Philadelphia Eagles News

Special Teams Coordinator Bobby April

On whether he was surprised the Falcons kicked it to DeSean Jackson at the end of the game: "We tried to put him in a situation where they had to kick to him. As soon as they called that timeout, Coach said, 'get the punt return team ready.' So he was right on that. He knew we'd have a chance to get our return team out there with the time remaining. Later in that series, he said something about going for the block. We figured that they would try and kick it out of bounds and it'd be the normal deal. We brought in the corners and forced them to stay in the pocket, and there are pros and cons to that obviously. The downside is it's tough to set up for the return that way, but we could get it into DeSean's hands and maybe even force a bad punt so we'd have field position where we could go for the Hail Mary. The walk down into what we were presenting to them would've been real risky for them. Sometimes, you can't walk down that way and kick it out of bounds unless you really miss-hit it. Sometimes you can dictate where that ball goes, but you compromise the ability to do some things. I wasn't necessarily surprised but we thought we had another opportunity."

On whether it was a similar technique that they used against the Giants last season: "Against the Giants, we kind of brought the guys in. Of course, that game was tied. It was a little bit different situation but the time was really close. We brought the guys in and we walked them back out. If they had kicked that one out of bounds without the rush, we wouldn't lose the game. We still had a chance for overtime in that point so it was a little bit different. It didn't work out because we completed the pass in the end zone, but ended up with enough time and had the field position to take a shot at the end zone."

On whether K Alex Henery has the range to make a 63-yard field goal: "In that game, and you saw his kickoffs, he hit a 60-yarder in the pre-practice. I don't know if he rushed it as much as he was trying to get everything that he had into it. He certainly had a really fast get-off time. There have only been three guys who did it in the history of football. It's obviously pretty tough to do, but I think on a given day, he does have that. It's hard to say because we usually don't try from that distance. We go back as far as 60 sometimes, and he made one the other day. That dome is a pretty nice place to kick, too."

On whether RB/KR Dion Lewis will remain the primary kick returner: "I think Dion will continue to do it for a couple of reasons. I think he's really good at it, and I think right now he has a lot more experience. I think he's just going to keep getting better and better, he hadn't done it until this year. I think he's pretty good at it, and his judgment will get better and better as he goes. Generally, the running back or the returner makes it happen. They certainly have some great probability when we have people down there blocking. We have to block a little bit better for him, but he improved during that game. Each kick, he got a little bit better and of course we had that holding penalty that nullified his best return of the year. The kid knows how to run with the ball, and he's strong and he's tough. I think he can really be good. I think he can be a really good one."

On whether he thought there was a hold on one of the Dion Lewis returns: "I thought it was the right call. The guy reached his arm out and it was kind of a hook. It was unintentional and essentially wasn't even a grab. When it's that close to the ball and there is any kind of restriction, they'll make it. We have to be careful with our hands and we have to do a better job of getting in better position and using the proper technique, and then we won't have to worry about any of that."

On the Giants situation at punt returner after losing Domenik Hixon: "It's unfortunate because he's a really good player. He's a real quality player and plays on all their stuff. So for them, and particularly for him, that's a tough break. From what I understand, and we've looked at him over the years, he's a really quality person, too. That's a tough break. I don't know what they're going to do but I assume that Aaron Ross is going to be their guy. I know that Jerrel Jernigan is really talented and they drafted him for that position out of Troy. Boy, we really liked him, too. Sometimes that happens to guys, hopefully they're not traumatized too much and they'll have a good career and come back strong, just not this year and not this game against us. I don't know what they're going to do, but Ross and Jernigan are talented. We'll do what we have to do. Whether we're playing Hixon or not, we're going to try to do our best."

On how he felt when DeSean Jackson returned the punt for a TD as time expired last year against New York: "It was unbelievable. It was one of those deals where it was magical. I got a little nervous because it was a shanked punt, and the punter gets a lot of criticism for where he kicked it but he had to go over here and then kick the ball. In that situation, you only have a certain amount of time back there. He kind of miss-hit it, and when DeSean went over and picked it up, he broke on it pretty good. When he dropped it, I thought, 'Oh man, let's just recover it so that they don't have one last chance to score.' From the angle I was standing on, when he started up-field, you could see that there was a chance in there and he exploded. He went from zero-20 yards with a Deion Sanders-type explosion there. As soon as he got past the punter and by the time Jason Avant was making his block, I didn't really watch the rest of it. I was scanning the field for flags to make sure that play wasn't going to get called back. Man, it was an exciting play and really unbelievable. The other play in that game, and it kind of goes under the radar because DeSean trumped everything, was David's (Akers) onside kick to Riley Cooper. That was a tremendous play by both of them, and he just waited until the ball crossed over to make that catch. It got trumped, and that gave us the ball right back and then Mike (Vick) brought us down to score. We were down by 14 at the time. It was exciting. That has nothing to do with this game, though."

On Chas Henry's punt to the one yard-line against the Falcons: "That's what you hope for. That each area can capitalize on the other's weak area of play. That was big, and then we got the ball back at the 20-yard line and went in there and scored. There were two special teams plays, and of course the offense had to take it the 20 yards and you have to credit the defense, too. We had them at the one, and they punted from the two. In three downs, we only gave them a yard which gave us, no matter what, the ability to parlay that field position into something good for our offense. We went from punt to defense to punt return to offense, and that's how it should work."

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