Bobby April: "All of the gaffes I take credit for"
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 admission has cost the Eagles victories, it's difficult 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. "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.
These consistent problems would suggest there's something lacking from the players. April has been a successful special teams coordinator in the past. Either his message is not resonating, or his players are not skilled enough at special teams.
"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."
MOORE EXCITED FOR EAGLES
The Eagles signed tight end Evan Moore on Thursday and was at practice in the afternoon, wearing No. 86 and working into the Eagles offense. Moore is needed after Clay Harbor was placed on injured reserve on 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 Wednesday evening. He signed a contract through 2013, so he could even be in Philadelphia next season.
Moore, 27, has recorded 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 similar offenses in Seattle and Cleveland, 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 carry-over with terminology, it makes it really easy to go out there and make a seamless transition."
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 time 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.