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Philadelphia Eagles News

ST Coordinator Bobby April

On why there was trouble getting the 11th player out onto the field last game: "It certainly has happened a lot this season. We've had guys not get out there. Exactly what happens in the situation – in that situation, we call for them to come up into an area that we're standing and be prepared. You do that before because you could do that on every third-down. You could do that 10 times in a row but never send them in. On that particular situation, the player never got up to where I was at. I've got to make sure we got them all out there. He was involved with something on defense and I didn't get it done and get him prepared to go out there."

On whether the short kick that went to DT Cedric Thornton was planned: "I think it was."

On whether Thornton should have called for a fair catch: "He should always fair catch those. Any time that the ball is popped up with any kind of adequate hang time, you should fair catch that. If he doesn't, exactly what happened is going to happen. He is going to be concentrating on trying to run with the ball and getting away from the coverage. He has to have total concentration on making the catch because we practice it but not the amount of practice that a regular ball handler would have. I think that was the biggest problem. He can catch it, but not having absolute focus on just the ball is what caused the gaffe."

On whether this year's group is very different from previous in terms of focus, concentration, and preparedness: "I think my stuff does stay pretty much the same. I would like to think and do think that I improve incrementally from year to year because there is a concerted effort to do that. I think maybe and probably I've asked the guys to do something that they are not capable of. Maybe it's not being communicated properly. Maybe it doesn't fit their skill set because obviously we haven't performed well. I like our guys. I've said it a bunch of times, I like our guys. I don't put anything on them. I told them this just the other day – you'll always do the right thing if nobody is going to bail them out. I don't want to bail them out in the film sessions because, 'Oh ok, I'll just do whatever.' I really don't believe that anybody should get bailed out of anything. Nothing. I guess I'm a capitalist (joking). I just don't think you should get bailed out because you'll do shotty stuff and stuff that's not fair, rational, responsible, or accountable. I don't want to bail them out but I do think it's up to me to get it done and I needed to present them with something that matches their skill set and is more easily communicable, more properly drilled in practice and developed. All of the gaffes I take credit for, and I have nothing to say against the players. I like them. I think they tried to do stuff, and we just haven't succeeded."

On whether he will be more limited with S Colt Anderson with his defensive playing time: "The past two games, we haven't hardly used him at all. He's a good player. He's a really good player. If he doesn't make the play, he sets the dynamics for somebody else to make it. Not having him in there isn't a benefit, but other guys need to step up and play. We may try to use him a little bit more. Our philosophy has pretty much been if we can slice the pie so that everybody can play at full speed and not drain our product and punch too many holes at the bucket, we'd be better. That's how we've operated. We'll still kind of stay with that. Colt won't play as much but we will try and get him in a little bit because he is a dynamic player for us." 

On what makes Anderson such a special player: "I think that one thing that he has risen to the top is that I don't think his talent was appreciated. I'm talking just special teams, I have no say on what he does on defense. I know (defensive coordinator) Todd (Bowles) will be up here in a minute. When (general manager) Howie (Roseman) showed me the film of him playing at Minnesota when he was on the practice squad, and I think I've said this in here before, I just said, 'Geez this guy can play for anybody in this league and he's playing for nobody. Absolutely, why not get him. What are we waiting for.' He can just play. He's underappreciated. When we got him, that week we got him probably on Tuesday, and he played for us on Sunday. I can guarantee you there is nothing that I did on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday to elevate him from being a practice squad player to, all of the sudden, everybody who watches him says he's one of the best guys in the league. He's just got it, and I think he's underappreciated. Minnesota had him, so they knew something that everybody else didn't. We were smart enough to get him. I think he always had that, he just needed an opportunity."

On whether this has been April's toughest year: "I don't know. I've had some pretty tough ones in there. I had some pretty tough years in there. I don't think so. It's always frustrating because I really believe in the area. I didn't start out like most people, and you don't start out on special teams. Even when you're playing in the street, you don't – you're talking about Johnny Unitas back in the 50's. I know I look young, it was back when I could run a really deep route. You don't say, 'On this play, I'm going to block for the punt return.' You don't come up that way. When I came up, for one people didn't have special teams coaches. I was acclimated to the defense. I didn't have the appreciation that I have for it, and some people never get it. I know what really dominant special teams can do and we can win a lot of games if we were doing that. I know we could. We could have won a lot of games that we lost if we were really dynamic, and we're not. That's frustrating, and that's my goal to get it. I also know that I'm here to try and solve problems. I like to try and solve them before they happen. That's the real genius of coaching. I'm not, in any case, judgmental about things. I'm trying to help and solve. It does get frustrating to have some of these things happen that you think, if they didn't happen, that you could win the game. From that standpoint, we haven't had a lot of those things develop."

On whether RB Bryce Brown could return kickoffs this week: "There's a good chance. We've worked him back there this week and we see how he handles the ball and manages the ball. He has to manage the ball. He did a nice job. He only returned that one game, but he showed (burst), which he shows as a runner, too. There's a chance he'll return."

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