Philadelphia Eagles News

Special Teams Coordinator Rory Segrest

On K David Akers' comments about his improved leg strength: "I think it's just the deal where Dave has got to trust his leg strength. He's a different kicker this year than he was last year. I think, the way he was hitting the ball last year, the kicks probably would have been good. He just got so much more powerful over the offseason here and when he hits the ball from those types of distances, the ball is just not moving as much. He's not going to have to adjust so much to the wind conditions. I think, right now, it's just a matter of him trusting that and realizing that he's got a lot more leg strength this year than he did last year."

On whether there are things he and Akers can work on before a game to help: "Sure, we go out and we work kicks in both directions. We try to consider what the wind conditions are at that time and I have a plan for him there. Obviously, the wind changes in terms of strength as you go through the course of a game. At that time, it felt like it was a pretty strong wind coming across. It was just a situation where we played it just slightly outside. We did feel like the ball would still move a little bit, but it didn't move at all. We obviously have a plan every time we go in to make sure we're adjusting to that."

On whether he changed the practice regiment for Akers at all after a tough game: "No. Dave, right now the main thing with him is just, again, understanding the condition of the game and making sure he realizes his leg strength is still there and maintaining that confidence. Just going out and making sure he's doing the same things he normally does and not trying to over-compensate one way or the other."

On the short kickoff away from Chicago KR Devin Hester after Hester had gotten a long return and what goes into the decision to do that: "(Head coach Andy Reid) and I talk about it during the course of a game there. Again, we felt like, just in terms of coverage-wise, they were doing some things there that we struggled with in terms of the read. I think that was the main thing. I think we got a couple of guys pinned in and he was able to get the sideline on us. The main thing on the kick was just trying to change it up on him and not allowing him to just continue to set up their returns exactly the way they wanted them and try to keep them off balance. With a returner like Hester, obviously you want the return team a little off balance on things."

On how David Akers added leg strength during the offseason and whether it's dangerous for a veteran to do so: "Not necessarily. He improved his core strength, he lost some weight and toned up on some things there. I think he just worked hard going into the season and, obviously, he was kicking during the same time, as well. It's just a matter, right now obviously, of him understanding that he does have that increased leg strength. On those distances, on those kicks, it's just not going to move as much."

On what prompted Akers to work on his leg strength: "I think the main thing was probably kickoffs. I think the strength on field goals was there somewhat (last year). I think his kickoffs, he wanted to improve a lot more in terms of his distance and hang there. I think that was his biggest consideration in terms of improved leg strength and things. I think that's one of the reasons he came out. He's been kicking off really well. He's been doing a good job in terms of distance and hang there and now it's just obviously the field goals. Right now, he's sitting there at 80 percent on his field goals. Unfortunately, the two misses were the longer kicks and that's the same thing that he struggled on last year, but we feel pretty good about just going back and maintaining that level of confidence and hitting them next time around."

On P Sav Rocca winning NFC Special Teams Player of the Month for September: "He's really worked hard to get to where he's at. For a guy that had never kicked a football before last year, coming in and he did struggle obviously early in the season last year, but he improved as the season went along. The same thing (as Akers), he spent a lot of time in the offseason just making sure he improved on his game. Again, I just think it's the work that he's put into it and it's beginning to pay off for him."

On what happened on the fumbled punt by PR DeSean Jackson at Chicago: "It should have definitely been a fair-catch ball. It was a short punt with a high hang, there was a guy in his face there and I think he was just a young guy trying to make something happen. He was trying to make a guy miss before he ever even got the ball in his hands. Unfortunately, that's an inexperience problem there and I think, obviously, it was a good learning experience for him, but we've just got to make sure. We knew the balls were going to be short. Going into the game they were short and high. We knew there were probably going to be fair-catch situations. (It's about) just not trying to do too much with it."

On whether the punt that Jackson let get by him was a result of being too cautious: "Yeah, unfortunately I believe it was. After putting the ball on the ground there, he wanted to make sure it didn't happen again and, obviously, it cost us in terms of field position. I think, going back out this week, just making sure we make our fundamental corrections and just getting in the right position at the right time, I think next time around, again it's a learning experience for him and hopefully he'll learn from it."

On whether Jackson lost the ball in the lights at all: "I think he saw the guy there in front of him at the last second. That was one of the reasons; it looked like he was falling back. Again, it was a really high ball there so his head and eyes were up, but at the same time, he saw that guy out of his peripheral vision."

On P Sav Rocca's holding and whether that's affected Akers at all: "I don't think so. I think it helps Dave, just knowing that it's going to be consistent. Last year, obviously, with Sav learning how to hold, there was a little bit of hesitation on Dave's part of just knowing that the ball's going to be held exactly as he likes it. This year, I think he knows it's going to be there and it's just a matter of making the right decisions on things."

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