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Philadelphia Eagles News

ST Coordinator Bobby April

On his level of concern regarding K Alex Henery: "Well, he's got to make those kind of field goals. I think (the time was) 9:07 when he missed it and we were down by six. So, you know, for nine minutes, our offense had to get a touchdown to take the lead instead of having the security, if that's the right word, to not have to get it all the way down there. Those special teams (plays) are big plays; they're really big plays and that was one. We're counting on him to do that type of thing. We're counting on him to accomplish that and when he doesn't, there's a disappointment level. I don't necessarily have a concern for him because I think he's a really, really good player. Really good. I think he can have a great career. So, guys do miss. Guys do miss. So, he's not infallible, but I'm not concerned about infallibility. I think he'll be fine. There's a couple things that happened over the course of training camp and everything else. Working with two holders is never really great because there's adaptions and adjustments that you have to make sort of on the fly. You can develop a couple of deals, not that it was anybody's fault, (P) Chas' (Henery) or (former Eagles P) Mat's (McBriar). It's just the fact that they were different holders and he's the guy adjusting to them. So, I think he's going to be. I know he's going to be fine, I don't only think he's going to be fine. He's a really good player and one miss, he did have the other miss in a preseason game, but again he's not infallible. Guys do miss those things. They're not 100 percenters."

On how getting S Colt Anderson back will help his units: "Well, first of all, getting him back is a success story because the trainers and himself had to work a long time to get this achievement done and he is ready to come back and play. That was a long process and (head athletic trainer) Rick (Burkholder) and his staff and Colt put in a lot of work to get that done. That's a great reward for the work. Then, the production that he has, we haven't had anybody in the three years I've been here that has been as productive as he has. (LB) Akeem Jordan had a four tackle game the other day, but Colt is, as far as big plays go, that type of thing, having that kind of production is invaluable."

On what makes Anderson so good on special teams: "Well, he's a really, really instinctive player, first of all. He plays with a tremendous tenacity and he's a smart player. He's just a really good player. He kind of comes batteries included. He's just ready to play. I remember when we looked at him on film for Minnesota when he was on the practice squad and the first time (general manager) Howie (Roseman) showed me the film, I went, 'Gee whiz, that guy. We can get this guy?' He was just all over, a terror. It was our good work and good fortune that we have him. So, we want to parlay that now into some more production that he's given us and he's a leader. He's a leader and he's a leader by example. He's one of those guys, really confident, yet humble and that's exactly what you want in a person or a player."

On whether Anderson will play in every phase of special teams: "Yes. He'll play everything."

On whether there is any concern about Anderson having missed the preseason and coming right into game action: "I think we would like it the other way, but you know, when we picked him up two years ago, he hadn't played in seven weeks and we put him right in. Would it be better if he had? Yeah. But if it was a concern, I don't think our trainers or our doctors would have cleared him. That's how I look at it. They say he's 100 percent. If he wasn't, we'd wait a couple more weeks until he was."

On whether the team is seeing the results of P Chas Henry's camp battle at punter paying off on the field: "I think it was a good thing that he had the competition. The competition was because he had to be more consistent. The competition was because he had to have his get-off time better. The competition was (there because) he had to plus-50 punt better. He's definitely plus-50 punted better. His get-off time is better. Hopefully, he can be consistent and I think he will be. He certainly was consistent on those six punts (in the game). Now, his job for this football team is to produce those kind of plays all the way through. Those are big plays. Like I said, they're kind of unnoticed in the game. We punted one time backed up and he netted 56 yards that took them out of what generally would be pretty good position for them to parlay points and in a one-point game, that's a big punt. That's a huge punt."

On whether that was Henry's best game as an Eagle: "Oh, way by far it was his best game. I thought at the end of last year, he was having some pretty good games. His last four games were pretty good and the game against the Cowboys was good and we had a protection problem and gave up a (block). So, statistically, he didn't have a good game or he had an average game, but he had been punting better and better. I mean, he still didn't have the job won. Mat McBriar was right in there or had a greater shot maybe even, initially. He's punting better and he's doing better. He's just got to do it consistently and I think he will."

On what he sees in Henery that leads him to believe he will be a great kicker: "I think his form, his overall consistency and the way he strikes the ball. I think his mentality is such too that things don't weigh on him. It's pretty hard to be neurotic and do something like that. You've got to have steady nerves. He's almost like a jeweler; everything is very, very fine what he's got to do and he's got to have the right mentality for that. There are guys that are complete neurotics that can still kick a football, but I think his disposition adds to that talent and he's really consistent. He's got great get-off time, he's got great elevation on the kick. His operation in the elevation of his kick should be enough that we should never have a kick blocked. Now, he might screw one up and slow down or kick it low, but the way he consistently (kicks), those are big. When (blocks) happen, there's a potential of a 10-point swing, because they have the chance to scoop and score and that gets ugly. Not that it happens often, but you don't want a guy that it can happen to. You're sitting there wondering, 'Is this going to turn into seven points for them because the trajectory's like that?'"

