Philadelphia Eagles News

Special Teams Coordinator Bobby April

On the conditions of New Meadowlands Stadium: "I don't know anything about it. I know it's that turf, that synthetic stuff. It should be in good shape, yeah. I know the temperature is going to be low and a 30 percent chance of rain, snow or a combination. It could be a slick surface, but we should be fine, really. We should be really fine. That's not so bad this time of the year in this part of the country."

On WR DeSean Jackson's status regarding the punt return situation:"Well, (head coach Andy Reid) and I will talk about that tomorrow on exactly what he wants to do. (Head athletic trainer) Rick Burkholder will have a lot to say about that. How much he can hold up, where he's at. They certainly want him to be able to sustain his speed and so forth. I don't know how much wear and tear Rick is going to project he's at. I don't know if he's practicing today. I would say he's probably not, but I don't want to be quoted on that because I'm not really sure. I think it will be between coach and the trainers on the wear and tear that he can sustain in the game. If he doesn't go, right now (CB) Jorrick Calvin would be the guy that would replace him, possibly (WR Jeremy) Maclin."

On whether Calvin's mistakes concern him: "Well, he's done a couple of things. The deal of running around in the back of the end zone is not a mistake by him. We had our own strategy on the guy kicking touchbacks. A year ago, I wasn't here, but it was ridiculous. He kicked every one eight yards deep. It just happened that his last one was the only one that was deep enough to really be a touchback. Our own strategy on that was not him. If anything, it was a mistake by me. The personal foul was really costly because the way our offense is making big plays, the way the offense is moving the ball, it's always a priority that the return teams – possession is the number one priority. That's always number one. With our football team, it takes on a greater priority because they can hit from anywhere. They have been able to sustain drives. It makes it a greater priority. That's what he's focused on, ball security. That's what he's trying to achieve and he's working along. I think he's a guy, he's a rookie, he didn't play his senior year in college, he only played a couple years of college football, he's very talented, he's a kid that can have an excellent career and he's working towards that excellent career. We're trying to help him. We have faith in him and we just look forward to seeing him getting better and better on some of the decisions he has to make and he will. These consequences that are happening to him – pushing the guy in the back and starting at the 10 (yard line) – unfortunately, they're consequences that we all suffer. It will be to his benefit to learn from is what I'm trying to say."

On having WR Chad Hall in for kickoffs last Sunday: "Well, we wanted to get a look at it. We kind of always talked about trying to get a look at him. We felt like he ran the return we were going to run pretty good. He looked good doing it and we kind of had him doing that one particular return. We were going to call it, it was the only time that the returner caught that return, but we put him in to kind of see what he would do, what he could do and it wasn't a lot there. They kicked the ball in a place that we totally didn't anticipate because his kickoffs have not generally gone that way. The formation wasn't set up totally for him to have a great return, but he did fine. The blocking could have been better."

On whether he's ever had someone run around the end zone before: "I don't think I've ever seen it. I mean, I've had it in the plan. I don't want to totally give away our strategy of why we do it because it doesn't take time off the clock unless you muffed it into the end zone. If it touches you in the field of play, you muff it into the end zone, you certainly want to run around back there as much as you can. You haven't seen that either to take time off the clock. Especially if you're in the situation where you want to run the clock, but if you catch it in the end zone, the clock doesn't start until you come out. No, I haven't actually seen it. I've had it in our plan for a couple of years, but this was the first time – even in this situation, it wasn't necessarily the time to do it on the last kickoff. That was my fault. I didn't say, 'look, this isn't necessarily when we want to use that strategy."

On how S Colt Anderson went unnoticed on the Vikings practice squad: "Well, I think that's mostly a compliment to (general manager) Howie (Roseman). As far as I know, he's the one who I kind of had my eye on for a long time, since preseason. It's a good question. I can't really answer that. There are a lot of times where kids, if they get that opportunity, they show what they can do. You have to let them get to the plate to show they can hit the ball. You don't really know until you put them out there. He looked good in preseason. The Vikings, we'll play them soon, if they have five safeties better than him on special teams, we're going to be in for a shootout in a week from now. I just think people weren't aware that he could play like he could play."

On what makes Anderson so effective: "Well, I think he really knows how to play football. He understands things when he goes in there. You can just see it. It looks like he's been groomed forever on all the basics and all the skills. If most of the field is to his right, he's got his left foot up and he's got his right foot back. If he has to break to where he has to use his speed, he's already partially opened that way. If he's coming in from the left side and most of the space is over there, then he comes in and that left foot is already back, so if he has to break he's halfway open there. Most guys don't have that. We try to teach so much of it in the offseason, but it's tough. It's tough on special teams because most of the guys I've worked with this offseason, they're not here. Most of them were cut, or released, or practice squad or whatever. He's done a good job of paying attention in the offseason. He was probably well coached in college. I've said before and I've said it maybe two weeks ago, in my mind, he's got the greatest power any player could have. He's grateful. He's got the power of gratitude. I think that's true for any person, not just player. He takes advantage of every single thing that goes on. I think that sets him apart, really, apart from his skill. He has a long way to go to be defined as the best player anywhere, but he's certainly working his way that way."

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