The Eagles acquired one of the hottest assistant coaches on the market when they named Bobby April the new special teams coordinator on Thursday. To hire April, the Eagles terminated the contract of special teams coordinator Ted Daisher after one year in that role. The Eagles also terminated the contracts of strength and conditioning coach Mike Wolf and assistant strength and conditioning coach Jay Merlino.
"Bobby April has proven himself as one of the top special teams coaches in this league," said head coach Andy Reid. "I have spoken with many coaches and players who have worked with and played under Bobby directly and they have had nothing but the highest regard for him in terms as a coach and as a person. We look forward to adding him to our coaching staff and building upon the excellent job our special teams did last year."
April had just concluded his 18th season in the NFL and his sixth with the Buffalo Bills when on January 4, all of the team's coaches were told that they could pursue new jobs. Reports also indicate that April had a clause in his contract which allowed him to opt-out of his deal with two years still remaining on it. There is currently no head coach in Buffalo and the only in-house candidate appeared to be interim coach Perry Fewell. April reportedly had drawn interest from the Steelers, 49ers and Redskins.
In his first five seasons, the Bills special teams finished No. 1 in the league three times, according to Dallas Morning News columnist Rick Gosselin's detailed rankings system, including in 2008. The 2009 rankings have not yet been released. The Bills were in the top five of the rankings the other two years. April was also voted the NFL's special teams coach of the year in 2008 by a vote of his peers.
April inherits a talented core group of specialists which includes a pair of All-Pros in kicker David Akers and punt returner DeSean Jackson. Punter Sav Rocca has also set the franchise's single-season net punting average in each of the last two seasons. April has previously coached three players who are currently on the Eagles roster: longsnapper Jon Dorenbos, left tackle Jason Peters and wide receiver Kevin Curtis.
Reid further explained that the production on the field this season proved that Daisher is an "excellent football coach," but the team simply decided "to do in another direction."
"We appreciate the efforts and contributions of those three men. I have the highest regard for Ted as a special teams coach and as a person. He's an excellent football coach and the numbers and production on the field this past year proved that. We just decided to go in another direction," Reid said. "I have no doubt Ted will land on his feet with another NFL team and do a great job. As far as Mike Wolf, he has been nothing but a professional and diligent strength coach for this franchise over the past 15 seasons. He has been a big part in the success the Eagles have had in recent years. We appreciate all the work he and Jay Merlino put in with our players to help them maximize their efforts on the field."
|Bobby April's Coaching Career|
|2006-09||Buffalo Bills||Assistant Head Coach/Special Teams|
|2004-05||Buffalo Bills||Special Teams Coordinator|
|2001-03||St. Louis Rams||Special Teams Coordinator|
|1996-99||New Orleans Saints||Special Teams Coordinator|
|1994-95||Pittsburgh Steelers||Special Teams Coordinator|
|1991-93||Atlanta Falcons||Tight Ends/Special Teams|
|1991||Ohio State University||Secondary|
|1980-86||University of Arizona||Defensive Line/Secondary|
|1978||Southern Miss||Graduate Assistant (Defense)|
|1976-77||Chalmette (LA) High School||Assistant Coach|
-- Posted by Chris McPherson, 3:33 p.m., January 14