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For Eagles' Bobby April, nothing's special about special tea

zach berman inquirer

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Posted 21 December 2012 - 06:53 AM

Berman

Eagles Notes: For Eagles' Bobby April, nothing's special about special teams

Zach Berman, Inquirer Staff Writer

Posted: Friday, December 21, 2012, 3:31 AM


Bobby April has devoted his career to coaching special teams. So when the Eagles' special-teams coordinator oversees a group that has struggled throughout the season, and by his own admission has cost the team victories, it's difficult for him to digest.

April does not believe this has been the toughest season of his career, but it has not been an especially good one.

"We could have won a lot of games that we lost if we were really dynamic, and we're not," April said of his unit. "That's frustrating, and that's my goal to get it. I also know that I'm here to try and solve problems. I like to try and solve them before they happen. That's the real genius of coaching."

The problems exposed themselves in last week's loss, when a punt was blocked and a kickoff was fumbled. On the blocked punt, rookie Ryan Rau never ran onto the field to take his spot. Throughout the season, the Eagles have struggled at times getting 11 players on the field for special teams.

April has been a successful coordinator in the past. Either his message is not resonating, or his players are not skilled enough at their tasks.

"I don't want to bail them out. But I do think it's up to me to get it done, and I needed to present them with something that matches their skill-set and is more easily communicable, more properly drilled in practice and developed," April said. "All of the gaffes I take credit for, and I have nothing to say against the players."


New tight end

The Eagles signed tight end Evan Moore on Thursday, and he was at practice in the afternoon, wearing No. 86 and working with the offense. Moore was needed after Clay Harbor was placed on injured reserve Tuesday.

"There was a void here, and they had an open roster spot, and I was hoping to be that guy to fill it," Moore said.

Moore was released by the Seattle Seahawks on Wednesday, cleared waivers in the afternoon, and took a red-eye flight to Philadelphia. He signed a contract that runs through 2013, so he could be in Philadelphia next season.

Moore, 27, has 63 receptions for 810 yards and five touchdowns in 47 games over a four-year career, most with the Cleveland Browns. He's 6-foot-6 and 250 pounds and was a wide receiver and a basketball player at Stanford.

"His size and his hands - he's very athletic for how big he is," said Eagles quarterback Trent Edwards, who was a teammate at Stanford and a groomsman in Moore's wedding.

Offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg said Moore played in offenses in Seattle and Cleveland that were similar to the Eagles', which could help the transition.

"System-wise, terminology, we had coaches in Seattle who worked with [Mornhinweg]," Moore said. "When you have that kind of carryover with terminology, it makes it really easy to go out there and make a seamless transition."



Havili still out

Fullback Stanley Havili did not practice for the second consecutive day because of a hamstring injury. Every other player had full participation in practice. . . . Defensive coordinator Todd Bowles said Kurt Coleman is starting over Nate Allen at safety in part because Coleman is "more vocal." "Nate needs to be a little bit more vocal, a little bit more decisive, and at the [moment] we think Kurt is the best way to go," Bowles said. . . . Mornhinweg said running back LeSean McCoy could be on a play count in McCoy's first game back from a concussion. . . . Look for Bryce Brown to get into the mix returning kickoffs on Sunday. Brown had that role for one game before McCoy's injury.


Contact Zach Berman at zberman@phillynews.com, or follow on Twitter @ZBerm.


Zach Berman Inquirer Staff Writer