Philadelphia Eagles News

Special Teams Coordinator Bobby April

On what he accounts for all the production in terms of fumble recoveries and blocked field goals thus far this preseason:"Fumble recoveries, in that case, because we didn't jar the ball loose, we didn't separate it from the ball, it was a little bit more taking advantage of their mistakes, hustling and being in position, where as soon as it dropped, we were on it. The other one, [S] Colt [Anderson] did a pretty good job of taking a path really close to the punt returner, knowing that his guy, if he wasn't aware of where the punt returner is, could run into him. I'm going to give Colt a little credit on that one. He didn't throw the guy into him necessarily, but he kept his path, he kept pushing toward the guy who was attempting to block him, so that's a little bit of a heads up play by him. Then the other ones, you know, if they build a position in that field goal protection, and the timing's right, that has greater strength than the rush team does. They have a greater opportunity to reach a stalemate than you do to get the objective of blocking a kick. So they were a little bit off in the way they deployed their formation. They leaned, or they didn't have the balance that they needed to take up all the space, but those guys also did a pretty good job, [CB] Asante [Samuel], of getting on through there and then the other kid is really fast. I mean, he made some plays on the punt return, holding up a single back, holding up. Unless you're just watching that you wouldn't know it. Man, that guy is really talented, [CB Dominique] Rodgers-Cromartie. Dominique is really talented. I think their talent, awareness, and hustle, for the most part, has made those big plays happen."

On losing 33 players to cuts and how much that puts everything up in the air:"Well, [jokingly] it's going to put it way up in the air because most of those guys are the ones I've been working with and the ones that have been playing, so they're competing for spots, and they're competing for spots through the special teams as well as the offense and defense. So not knowing what really is going to happen, there'll be some adjustments to our depth charts, there'll be an adjustment to who's playing. It's going to be interesting because it's a tight race in a lot of places."     

On whether it is unusual to have such high profile players on special teams:"Well times have changed a little bit. I coached Deion Sanders and he played on five areas, and I coached Rod Woodson and he played on five. The only one he didn't play on was the field goal protection. So it has changed a little bit over time but having high profile players, we've talked about this in the past, if you get out in space and you've got to make a play and you've got to beat the other guy in football, the more talented you are, the better the probability you'll beat him. There's a give and take on that, because you have to see how much it could deter from the rest of your team's success, and that's a lot of what today's football is about. So much is invested in those guys and it's what's best for the team, but certainly anytime you have a talented guy, [jokingly] you would rather have Barry Sanders one on one with somebody than [T] King Dunlap in the open field trying to avoid somebody. I mean, you know, I pick on him because he's the biggest guy on the team. The most talented guy is going to win, but you do have to, just like making the roster, you do have to figure what's the absolute best for the team in the whole deal and a lot of tough decisions for the head coach. A lot of tough decisions."

On his evaluation of the kicking game, K Alex Henery and P Chas Henry particularly:"I think they continue to improve. I think for where they are in their career, they're really doing well, I mean, really doing well. It's rare that rookies make the team, really. In most cases, rookies don't usually make the team, you know, the kickers and punters, so I think both of them are doing really good. I think they're going to continue to get better and better. I just see them, a lot of talent, and them reaching their potential, and their potential is really high, and where they're at is pretty darn good. I think, like anybody else, the nemesis of the kickers and punters is consistency, and everybody deals with that, and they certainly have to as well."

On how much it has helped their development that they have only had themselves in camp:"I think it has helped them a lot. I think, you know, when you come into camp and you're the rookie, sometimes there's just a harder acclimation to the squad when the guys that are around all the time really don't want you on the squad, you know, because you're trying to beat them out. It's a little bit isolated, more than the other positions, because it's just one spot, it's just one guy. So I think it's been a little easier, it's been a little more comfortable for them, it's been a little easier to go at their pace. They also haven't had to kick an enormous amount, and on game day they bring a pretty fresh leg in there, which is important. The preseason games, heck, they're important in how you perform. They're important that you do well, for them and for the team. It's important our team wins the games, you know, we're trying to win them. They get every rep, and sometimes they haven't had enough reps, but that's just the way the game plays out."     

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