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Philadelphia Eagles News

Special Teams Coordinator Bobby April

On his thoughts about stopping San Francisco KR/WR Ted Ginn Jr.: "Yeah, he's a really good player. I was in the same division as him for a number of years. [He] probably has had more returns called back [and if they hadn't] he'd probably be more, well definitely he would be more prolific. I bet he had three or four at Miami called back because he's really, jeez he's just a really good player; it would really help our football team win the game by stopping him. So that's our mission, that's what we have to do, but it's a real big challenge because he's about as good as it gets."

On his thoughts about the punt return game, specifically WR DeSean Jackson: "Well, there haven't been a whole lot of opportunities [and] it's just kind of worked out that way. We didn't have a whole lot of opportunities in the preseason either for some reason. So DeSean's always got the ability to break one [and] we have to do a good job of trying to get people to keep the ball away from him. You know, DeSean's average is not up real high, but our opponent net is pretty good; I think we're ranked sixth in the league in opponent net. [And] that's really the mission of that team. When they punt, you get the ball as close to that line of scrimmage as you possibly can, and if you can pass it, it's even better, but you get it as close as possible. So our return average is down, but he's a major reason why that opponent net punt is so high and so good."

On his thoughts about the execution on the "mayday" field goal at the end of the first half against the Giants: "The guys did a really good job, I thought they got out there as expedient as you could get. The guys on the sideline were totally aware of the situation. [Head] coach [Andy] Reid did a good job of informing them and myself what was up, and when we ran out onto the field I thought the composure of the kicker and the punter was outstanding. We had a player that kind of stayed on the field for a little longer than he needed to. And I think [P] Chas [Henry] did a good job of watching the clock and watching him get off the field. And [that takes] a lot of poise to make that play. So I think, both the holder and the kicker had a lot to do with the success of that play but so did everybody. I mean, they got down there, they got set, we had to pause a little longer so you can stand in that stance a little too long, but I thought it was going to be a real momentum builder for us in the second half going in at halftime. Anytime you score on the last play of the half you have something going into the locker room to give you a little more momentum than the other team. And I certainly thought it did that. So I was really happy with the play, real happy with it."

On how he determines whether WR Jeremy Maclin or Jackson will return punts: "Well, you know, DeSean is the main guy and whenever he needs to be spelled we put Maclin back there. But we have every…you know Maclin's kind of had, in terms of the returns, it just hasn't worked out where he's gotten the reps as a returner being here because there's been some people here that are good and he's been a primary receiver. And there's been at least a consideration, too, if someone can do it as well. But he can return, but the primary [returner] to answer you point blank, is when DeSean is gassed a little bit from that particular offensive series, or maybe they're even talking to him about adjusting a pattern or something with [QB] Michael Vick, there's a consideration; we have every confidence in Maclin. I mean, Maclin's a great punt returner. One of these days he's going to get an opportunity and he's going to take it because this guy was one of the most prolific returners in college ever. And he still has the same skillset so he should be good."

On his thoughts about 49ers K David Akers experience kicking at Lincoln Financial Field: "Well this will be interesting for Dave. I'm sure he's been having this day circled for a long time, and it should be a neat thing for him. You know, we have a great rapport with him, the whole organization does, but he's a competitor on Sunday so we can't wish him too much good luck."

On how rookie K Alex Henery has handled the spotlight of being the one to replace Akers: "Fantastic. I mean, I think he's everything we thought he would be, to be honest. He's a cool customer. He has confidence. He's highly skilled. He keeps getting better every day, too, as we go through the weeks from training camp to every day, every day, every day. I mean, he has a chance to really be good and he's actually a little stronger than I thought. You know, he didn't kickoff in college so there wasn't a whole lot of data on him and he's doing pretty good."

On whether CB Curtis Marsh or S Jaiquawn Jarrett can pick up the slack on special teams for injured CB Brandon Hughes: "Yeah, coaches will decide who will dress, but both of those guys are really good players. So I'm anxious to see them get in there to be honest because I think a lot of both of them. I like them both, I like their professionalism, their maturity, their skill level – it's high, it's going to get better. I mean, they're like any other guy. These guys are used to going out there and competing with a group of very good 18 to 20 year olds, and now all of a sudden they're competing with the absolute, very best of about a 10-13 year span of the very best of the very best. So there's a natural growing process and they're going through it right now. But the more they play, the more they play on teams the better they'll get."

On whether Marsh has an advantage over Jarrett because he is a cornerback: "A little bit, yeah, a little bit. He's a little more of a perimeter guy, a little bit more on the edge on some of those things. So for special teams a little bit, but Jaiquawn, we just need to get him out there. And he'll eventually get his opportunity, and when he does I think he's going to be a really good player. I think he's going to be good. I mean, he works at it and he's tough and he can do the one thing that is really a skill that is overlooked sometimes, I mean the guy can really tackle. And say everybody ought to be able to do that that plays on defense but it's a tough skill to have and to get and to acquire. And so, I look forward to when both of those guys play for our football team because I think they were both very good picks and they'll both bring a lot to the organization."

On what he is going to do to combat the special teams game of the 49ers: "Yeah, they have a lot of really good players. All of their specialists are good. I mean, [TE/LS Brian] Jennings, the snapper, 12 years maybe 14, I think it's 12, excellent snapper; [P] Andy Lee, came out of Pitt [and] been great since then; talked already about [Ted] Ginn and then David [Akers]. So they're strong. I mean, they have a lot of good players. They've done a good job. Their record is, over the last few years has not been great but their organization has done a good job of procuring talent and it shows. So it's a big challenge for us. We have to help the probability of winning the game and we have to make plays on our end and we have to stop their plays. That's the only answer, we just have to be more prepared and that's on my end, and the players have to absorb that preparation, and then they have to perform better than the 49ers and that will give us a greater probability. And the other way, if we don't, the 49ers will have a greater probability of winning the game. It's as simple as that. Simple, but not easy as Marv Levy used to say."

On whether he has any trick plays up his sleeve: "That was the greatest special teams play I've ever seen, it really is, I mean it's the greatest play. [Former Eagles special teams coordinator] Dave Toub who coached here sure designed it, and then the execution of it by [Chicago Bears WR] Johnny Knox to run back, make that centerfield turn, stick two hands out right near the sideline, and catch it by reaching, then stay in bounds, man that was…I'm sorry they had a hold on it because that was a thing of beauty. I mean, that was just a beautiful play. And if we do, if we do, I'm going to exercise my Miranda rights - what I say may and can be used against me. So I'm not going to tell anything that we have up our sleeve."

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