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Philadelphia Eagles News

Special Teams Coordinator Rory Segrest

On what he saw out of the special teams in the game at Pittsburgh: "We didn't do nearly as well as we'd like there. We were trying to get a lot of guys reps and, as a matter of fact, we had the starters in for the first kickoff and then we started subbing from that point. We got a lot of young guys some reps; a lot of new guys in there. We're just trying to get some talent evaluated. It was a good opportunity to get that done."

On what conclusions he drew from WR/PR DeSean Jackson's return ability: "It was a learning experience for him there. We didn't give him quite the blocking he needed outside. We got beat one time on the outside of our perimeter. He had a little bit of a seam there. I think, from a return standpoint, he's gauging the speed now and realizing it's a little bit different. He tried to run backwards and get the edge on one of the returns and it cost him some yards there. It's all a learning experience and that's what the preseason is all about."

On position battles and the importance of a player being able to play special teams: "It's huge at this point. We've got guys that have to be major contributors. We're out to improve ourselves on special teams and that's really an area of emphasis this year; just making sure we get the guys out there that can give us the best reps and provide us the best chance of success."

On how difficult it is to form a special teams unit before the final 53-man roster has been set: "It's difficult, at this point. Right now, we kind of have an idea of who's going to be out there. Again though, with these preseason games, we're trying to roll some guys in. Some of the younger guys who we may not have seen in the game setting, we're just trying to get them the reps out there, but it is difficult. We're trying to roll guys through and just see how they handle situations."

On whether DeSean Jackson needs to use more than just his pure speed to be a good returner: "I think that's part of it. You see a linebacker in college and, a lot of the times, guys like DeSean can outrun them on the edge. Now, all of the sudden, linebackers are a little bit faster at this level. He's learning it and realizing that he's got to get the ball up the field. But, at the same time, I think he's catching on pretty quick and realizes what he's got to get done and I think he'll make some improvements here as we get through the preseason."

On how much of a difference adding one or two veterans like LB Rocky Boiman to special teams can make: "They're huge. You look at a guy like (S) Quintin Mikell who we've had the last couple of years and is just a guy who's a veteran guy, he's been around, he understands how to read blocking schemes and read returns. He's a guy that can get in there and be a factor in the coverage. Right now, these guys are new guys. Guys that we've just brought in and they're still learning our system a little bit; learning how to read those schemes and things. We felt pretty good about them at this point, especially Rocky. I think he did a pretty decent job there. We've just got some things we need to continue to improve on, but I think he's getting better."

On whether S J.R. Reed will play a different role on special teams this year: "Not necessarily. We've got Booker back returning. J.R. did some returns last year, but J.R's a guy we can get as an off-returner; get some reps there. He can see the field, just like a returner, and provide some lead blocking on the wedge, coming up through the wedge. J.R's also a good core guy for us. He's on punt team, punt return, and kickoff, as well. He's a guy that has some veteran experience there and I feel like he can get us some good reps in our core."

On what he's seen from FB Jed Collins: "He just went out and tried to execute his techniques. He wasn't perfect, by any mean, as you can expect from any rookie being out there, but we felt like he was further along than the other two at this point. And, again, as we continue going through the preseason, we'll continue to evaluate that. Jed did a nice job with that and we're pleased with where he's at."

On RB/KR Lorenzo Booker's play at Pittsburgh: "I think he was trying to do a little bit too much his first time out. The first kick return, as a matter of fact, we were running right up the middle and he was weaving before he ever got to the wedge. We had a good crease there. We had some good blocking on the first kick return and it just took too long for him to get there. It was a situation where we were able to watch the film and he could see what needs to get done the next time out. We feel like he's going to make progress there and we'll get the returns as they continue to develop."

On whether the mistakes were because it was the first time Booker had ever returned kicks in a game: "It was the first time he's ever had a kick return in a game, so it's to be expected. He's trying to do a little bit too much. He wants to get that big return. He's just got to trust the scheme and get up behind the wedge and get going with it. I think he will his next time out."

On Booker's reaction watching the tape when he saw he was late arriving at the crease: "I think it was kind of surprising to him that the crease was there and, again, it's just a matter of trusting that it's going to be there and not trying to do too much in his position. Without having that experience, it's just one of those situations where the more times he can get it done, the more times he can see it and trust it, the better he'll get at it."

On why the team would bring in players who didn't have prior experience as returners: "In terms of punt return, we've got DeSean back there. That's what he's done (for years). The only guy we brought in (who didn't have experience) was Booker. We've got several guys back there and we felt like Booker, once he got in, we were expecting him to be a pretty good core guy for us - which he is. Here in camp, he's also been the best kick returner. Again, out here during practice, it's easy to get up behind the wedge. You know things are going to be there as it sets up. Then, you get in game situations and, again, he's just trying to do a little bit too much. We feel like he's going to be able to get the job done and do a good job for us as the season goes along."

On whether they tried to bring in someone who did have experience: "We brought Booker in. We brought (WR) Jamal Jones in who's another good kick returner there, as well; we've been repping him during practice. Of course, we've got J.R. (Reed) and we've got Buck (RB/KR Correll Buckhalter) as well. And, DeSean is going to get some kick returns at some point for us. We feel like we've got a few guys that can get it done. Right now, trying to rep some young core guys—because you've got to have that blocking as well—we know they're going to make some mistakes and we just have to continue to make progress in that area."

On his comment that he rotated guys heavily in the game at Pittsburgh: "Absolutely. As we go into this next game, we're going to have our starting units out there just a little bit longer. At the same time, you've still got to get a guy more than one shot. We kind of feel like we know that certain guys can do certain things for us, but there are still a few guys that we've got questions on. We need to rep those guys in and make sure we've got a good evaluation on them."

On what rookies have impressed him: "(LB) Andy Studebaker did a nice job for us. It felt like he was aggressive, playing downhill, and I feel like he's going to be able to give us some things there. Jed Collins as well. Jed's a guy that tries to detail his work and he does a good job."

On who the second option at punter returner is: "Right now, (S) Quintin Demps is our next guy. He was the backup we had in there. We got him a couple reps there in the fourth quarter. He's pretty solid fielding the ball. He tried to get the edge there, we actually had a good return set up for him. We just missed one block on the perimeter which forced him back up inside. He's a guy that's got big-play potential back there, as well."

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