Philadelphia Eagles News

ST Coordinator Bobby April

On the decision to keep P Chas Henry: "I think there were a lot of factors in that one. We charted everything through camp and in the preseason games. They both had an equal amount of punts, and both of them did pretty good. Chas had a shorter field, and that was one of the things that we really wanted to make sure that he did well. He wasn't as good as we needed him to be a year ago. He worked on the short game, really worked on it, and that was one big advantage that Mat had over him in terms of his career. Mat is one of the best at that, and we thought that Chas really improved in that area. Throughout camp, he actually punted a little bit better in field punts. Chas' get off time we wanted to get better, and he came back and it was much improved. They were close on a lot of issues, and we just felt Chas was the best for us and for our future. We went with him."

On how much holding was involved in that decision: "I think it's always big. That's the biggest play in football to me. That's the most important play. All the really gut check games and close games come down to that. I feel pretty confident that he was a little bit better holder. Not much, not much, but he had a little more nimbleness and dexterity with the ball. He was a little bit better setting it down and he got it down a little quicker. He gave Alex a little more opportunity to see it longer. It was a factor for sure. Mat is a good holder, but I just think that Chas is just a little bit better."

On whether WR Damaris Johnson will return punts: "Yes. He will be the punt returner."

On whether he has any concerns about Johnson's ball security: "I'm not specifically concerned about him. I'm always concerned about ball security on that play on the punt return team. It's the number one priority of the kick return team. I'm always concerned about it, always coaching it, and always trying to do things thinking about ball security. Specifically about him, he did have a couple of double catches in there. He also catches the ball really well. I think he's going to be fine."

On whether he has gone into a season with both a rookie punt returner and a rookie kick returner: "This is like last year with two rookie kickers. I don't think so. I'm not sure I ever had one. I don't think so, no."

On whether any of CB Brandon Boykin's special teams roles will change now that he has been named the team's nickel cornerback: "No, we're going to keep playing like he does unless coach makes a sudden change here, which he could at any time. We're going to try and use him as many plays as possible. This thing has changed a little bit where the culture says, 'Try not to get him out there very much.' But if the guy is really good, the culture ought to say, 'Try and get him out there as much as possible.' I don't ever think in those terms. (Head) Coach (Andy Reid) has to do what's best for the football team in how he puts everything in play. That's certainly from my perspective, I always want the absolutely best players out there."

On whether he sees Browns WR Joshua Cribbs in his sleep: "Boy, he's a good player. He hasn't played much in the preseason, but over the last eight or nine years, he has to be in everyone's top two or three as the best special teams player. He's got to be. He's a dynamic player. He can cover kicks. Boy, he's strong. He's tough and can return (kicks). He can do a lot of stuff. We talked about him today, and we talked about him yesterday as well as far as coverage, wrapping up, finishing the play. He's really good and he's fun to watch. If you're a football fan, he's one of the guys that you have to love watching as tough as he is and as physical as he is. I look at him that even though is a big threat, he's the guy to watch. I really like being in the game against him because you know you're going against a guy who is really going to compete and put his heart and soul into it."

On having LB Akeem Jordan in his coverage units: "The way these packages are now, they don't play (the whole game). If we have 65 defensive plays, the way all these packages and specialization are, especially with that position, he comes out a lot based on personnel. That personnel that he starts in is basically set up to play against one tight end, two wide receivers, and two backs. That formation is not used nearly as much as it was, even 10 years ago. He comes out a lot and consequently, we use those plays for special teams plays. He's really, next to Colt Anderson, our best special teams player a year ago."

On which teams S Jaiquawn Jarrett is involved in: "Jaiquawn Jarrett is on everything – punt, punt return, kickoff, and kickoff return. He's playing everything and is getting better all the time. I'm really hoping, soon, that his efforts and his professionalism are going to pay off for him. I think he's doing a really good job and I'm glad he's on our team."

On whether T King Dunlap's role will change on special teams: "When King started, and he did  start a couple of times last year, we did put him on the field goal block. He just didn't play as good. He's willing to do it, but he just doesn't have the same exuberance in his get off. He's not as sudden and he's more worn down – he has to be sudden because he's not by instinct or by nature really sudden because he's powerful, tall, and all that. When he's starting, he just didn't play as good so we're going to relieve him of that duty."

On getting S Colt Anderson back off PUP even though he has been ruled out for the next game: "He's been looking pretty good out there. I thought the guy, at least through the 12 games he played, was the best player that I've seen on tape last year. I'm prejudice, obviously. I thought he was the absolute best special teams player that I had seen in – he makes all our big plays. If he's not making it, he's creating the circumstances for someone else to make a successful play. The quicker we get him back, the better."

On what type of preseason K Alex Henery had: "A lot better than the year before, but not as good as his season last year. I think in camp for whatever reason, it may be more psychological than anything and those fields with the way they're sloped and the condition of those fields. He never seems to having the footing and the plant that he should have. He usually is a little bit off, but he was much better in camp than he was a year ago. Last year, we knew he was talented but he was way off. This year, he was pretty good – not great, but pretty good. He missed a couple of field goals this year in preseason. He didn't hit the ball very well on one of them, and you can say it was hold but it was always his responsibility to get it through the pipes. He can't help how it was moving or anything, and he doesn't do that, but you can see the ball was moving when he hit it. It's going to affect how you do that. The other day, he just mis-hit them. He hit a pinch in that one game for opening up and coming around the ball too quick, or being back a little too far on the ball and getting out in front of it and pushing everything to the left. He missed his kickoffs that way as well, and I think it was an aberration for him. It's constant, and they need to be constantly working on their game. Just constantly working on their games. He's no different."

On where S David Sims fits into his special teams plans: "I think he's a good player and he showed some toughness and abilty to move. He's not afraid to hit. I don't know exactly what is going to happen when the 53 gets reduced to 45. We have a couple of issues with a couple of guys knicked, particularly lineman. If he dresses, we are prepared to use him. We're also prepared if he doesn't dress. I'd like to see him go out there and play a good game against Cleveland. I think he's a good player and I'm looking forward to seeing him. He's only been here a week, so everything we do he hasn't been able to pick up on. There are certain things he can do since he knows his assignment and he's not linked with another teammate he can do well and we'll use him primarily in punt return and those types of things."

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