly around and we're going to get a lot of repetitions. If you watched us play the last two years in Cleveland, you saw the kind of attitude, the mentality and the effort we had on special teams. That's the way we are going to play here. If that starts in practice, it will carry over to the games.

"I'm not going to jump up and down a lot on Sundays. I prepare the guys to play in practice to get them ready for game day. They will go out and play the way I want them to play if they are prepared during the week. I intend to do that, just like we did it in Cleveland."

Daisher knows some of the pieces he'll have when the team gets on the field in the spring. He has worked with placekicker David Akers and with long snapper Jon Dorenbos. Daisher also schemed against Segrest when the teams met in the regular season, so he understands the big-play ability that both DeSean Jackson and Quintin Demps bring to the table.

The scheme will have its changes, as will the core players on the field.

"I like this group. I like them, and I told Andy Reid that when we talked," said Daisher. "I like Demps, the kickoff returner. DeSean Jackson is an explosive punt returner and I go in understanding that there are things young return men can learn and can improve on. I like the linebackers I saw running around out there in coverage and David Akers is a pro, an excellent, excellent kicker. I need to learn more about Sav Rocca, the punter, and become more comfortable with his technique and his style, but overall I like the personnel and the way they played when I saw them.

"I expect this to be a good group. Everybody is different, and so one of the things I need to do is become more familiar with the personnel that I don't know very well, the players I haven't worked with. That is one of the challenges when you change jobs. I'll have plenty of time to do that. The biggest thing about the Eagles, and what I am most excited about, is that there is an established standard of expectation there in place. There is a standard of behavior. There is a standard of leadership in the locker room, and from Andy Reid and from Jeffrey Lurie. The Philadelphia Eagles are the Philadelphia Eagles and there is a standard of play that is expected. That is very helpful to someone like me coming in, because they understand that this is the way you go about business.

"That wasn't the case in Oakland and it really wasn't the case in Cleveland so I had to establish that. I think we're going to farther along with that right off the bat. The systems are going to be similar to what the Eagles did a year ago and what we did a few years ago when I was there."

Daisher's got all the vim and vigor. He can't wait to get started. He can't wait to see what he has to work with. He is excited to see what a new year and a new set of challenges brings as he aims to push the special teams to the top of the league.

"I love it in Philadelphia with the fans and all the intensity, and my family loves it here," he said. "I'm very, very happy to be coming back here. I know it's a good football team and I'm really looking forward to getting started."

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