The NFL adopted two rules changes that will affect Ted Daisher's first year as the Eagles' special teams coordinator. The first is that no more than five players can be bunched together on a kicking team that pursues an onside kick attempt. A violation of this results in a 5-yard penalty. The other eliminates the blocking wedge on kickoffs. No more than two players can be joined together for the return team. A 15-yard penalty is slapped on a team that fails to heed this rule.
Daisher guided the league's third-best special teams unit, according to esteemed *Dallas Morning News *columnist Rick Gosselin, last season in Cleveland. One of the reasons for the special teams' success there was his amazing returner Josh Cribbs. Daisher chatted with the NFL officials - Scott Green, James Coleman, Jeremy Lomax, John Schleyer and David Wyant - who were present at Sunday's practice and attempted to gain a better understanding of these new rules, especially the one involving the wedge.
"The different amount of guys in the wedge, can it be a three-man, a four-man? Can there be two that come together? So we have to get those interpretations before we really set our plan," Daisher said. "Now I have two plans; one, to go with the rule of the two-man wedge and it's just strict like that. And then another one is, if they allow you to do some different things, joining a third man to the wedge. I have to get that interpretation from the officials before we can do that. I think that you have to play a couple of preseason games to really get a feel of how that's going to go."
No matter how Daisher coordinates his return and coverage units, he knows exactly how he wants them to play. And his vocal, in-your-face style should be able to extract that from his guys.
"I'm going to be as straight as I can. We need to be hard-nosed, running, hitting, getting - nonstop, relentless every second of every play of every day," Daisher said. "I don't know if you guys have noticed that, but I've tried to instill that a little bit in practice, and I think the guys have kind of grasped that. I think they're running with it, and I see some good things coming."
-- Posted by Chris McPherson, 11:28 a.m., August 2