First-place Eagles have to improve kick coverage

Associated Press  |  Last updated October 05, 2012
Alex Henery's kickoffs frequently don't reach the end zone, making it imperative for the Philadelphia Eagles to improve their coverage. David Wilson nearly broke loose for a touchdown a few times against the Eagles in Philadelphia's 19-17 win over the New York Giants last Sunday night. Wilson averaged 36.2 yards on six returns, including ones of 48, 45 and 53 yards. That led the Eagles (3-1) to make some changes on special teams. Brian Rolle, a second-year linebacker who started several games last year, was released. He was replaced by linebacker Adrian Moten, who could see action against Pittsburgh (1-2) on Sunday. ''He's definitely a tough, young scrapper,'' special teams coordinator Bobby April said. ''He looks like one of those guys in Rocky III when Rocky comes in all Dapper Dan and the guys drop their gloves from punching the bag and they're stripped down, ready to rumble. He's kind of got that attitude.'' Moten played in 12 games for Indianapolis and Seattle as a rookie last year and spent training camp with the Eagles before he was let go on the final roster cut. He's eager to make his mark on special teams. ''I showed I'd give it my all when I was here,'' he said. ''I'm going to come in wanting to play special teams a lot. I know that's the biggest thing they brought me in for, but you never know how the NFL goes. It's a business, so you never know. I could be playing linebacker one week. You never know. So, I'll come in and do whatever they need me to do.'' The Eagles are hoping the addition of Moten coupled with the return of special teams ace Colt Anderson does the trick on coverage. It also will help when linebacker Akeem Jordan, another special teams standout, returns from injury. Philadelphia is ranked next-to-last in kickoff coverage, allowing 27.1 yards per return. ''Special teams is just an attitude and we've got to get the right attitude,'' Anderson said. ''We've got to have confidence in what we're doing and we're going to get that fixed.'' Moten is all about attitude. ''I'm going to be a ball hawk,'' he said. ''Go get the ball.'' It certainly would help if Henery boomed his kickoffs into the end zone. But he's last in the league with a 22.2 touchback percentage (4 of 18). Still, Eagles coach Andy Reid wouldn't pin the blame for the coverage problems against the Giants solely on Henery. ''Well, a couple of the kickoffs were a bit short,'' Reid said. ''Hang time is important, but we had guys in position around that 25-yard line at the catch. So, you've got to make sure that you work the right techniques, have the right scheme, right techniques. We should be OK and the kicker's got to do his job, too. But I wouldn't say that that was the No. 1 thing, no.'' April pointed the finger at himself for not giving Henery enough preparation on kickoffs going into the game last week. The Eagles had a unique situation because they signed a new punter, Mat McBriar, and had to practice with a new long snapper because Jon Dorenbos was injured. McBriar is the also the holder so April emphasized the snap and hold last week. ''I didn't do the right thing in training him,'' April said. ''He was off a little bit in his steps and he didn't do as many full length kickoffs as he normally does. He is still delegated the responsibility of going to kick the ball well. He's not getting the pass on this. We did so many field goals last week because we had a new snapper and a new holder. I really wanted his leg to be as spry as it could be for game day. We cut back a little bit on his kickoffs. ''That was a miscalculation on my part.'' -- NOTES: Jordan (hamstring) won't play against the Steelers. Anderson (knee), LT King Dunlap (hamstring) and DT Derek Landri (knee) are questionable. Reid wouldn't say whether Dunlap or Demetress Bell would start. Bell has started the past two games after losing his job following the first preseason game. --- Follow Rob Maaddi on Twitter: https://twitter.com/RobMaaddi --- Online: http://pro32.ap.org/poll and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Top 10 takeaways from Super Bowl 50

Was firing Jeff Hornacek the wrong move for the Suns?

Panthers picked wrong day to play worst game of the season

Was Peyton Manning paid for Budweiser mentions?

Cam Newton walks out of postgame press conference

Eli did not look thrilled after Peyton locked up Super Bowl

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Rick Reilly sends awkward tweet during Super Bowl 50

Peyton Manning gives Papa John a kiss after game

Panthers' Josh Norman crying after losing Super Bowl

Peyton Manning ‘going to drink a lot of Budweiser’ after win

Where Peyton Manning ranks among Super Bowl era QBs

Peyton Manning declines to comment on possible retirement

PHOTO: Panthers LB shows gruesome arm injury after SB

Patriots, Panthers early Super Bowl 51 favorites

Von Miller trolls Cam Newton, Panthers

Cam Newton proves again he is a great winner and terrible loser

Steph Curry trolls himself with Jordan face meme

Winners and losers from Super Bowl 50

The best and worst commercials from Super Bowl 50

Aqib Talib wipes out on NFL Network

Six best plays from Super Bowl 50

Five biggest boneheaded plays of Super Bowl 50

WATCH: Cam Newton gives questionable effort to recover fumble

Lions say Calvin Johnson's future still not determined

How Louisville basketball bungled their self-imposed ban

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The best and worst commercials from Super Bowl 50

Best and worst from Super Bowl 50

Six best plays from Super Bowl 50

Eli doesn't look thrilled as Peyton wins Super Bowl

Did Beyonce almost fall down during Super Bowl halftime show?

Curry to serve as drummer for Panthers

Report: Marshawn Lynch plans to retire

The 14 biggest plays in Super Bowl history

Five outrageous predictions for Super Bowl 50

QUIZ: Name the winning starting quarterback from every Super Bowl

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker