Eagles 'more experienced' on special teams

July, 4, 2014
7/04/14
8:00
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The Philadelphia Eagles acknowledged they needed help on special teams.

By adding the likes of Bryan Braman, Nolan Carroll, Chris Maragos and selecting wide receivers Jordan Matthews and Josh Huff in the second and third round, respectively, of the NFL draft, the Eagles seemed to improve their special teams unit.

It was much-needed.

"I'm not about making excuses," special teams coach Dave Fipp told the Times of Trenton. "What happened last year happened. We'll be more experienced this year. We have a lot of experience coming back, and we added some experienced special-teams player. Experience means a lot on special teams, and last year, we really didn't have a lot of it. We'll be better this year. We need to be."

The Times of Trenton noted that the Eagles finished 11th in the league in punt coverage and 19th in kickoff coverage. Their return game ranked 26th in punt returns and 27th in kickoff returns.

Kicker Alex Henery missed a crucial 48-yard field goal in the playoff loss to the New Orleans Saints. He struggled with depth on his kickoffs all season.

"When Alex came into the league, the kickoffs were from the 30, and he was taught to go for hang time, because you weren't going to kick too many out of the end zone," Fipp told the Times of Trenton. "So you have a guy, who didn't kick off in college, and he's learning and being taught to do something a certain way; now, the rules change. With the kickoff from the 35, you want your guy to drive it out of the end zone, get that touchback. Alex has to get better at that. As far as touchbacks go, he wasn't very good."

Punt returns were also an issue all of last season. DeSean Jackson was released and signed by the Washington Redskins.

As of now, there's open competition.

"Again," Fipp said. "We have to get better there. And we will."

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