It was a relatively uneventful afternoon for the Eagles, as they focused on Special Teams alone for the roughly one hour practice. The Birds practiced punting and punt returns, as well as onside kick coverage with their hands team. It’s still enjoyable to watch Bobby April coach up the special teams, as he always shows a ton of enthusiasm on the field. Check in tomorrow to learn more about the Eagles’ new special teams coordinator.
DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin handled much of the punt return work, while Jason Avant also made an appearance in that role this morning. “I know the kind of person [Avant] is and the kind of ability he has to catch the ball. I thought let’s give him a try,” April said.
It looks as though the Eagles are preparing Avant as the emergency return man. “You never know how this roster is going to play out, and if your top two guys are injured, you’ve got to have some contingency plan. I thought he was the best one,” said April.
April also said he doesn’t know whether or not Jackson or Maclin will be available to return punts this season. “Andy and I have not talked. We’ve talked in general, but not specifically about what he’ll want to do,” said April. “Like I said last time we had this press conference, whatever he decides, it’s going to be a tough decision, because that’s an offensive player.”
David Akers spent some time in the trainer’s tent after injuring his heel on a kickoff. The veteran took a few minuets to walk it off and was able to get back onto the field to work on onside kicks.
Ken Parrish has worked as both a kicker and punter in camp, and April says he’s got a shot at making the team. “His numbers are better than last year, and he’s been kicking off, and he’s been holding. So that’s a valuable guy. It’ll be a tough decision [whether] to let him go, because he’s talented,” April said. Both Parrish and Rocca drew continued praise from April throughout his morning press conference. April said that Rocca holds the lead on the position, but Parrish still has a shot.
Training Camp Coverage
Check back tomorrow morning for a video recap of this weekend’s action at training camp. ITI will also be back at Lehigh University next Thursday, when the Eagles have a mock game scheduled for 10:30 A.M.
Tomorrow check out ITI to learn more about Bobby April and some of the creative things he’s done in practice with the special teams units.
Tuesday you’ll have a chance to learn more about Ken Parrish, a local product with an interesting background.