Philadelphia Eagles News

Special Teams Coordinator Bobby April

On the importance of capitalizing in certain opportunities given all the young players on the special teams unit: "Special teams plays are just huge always because it either involves field position, scoring points, defending the lead, defending the kicker. So, they're all big. When you have a gaffe in that area, it's generally detrimental to your team in terms of probability of being successful, at least on the next series. You have a chance to down it at the one, I mean, that's huge. The probability is the next team that scores is the team that punted the football. So, we try to take advantage of those. In fact, that's the best opportunity for a punt team to contribute to the win. When you're punting down in there, you've gotten the good field position. The last play of that offensive series, and, or, the first play of that defensive series is – you've got that field position some kind of way. You want to take advantage of it and parlay it into something even better. It's your mission to go out there and do it, and when you don't – a little '60s lingo – it's a bummer. And then on the onside kick, obviously, that puts the game away and if you don't make the play, then you're under a lot of stress. The defense, fortunately, boy, they came up like champs because that's a tough deal. In their place, when they've come back that quick and then get that kick to then take them four plays and out, that's a tremendous asset to have a defense like that. The probability of doing that is not great. They did it and we were able to win the game because of that."

On whether he's seen key blocks or anything close to breaking something in punt and kick coverage when going back and looking at the tape: "Not really. Generally, it's kind of like, on the submarine tour, one wrong all wrong. That's the nature of returning. One guy can be wrong and everybody else is perfect. But I don't see it like, 'oh, man, if we would have gotten this one guy.' No, I think the biggest disappointment on that was when they punted down from the one-yard line. And he got a great punt. That's kind of a hard to stop the great punt. We did pressure one side and then we had a penalty on it. They turned the field on us, and that was a huge play. The penalty was a huge play because it was pre-catch. You get it from the catch. He had a 66-yard punt. But I don't think there's anything. I think we just have to do a better job as a unit. I think (CB) Ellis (Hobbs) is running good. I think he's nickel and diming his way up and making a couple things. We're making a lot of mistakes. Making a lot of, you know, mistakes where we're not really adapting and adjusting because you never know what you're going to get. The longer a play lasts, the greater the chaos. I mean, if you quarterback sneak it, there's not a whole lot going on. Quarterback runs around, scrambles for 15 seconds, boy, there's a lot of adapting and adjusting a lot of people have to make. That's the kickoff every play and that's the kickoff return every play. Consequently, a lot of our stuff has to go along with our ability to adapt, adjust and improvise. Like marching in order is one thing for discipline, but when you actually hit the beach, you're not really worried about your shoes being shined. You've got to adapt, adjust and improvise. That's where we're at, that's where we're at on gameday. When we hit the beach, we've got to make the right decisions. So, we've just got to improve on it. I have to help them improve and that's just what we have to do. That's where we're at and that's where we need to go to get better because we certainly need to help our team. We're not providing enough, I think we're getting better, but I don't know if we're providing enough. Like you said, the kick coverage was good, but it's got to stay that way. There's not a whole lot of permanence in this league; any part of it. That's got to continue. We can't rest on it. Now we got the kickoff coverage squared away and we got to fight like crazy to keep it going."

On what he's going to do personnel-wise, now that WR Hank Baskett is gone and whether he's going to implement RB Joique Bell on the special teams unit: "Well, you know, he doesn't know a whole lot about what we're doing. We've had him this week and we've worked with him a little bit on our off day and he's been practicing and things like that. He'll play on some of the stuff. We got him on a unit or two, but he's not going to be on all four units to start with. He doesn't have the wherewithal of what we're doing to do it. We have 10 other guys besides the kicker or the returner that I feel confident in that can do the job."

On what happened on the onside kick other than WR Riley Cooper not catching the ball and whether there was anything else that could have happened: "I probably just don't know because I don't have enough knowledge to know because I don't want to say if Riley would have caught it, then all our problems are solved. At this point, I can't totally identify anything besides that, except that maybe he kicked it really good. But we can't control that."

On whether there was a breakdown anywhere else on the onside kick: "Not in alignment or anything else, no. No."

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