On what he saw from his returners CB Brandon Boykin and WR Damaris Johnson: "Well, we had two kickoffs where that the ball was mishit, and sometimes that works in the kickoff team's favor, because we don't properly make the adaption and adjustment to build the proper formation to that kick. When you get a normal kick, you have a rhythm of forming a formation. Now, it might be deeper and higher that they can cover better. But if you don't form that formation, it gets messed up. The first one, we did okay on. The second one we were way out of whack with our formation and then the other ones, Brandon did okay. I mean, we need to block a little bit better. We had a hard time blocking number 41, (Browns DB Ray) Ventrone. He's a good player. (Browns WR Josh) Cribbs made a couple of plays. We had a hard time blocking him. He's a good player. The punt game, I thought, although we only had one punt return for six yards, I thought (Johnson) did a great job. He had the one where a lot of guys won't do this, where he's running to the fair catch and there's a guy coming down at him and he's running to it, most of the time the punt returners with acquiesce to that cover guy. Don't ask me why, but they will. So, they'll get out of the way of the cover guys. That ball could have been downed possibly inside the five. Instead, he kept running, forced the guy to run into him, we ended up getting the ball at the 21-yard line. That right there's a big play. He made the right decisions on the fair catch. He faked them out one time, running over here, he drew them into him and the ball bounced in the end zone. He managed the game really well. The return wasn't much there for him. Again, the punter can take you out of some things and that guy hit the ball well. The one he didn't hit well, one time the ball almost hit us. They threw (the challenge flag) out there. I thought he could have managed that better, although I don't really know because if he was yelling it and signaling it, he wasn't signaling it enough. He could have managed that one a little better and made sure our guys got out of the way. That would have been a disaster. Those are the kind of plays that are big in a game that he's got to control."

On whether it was Johnson's fault that a punt was almost touched by the Eagles: "I don't even know if it was his fault. He might have been screaming it and yelling it. (FB) Stanley (Havili) might not have heard it, but we were close. When they challenged it, it wasn't the case. And then (Browns P Reggie Hodges) hit another poor one where it hit their guy first and then it went out of bounds; we couldn't get to it. I thought he did a good job managing things."

On how competent TE Brent Celek is as the backup long snapper and how much work he gets during the week at that position: "Brent works two days a week, ten minutes in the beginning of practice on Wednesday and Thursday, and then he'll work today six or seven minutes. 20-30 minutes a week doing it and then he does it in pregame. So maybe you're looking at 30-35 minutes a week. He's pretty good too. He's pretty good. He can get us out of a game and (C Jason) Kelce's okay too. Kelce's not as good and Kelce gets less than that. He's over there a lot of times with our quarterbacks, but during camp, both those guys get ten minutes every day. Ten minutes every day in camp. It's not enough, but they do have other things that they do. Kelce could get us out of a game as well."

On former Eagles special teams coach John Harbaugh becoming the Ravens head coach in 2008: "I'm partial to special teams coaches and I think, in general, there's different levels of capability, there's different levels of intelligence with every coach. That's a broad spectrum. But just taking that out of the equation and saying that's an even whether the guy's an offensive guy, defensive guy, special teams guy, that part of it's an even, I think the training for special teams is the greatest avenue to be a head coach. It's more of an administrative position. It's more of a position where you're dealing with personnel and players from every part of the team. Years ago, I had a chance to be a secondary coach early in my career and probably made a wrong decision in terms of my overall aspirations, but I didn't want to be the secondary coach because I thought the best avenue to my goal, which was to be a head coach, was special teams. The problem was, I think I was the only one that thought that. I think there's a culture, even with as good as John has done, because in the last five years, the guys that have been hired in the last five years, no one has come close to doing as well. In fact, some places have hired three guys since he's been hired. His last year, or his second to last year, he still had all those capabilities. I think he's made a big mark because over the last five years or before he was hired, no special teams coaches were ever even interviewed. Now, there were certain situations, like I got interviewed in Buffalo but I was on the staff. No one from somewhere else. So it never happened. I remember, (Ravens owner Steve) Bisciotti, even in the initial interviews saying this is really rare, but we want to do this and that. So, it was an aberration to do it but I think what he has done, just this past year, I think there were three coaches interviewed for head coaching jobs that were special teams coaches. That would have never happened without John's ability to pioneer to the owners, to the general managers, that these guys can do it too. Even in Bill Walsh's book, he says it's the best position to move from to be a head coach. Bill Walsh says that and he had nothing to do with special teams. Of course, he's a smart guy, but he recognized the administrative, the overall, the detail to getting something from every player, getting players to do stuff that they really don't want to do. It's a constant day-in, day-out training on the job to be a head coach."

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