When the Eagles hired Bobby April from the Bills this offseason, we all expected to see an immediate improvement in the special teams. April's special teams units in Buffalo have been consistently among the league's best. After just one game though, the Eagles ST showed that April still has his work cut out for him.
Packers return man Jordy Nelson averaged 31.2 yards per kickoff return including one that went for 51 yards. Bobby April was asked what what happened with the coverage.
"Yeah, it was not good. The thing about that particular play, it's a critical play for a lot of reasons. One, it's the first defensive play of the series. Nobody generally thinks of it that way, unless they are really great or really terrible, sometimes they go on in almost anonymity throughout the season, but that's the first play of the defensive series. If we have the chance to literally establish the field position for our defensive football team with one single play, so it's critical that that one single play to determine that, is good. Throughout the preseason and even early in this game when we had an opportunity to kind of seize a little momentum with just scoring, or coming out after the half, or late in the game to set the tone for our defense, we have not done it. So I just have to do a better job, and in retrospect, look at how we organize the offseason, the OTAs, and even training camp, what kind of priority we set on that area. It's to be questioned at this point, because it's not even remotely up to what we need it to be and I have to take responsibility for that."
April admitted that there isn't much they can do personnel-wise with the coverage teams. He basically has to work with the guys he has, but he did say there were things they could work on.
"Well, we just try to do a better job detailing what they have to do. There's a short presentation, and it's not all day, it's not every day, on what we can meet with those players. There's ways to improve by me being better in presenting the information, maybe a little sharper, crisper practice, maybe a little more drill work on specifics that we're not doing well, like getting off blocks."