Philadelphia Eagles News

Special Teams Coordinator Rory Segrest

On the two touchdown returns vs. New England and whether they will provide confidence for the special teams unit: "I think it provides a little bit of confidence for our players, in knowing that we have the capability of getting that big return for the team. Both from an offensive and defensive standpoint, creating that excitement on the sideline of, now all of the sudden it could potentially become a bigger play for us."

On the key to being a good returner: "There are a lot of different things that go into it. I think, right now, one of the biggest components that we have back there is speed. We've got guys that have the potential to stretch the field. They have the potential to change some angles, once they get out and running. That's one factor. Obviously, the vision, the ability to break tackles, the ability to make some guys miss out in space; just a lot of different ingredients. But, again, right now, I think the speed is what we have going for us."

On whether S/KR Quintin Demps is the #1 kick returner: "At this point, yes."

* On whether the New England game will change the way other teams approach the Eagles return game:*
"We hope so. That's one of the things, when you do have potential to stretch the field like that, all of the sudden teams start to cover a little bit differently. They over-play some lanes and things, and start to over-stretch a little bit. It is going to give us the potential to open some running lanes up inside. So, hopefully we can see that as the season goes along."

On whether WR/PR DeSean Jackson will be the #1 punt returner if he is also starting at wide receiver: "Yeah, he's going to be our starting punt returner."

* On how much P Sav Rocca has improved since last year:*
"You know, Sav's really worked hard to improve his game. I think he's beginning to get a lot better understanding of what we're asking of him per situation. He's just really come a long way. He's worked hard and tried to detail his work there. We're pretty happy with were he's at, at this point."

* On whether Rocca spent most of the offseason in Philadelphia:*
"He was here for a little while. He went back to Australia for a little while, as well. He was in both places."

* On whether certain players are just natural returners:*
"Yeah, I think so. Just having all of the ingredients that it takes. Again, like I said, one of the main things that we have going for us is speed. You don't necessarily have to have the speed to be able to get a good return; a lot of times it takes that speed to be able to pull away and create touchdown returns, going the full field. You see a lot of great returners that just have that vision, they have that change of direction. So, a lot of different components go into it."

On whether the great players have an instinct for returning: "Absolutely."

On what facet of the special teams unit needs the most work: "It's hard to pinpoint, at this time, we've got a lot of work to do still. We've got a lot of things that we need to improve on. This past game, I thought our kickoff coverage was lacking a little bit. We had a lot of young guys who made some mistakes, as far as their leverage on the ball, as far as reading the schemes and things there. I think once we get the full group of starters out there, we'll be in good shape. We're just trying to get as many young guys as we can on the field and get them the experience that they need going into the regular season."

On how you balance punting the ball as far as possible vs. not out-kicking the coverage: "That's one of the things that he [Sav Rocca] was really trying to grasp last year. At first, he came in and that was one of the things. He thought we wanted him to just punt it as far as he could. You have to have that aspect of hang time as well, depending on the distance of the kick. There are situations where we just let him go after it and get the distance on it. But, on a normal field punt, you want to make sure that, obviously, your coverage is tied in and you're able to hang the ball up there long enough for them to get down and cover and not create that separation and give the returner room to get started."

* On whether the opposing returner has an effect on how you punt the ball:*
"Oh absolutely. Whether it be directional, whether it be trying to kick it out of bounds, whether it be right down the middle just trying to get the distance on it, you always have to take into consideration who you've got back there catching the football."

On Rocca punting to the "coffin-corner" at NE, and whether that's a change in philosophy for the team: "Not necessarily a change in philosophy. It's something that we've been working on. We've been trying to get him to iron out a lot of different areas of his game. Just this past week, we spent a lot of time working on directional punting. Sav's got the ability to hang the ball up with a middle pooch. Again, it depends on the situation of the game, what we want to get accomplished, and by who's back there catching. A lot of guys will bring the ball out, it could be on the five-yard line and they'll still try to get the return. That type of guy, we want to kick it out of bounds."

On how you balance players like WR Hank Baskett who play key roles in both special teams and offense/defense: "There's been a lot of emphasis this year on special teams, in terms of who's on the field. Offensively and defensively, we want to be smart in terms of guys taking a certain number of reps and them being too tired to be productive on special teams. But, right now, those guys know that it's going to be an emphasis and they're going to have to do their part. Obviously, Hank's going to be one of our special team leaders. He was our production points leader last year. He knows his role and he's ready to do that."

On what makes Baskett so valuable on special teams: "I think it's just his understanding of what [needs] to get done. He's got the experience now. He understands how to make blocks, how to set up on things, he understands in terms of coverage, he understands returns and where he needs to be on the play; all the different components that go into having that certain level of experience."

On whether RB Tony Hunt played in all four special teams units at NE: "Yeah, we got him in, I believe, on all four phases there."

On how Hunt looked: "He did OK. He's got some room for improvement there, obviously. He's trying hard and he's making progress each week."

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