|Kickoffs from the 35 have everyone on edge. |
To insure the
Eagles don’t start the game on their 12-yard line as they did in the opener,
special teams coach Bobby April has reinforced his kickoff return rule.
April also will
have rookie Dion Lewis, who was at the goal line for the kickoff, drop back
five yards into the end zone.
Kickoffs behind Lewis
aren’t to be returned. Teammate Riley Cooper, also in kickoff formation, will let Lewis
know if he’s gone beyond the point of no return.
“Past five yards,
I take a knee,” Lewis said.
about the strategy is last year the Eagles wouldn’t return a ball five yards
deep in the end zone. With kickoffs moved up to the 35-yard line and touchbacks
ruling the early games, it’s as if the Eagles are willing to surrender five
yards of field position.
“Four or five
yards we wouldn’t have brought it out, ever,” April said. “I as we go along
we’ll know what to expect. … I don’t really know the answer right now. I’m kind
of guestimating that five yards is it. Anything more than that, you probably
have a greater probability of getting it at the 20.”