Eagles head coach Andy Reid brought special teams coach Bobby April to Philadelphia because he was supposed to be one of the best if the not the best in the league. April’s special teams have been anything but special.
If you want to know why Reid is likely to be fired, it’s because he’s made some very bad decisions on the players, who play for him and the staff which assists him. Think about the drop off from current Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh to April.
Their main contribution to the game yesterday was allowing a 78-yard punt return which totally turned the game around. It was ironic that the final match which was thrown on the pile was contributed by the Eagles special teams because they haven’t made much of a positive contribution all year long.
“That was a big play,” said April. “Probably the most critical play in the game. There were other plays, but they followed that one. That gave them the impetus to maybe set the stage for things they could do pass-rushwise and everything else. It turned the game in their favor.”
Wide receiver Riley Cooper made a big play on the goalline early in the game by going up and taking the ball away from Dallas cornerback Morris Claiborne. Unfortunately, Cooper helped give the touchdown back when he lost contain on punt coverage from his right tackle position.
Cooper made the mistake of getting induced to go inside on his coverage even though he knows he’s supposed to be outside to the right side of the return. The Cowboys set up a wall down the sideline and Dwayne Harris caught the punt then promptly took it to the left side and got behind a couple of teammates who gave him a 78-yard escort down the sideline for the score.
If Eagles kick off returner Brandon Boykin were to bring a kick off back pass the twenty-five or thirty-yard line, all the fans at Lincoln Financial Field would faint. When Boykin gets his hands on the football I have no expectation for him to get the ball out much further than the twenty-yard line.
We don’t even know what it would look like for the Birds to return a punt for a touchdown or even for more than ten yards. The Eagles punt return team is flat out awful. All the Eagles punt return team does is make fair catches.
Kicker Alex Henery missed an extra point and wasn’t able to give the onside kick team a decent chance of competing for the ball.
This is the worst special teams unit the Eagles have had during Andy Reid’s tenure at head coach. They are pathetic.