Philadelphia Eagles News

Special Teams Coordinator Bobby April

On whether CB Ellis Hobbs will work as kick returner against the Giants: "He's going to work today on the kick returns. He's been working on the kick returns. He hasn't not worked on them, just (CB) Jorrick Calvin has taken them (in games), and now that he's coming back, (head) coach (Andy Reid) has got to weigh that out, really, how he wants to use Ellis on defense. If Ellis' time is reduced to some extent I'm sure there's a greater probability he'll be our returner. I'm not sure he hasn't totally decided on that, so he'll have to make that final decision. (Hobbs) is certainly a good returner that we like, and I think there's a very good chance he could return."

On whether Calvin is having ball security issues: "He's had a couple of ball security issues. Anybody could fumble that ball. You just have to secure it. Guys are flying down, they reach out and knock it loose. You just have to have it more secured. That position can't ever afford to lose the ball, it's too big of a play in almost any situation. That was a critical situation, too, because they had just scored two touchdowns in less than four minutes, I think. Then they kicked off and that was the kickoff after those two scores, so it was a critical time. But it's always a critical time, so we've got to work with him more and he's got to concentrate more, and I think he'll be fine."

On whether the weather contributed to Calvin's fumble: "Well, I think it did. It was raining at that time, the ball was already slick, because those new balls are different than the others balls. They're tougher to grip, everything. They're a tougher deal. But, that's part of the deal. He's going to get a kicking ball, so everybody's got to hang onto it a little bit better. Like I said, anybody could have fumbled that ball. Somebody flying in there punching it, but it's something that's got to be an attitude, not just an occasional act. So he's got to do better on that, and I think he will."

On whether it's a focus issue or a technique issue for Calvin: "Well, there's a technique to it, too. There's a certain way he needs to hold it and a certain way he needs to protect all sides of it. And looking at the coaching tape it was hard to tell that that was an issue, but every guy, every play could hold the ball better. Kind of like the Minnesota-Saints game last year where there was just eight or nine fumbles or whatever by Minnesota. You just see the guy and the ball's coming out. I can see that happening every game, to be honest. It doesn't. It's amazing there's not as many fumbles. To me, it's always amazing. I tell the players that all the time, that we can't get more fumbles is amazing in this game, because most ball carriers do not secure the ball like somebody's trying to get it. That's not an excuse. Calvin's got to secure the ball."

On how K David Akers is managing to kick so many touchbacks this season: "Besides the fact that he trains year round, and he does everything and anything you can do to improve. I don't know. Kickers have pretty good longevity, anyway. I know what you're saying, that strength to kick it. I don't know. I've only been around him a year, but what I can see is that he's got a tremendous work ethic. He trains properly, his flexibility's good, he's working on his nutrition, all of the things to be in top physical condition, he does year round. So, he probably hasn't aged as much as most guys, because he's diligent about his work."

On how S Colt Anderson played on special teams against the Redskins: "Did fantastic. Fantastic. He had five tackles. I can't remember how many blocks—a number of blocks. He had three knockdowns. Did a fantastic job."

On whether he has any contingency plans for kick returning: "Well, Jorrick (Calvin) will work in there and (RB) Jerome Harrison has worked since he's been here, as well. Hasn't been used in a game, but he'll work in there, as well. And (WR) Jeremy Maclin's worked all year, too, just at practice, he hadn't done anything in the game, but he's been catching and returning kicks and punts in practice. Not a ton of reps, but he's gotten pretty good reps, more punt reps than kickoff reps, but he's gotten quite a few, so he's always a possibility. And not long ago he was a premier college returner, so he can return. He hasn't lost that skill, we just haven't used him, because we have guys and his role on offense—there's a need for us."

On whether there is any chance Harrison or Maclin return kicks on Sunday night: "Again, coach (Reid) is going to make that decision. He's weighing some things out, I know right now. And maybe, I don't know if you guys talked to him today or not, but maybe I'm sure the next time he talks to you, he'll have figured out how he's even going to do the dress squad. There are a number of different things with different players that he's got to get squared away. And then Hobbs has got to be fully recovered, as well, which, again, I think he's right there close, but (head athletic trainer) Rick (Burkholder) and the coach will decide that."

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