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Philadelphia Eagles News

Special Teams Coordinator Rory Segrest

On KR Quintin Demps' first kickoff return against Seattle last week:"That's one of the things we've been discussing, is making sure he is trusting his blocking and getting the ball up the field. We have had some pretty good blocking. The main thing is working on the timing and making sure he is hitting it up in there to time out with the blocks being made. He took a little bit more of an aggressive approach on that first one and we are hoping he can continue to make sure he has that confidence hitting it up in there every time."

On PR DeSean Jackson's good returns against Seattle:"I think our corners did a really good job. We ran a lot of singles during the course of the game. That way we could get eight guys in the box and make sure we were blocking our guys inside. It just gave him some room to get started. That was one of the main things with DeSean—he has the ability to get the ball going in space. I thought we did a good job blocking and I thought he did a good job running it."

On whether he thinks special teams will be a big factor in the game against the Giants:"They're a really good unit. They are solid in every phase, they have good returners—both kick return and punt return. Their punter, (Jeff) Feagles, does a great job in terms of trying to pin you down in a corner. He can punt in either direction. They do a nice job of pinning guys down. (It's the) same thing on kickoffs; they hit some really high, hanging balls up there and it makes it tough. By the time you catch it, their coverage team is already down there. We definitely have our work cut out for us this week and it's a great challenge for us. I think our guys are excited about stepping up to the challenge."

On Giants P Jeff Feagles and K John Carney:"Both of those guys are definitely weapons for them. With Feagles, you look at the punt return average they are giving up; they are really solid there. A lot of that has to do with him and the placement of the football. They've been able to pin you in the corner. At the same time, they have a snapper, (LB) Zak DeOssie. They signed him as a linebacker and he is their leading tackler on special teams right now. A lot of times you go into a game and you don't have to account for a snapper. It's a different case in his situation. With Carney, it's the same thing on kickoffs. He is a weapon for them on kickoffs, as well. With the hang time that he can get, it puts you in a bind. By the time you catch the ball, with guys in your face, you have to make sure you are getting on and sustaining blocks to give yourself a chance to get started in the return."

On how you address a player like DeSean Jackson after he muffs a punt, without taking away from his aggressiveness:"I think game experience is going to be one of the biggest factors there. As often as you go through and coach it and try to teach those coaching points, unfortunately, a lot of that has to do with game experience. I thought it was a good idea on his part to go catch the football; it just should have been a fair catch situation rather than trying to get a return out of it. (On a fair catch), they have to allow you access to go catch the football. Again, it's just a learning curve for him and hopefully we can get those mistakes corrected quickly."

On how often RB Brian Westbrook gives people advice about returns:"Well I think Brian tries to give little tidbits to the guys. He is a great leader for the football team. He will give them advice. Any time he sees something that he can point out to them and give them a general direction on things, he does so. Brian helps us out in that regard."

On coaching a player who is daring and aggressive on punt returns:"There is such a great fine line there between trying to tell a guy to be aggressive and making sure he is right on line, in terms of making those decisions. I think the major factor there is going to be the game experience. Just him being in each situation and realizing what we are trying to get accomplished, in terms of that situation we are in. Whether it is a pooch punt, a field punt, the hang time of the ball, even—having that mental clock and knowing the hang time and what kind of room he may have. The major factor there is just going to be game experience."

On K David Akers hitting all four of his field goals against Seattle:"It was definitely great to see David have that kind of success. I think the major thing there is that he has maintained his level of confidence and obviously we maintained our confidence in him. It was unfortunate that he missed some long field goals early in the season—three of them over 50 yards. We know he is a great kicker, he knows he can make those kicks. He's had the leg strength all season. He hasn't come up short on any of them; just kind of mis-aimed on a couple of them early. We feel confident about where he is right now and hopefully he can continue to have that kind of success for the remainder of the season."

On the number of kicks being made from 50-or-more yards:"There are a lot of great kickers in the league. It is a hit-and-miss deal. I think a lot of it has to do with the amount of shots you get at and knowing the wind conditions and weather conditions, in terms of when you put your kicker in that situation there. Like I said, we would have loved for Dave to have made those kicks. At the same time, he just aimed a little off on them. We definitely feel like he has the ability of getting the job done and we have every bit of confidence in him."

On the number of touchbacks Akers has kicked:"It has definitely helped us out, in terms of average starting field position of our opponents. If you look at our kick return average that we are giving up, obviously we gave up a couple big returns there. It is kind of a direct correlation. The deeper kicks you have, the more yardage you are going to give up. Ultimately, the main thing we look at is average starting position of our opponent. I think right now we are 12th in that and we are sitting in pretty good shape on things. A lot of that has to do with Dave getting the ball downfield and hanging it up there for us to get down and cover."

On using one player to block the other team's gunner on punt returns:"The risk there is obviously that you are one on one with a guy in space. We have a lot of confidence in our corners being able to make those blocks. We study it each week and make sure we have the matchups we want. It's something we don't do very often. We felt like it was a pretty good matchup for us this past game. You also have to look where the tackles are coming from. They had made a lot of tackles with their guys in the box, so we wanted to make sure we got a hat on those guys to give us the opportunity to block their best cover guys and give us a chance to get started on a return."

On Quintin Demps' kick coverage abilities:"He definitely has helped us there. He is a defensive player, he plays fast, he understands the defensive side of the ball. He is a contain player in our scheme most of the time. We change him up on occasional things. He can get down and set a fast edge and he is a physical player. Whether or not it is a single block or he is getting put into the wedge, he can set a good edge for us on things most of the time and give us the opportunity to let everybody play fast inside."

On Demps' ability to down punts at the goal line:"He has a good feel for that. Obviously, (P) Sav (Rocca) has helped him, as well. Sav has hung the ball up there well and gotten some good placement on it. Our gunners have gotten down the field versus the singles and put themselves in a position to make the plays."

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